How to Easily Delete Old Text Messages on iPhone or iPad

You might want to delete plain text messages because of the storage space they use. Also, you may want to delete messages for privacy reasons or just because it keeps your Messages app better organized. Plus, texts with images actually can take up a fair bit of room.

You might want to delete plain text messages because of the storage space they use. Also, you may want to delete messages for privacy reasons or just because it keeps your Messages app better organized. Plus, texts with images actually can take up a fair amount of space.

By default, your iPhone and iPad save every iMessage and SMS text message that comes your way. As a result, you could have years of messages synced to iCloud that follow you for the rest of your life, taking up valuable space. Fortunately, there’s a way to delete old text messages automatically. Lets explore how this is done.

This is for the iPhone and iPad. Screenshots are from an iPhone

Dilbert and Done
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

First, lets check how much storage you are using for messages and attachments (like photos on an iPhone). Go to

Settings > General > iPhone Storage > (scroll down to) Messages

Notice the amount of storage used by Documents & Data, and tap on Review Large Attachments for more detail. Refer to below image where I can save 145 MB by deleting them:

Text 1
Viewing how much storage space is being used

Now, exit back to Settings (the gear icon) on your iPhone or iPad. See below image:

Text 2
Accessing Settings

Now, in Settings, scroll down and tap the Messages option. See following image:

Text 3
Accessing the Messages option

Next, in Messages, scroll down and tap the Keep Messages option. Refer to below image:

Text 4
Accessing the Keep Messages option. The default is Forever

By default, Messages is set to keep your SMS text messages and iMessages forever. Next, tap either 30 Days or 1 Year depending on how long you would like to keep your old text messages. See below image:

Text 5
Selecting your option on how long to keep text messages

After tapping your preference, you will see a pop-up dialog asking whether you want to delete all messages older than the time period you specified. If you are sure, just tap the Delete button. See following image:

Text 6
Pop-up window showing the option you selected

Next, exit Settings. From now on, Messages will automatically delete any messages once they hit the 30-day or 1-year mark, depending on which option you specified. Note! The default, Forever, will remain checked until you tap the Delete button.

Now, head back to

Settings > General > iPhone Storage > (scroll down to) Messages

and check your Messages storage for the amount of space you reclaimed.

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath

How to Mark Text Messages as All Read on iPhone or iPad

If you have a large number of unread text messages on your iPhone or iPad, dealing with them one-by-one can be a hassle. Thanks to Apple, it’s easy to mark every one of your unread messages as read but the feature is not well known. Let’s explore how to mark all text messages as read.

If you have a large number of unread text messages on your iPhone or iPad, dealing with them one-by-one can be a hassle. Thanks to Apple, it’s easy to mark every one of your unread messages as read but the feature is not well known. Let’s explore how to mark all text messages as read.

This is for iPhone and iPad

Dilbert and Format
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

First, open your Messages app. Now, on an iPhone, look in the upper-right corner of the screen and tap the ellipses button, which looks like three dots in a circle. Refer to below image:

Read All 1
The Messages app

For the iPad, tap the Edit button in upper left-hand corner.

A pop-up menu will be displayed. Next, tap the Select Messages option. See below image:

Read All 2
Select Messages option

Now, your messages will enter “Edit” mode. But you don’t need to deal with individual messages. On both iPhone and iPad, look for the Read All button in the lower left- hand corner of your screen and tap it. See following image:

Read All 3
Select Read All option

At first glance, you may be thinking that the Read All means “I am going to read all my messages”. Actually, it means “I have read all my messages”. Apple should have put in a clarification note as to what Read All means.

After that, all unread messages will be marked as read. You will receive no notification that they all read but they will be. Cool feature!

That’s it. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter, as mentioned below.

I hope you have found this post helpful. If so, click the Tweet icon below. This will launch Twitter where you click its icon to post the Tweet.

I have found TechSavvy.Life blog posts extremely helpful. Check them out for blog posts on smartphones, Macs, and PCs! You may email us at contact@techsavvy.life for comments or questions.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath