iMessages are text messages sent between Apple devices like iPhones and iPads over Wi-Fi or cellular data, rather than traditional SMS. They offer features like read receipts, typing indicators, larger file attachments, and more. However, sometimes you may want to delete iMessages from your iPhone to save storage space or for privacy reasons. Here’s how to delete iMessages on an iPhone.
Table of Contents
Delete a Single iMessage
To delete a single iMessage:
- Open the Messages app and tap on the conversation with the message you want to delete.
- Long press on the message bubble you want to delete. A menu will appear.
- Tap on More and then tap on the trash icon to delete that message.
- Tap Delete to confirm.
The message will be deleted from your iPhone, but the other person will still see it on their end.
Delete Multiple iMessages
Follow these steps to delete multiple iMessages from a conversation:
- Open the Messages app and select the conversation.
- Tap the Edit button in the top right.
- Tap on the circles next to each message you want to delete so a checkmark appears.
- Once you’ve selected all the messages to delete, tap the trash icon at the bottom.
- Confirm by tapping Delete to permanently delete those messages.
Delete an Entire Conversation
To erase a whole conversation of iMessages:
- Go to the Messages app and swipe left on the conversation you want to delete.
- Tap on the red Delete button.
- Tap Delete again to confirm.
This will remove the entire conversation and all iMessages it contained. The other person will still have the conversation on their device.
Delete iMessages Automatically
Instead of manually deleting old iMessages, you can set up your iPhone to automatically delete them after a set period of time:
- Go to the Settings app then tap on your name at the top.
- Choose iCloud.
- Tap Manage Storage > Messages.
- Enable Save Messages to keep deleting them automatically. You can choose 30 days or 1 year.
Recover Recently Deleted iMessages
If you accidentally deleted iMessages that you still need, you may be able to recover them by:
- Opening the Messages app.
- Tapping Edit in the top left corner.
- Tapping Show Recently Deleted.
- Selecting the messages you want to restore.
- Tapping Recover to move them back to your conversations.
However, there is only a limited time period you can recover deleted iMessages.
Permanently Erase iMessages from iPhone
If you want iMessages gone for good instead of just deleted normally, you’ll have to take more drastic measures:
- Restore your iPhone to factory settings to wipe all data. You can do this in Settings. This is an extreme option since it deletes everything.
- Use iPhone data erasure software to selectively and permanently destroy only your iMessages while keeping other data safe.
So in summary, those are the main methods to remove iMessages from your iPhone device – delete single or multiple messages, erase entire conversations, enable auto-delete, recover recently deleted ones if needed, or permanently destroy them beyond recovery. With the right approach for your needs, you can easily manage iMessages on an iPhone.
As an iPhone user for over 5 years and mobile technology writer, I’ve regularly deleted old iMessages to save space and ensure my privacy. I prefer using data erasure software when I need to permanently erase iMessages, as it allows me to selectively remove private messages while keeping personal photos, contacts, and other data I want to keep. Let me know if you have any other questions!