messagesiconDeleting old messages from your iPhone or iPad is a good way to save on your device's storage space, but going back through your old conversations and deleting them individually would be a tedious and long-winded process.

Fortunately, there's a simpler way to say goodbye to old messages in iOS – Apple's mobile operating system can be automated to discard messages that have been on your device for longer than a specific period of time.

For example, it's possible to have iOS automatically remove any conversations that are older than 30 days, or any messages more than a year old. You can choose your preferred cut-off for old messages by following the steps below. Note that when messages are removed from your device, they're gone for good.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Scroll down and tap Messages.
  3. Under "Messages History," tap Keep Messages.
  4. Select from the options: 30 days, 1 Year, or Forever.
  5. Tap Delete to confirm.settings

Remember, you can optionally store messages in iCloud, where you'll be able to access them from any device without taking up storage.

Related Stories

iOS 15

iOS 15.4: How to Scan Printed and Handwritten Notes into the Notes App

Tuesday March 22, 2022 10:41 am PDT by
With the release of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, Apple added a new feature to the stock Notes app that allows you to quickly scan printed or handwritten text and save it in digital text format. Keep reading to learn how it works. On earlier versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, scanning text into Apple's Notes app required tapping on a note's text field and tapping the Live Text option in the...
iphone x macbook hero imessage how to

How to Free Up Space on iPhone and iPad By Storing Messages in iCloud

Thursday April 8, 2021 4:52 pm PDT by
Messages in iCloud, as the name suggests, stores your iMessages in Apple's cloud servers rather than on each of your individual devices, which has a number of benefits. When you receive a message on one device, it shows up on all devices logged into the same iCloud account. Likewise, when you delete messages and conversations they are instantly removed from all your devices. Another...
applewatchfaceswatchos7

How to Automatically Change Your Apple Watch Face Based on Time or Location

Thursday February 24, 2022 1:12 pm PST by
If you find yourself regularly swiping to a different watch face on your Apple Watch depending on what you're doing or where you are, this article is for you. Because thanks to the power that Apple has built into its Shortcuts app, it's possible to make the watch face on your Apple Watch automatically change based on the time of day or your location. Keep reading to learn how. One of the...
monterey shared with you

How to Turn Off 'Shared With You' on Mac

Tuesday December 14, 2021 5:10 pm PST by
In macOS Monterey, Apple introduced a feature called Shared with You that takes content you've received in Messages and makes it available in the relevant app on your Mac. So when a friend shares content with you, such as a link to a news story or TV show, that content will show up in a dedicated Shared with You section in the corresponding app. If you don't want content that's been shared...
messagesimages

How to Share Your Screen Using Messages on Mac

Friday December 3, 2021 4:34 pm PST by
When you're chatting in Messages, you can share your Mac's screen with the person you're messaging, or they can share theirs with you. You can also let someone control your screen, and vice versa. It's a great way to give a friend or family member some remote tech support, or you can use it to work collaboratively on a project. Here's how it works. In the Messages app on your Mac, select a...
shortcuts automation

iOS 15.4: How to Turn Off Notifications for Personal Automations in Shortcuts

Monday February 7, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Apple's Shortcuts app is a great part of iOS because it includes tools that allow you to automate almost any action you can think of. But there is one aspect of it that has often annoyed users, and that's the lack of a setting that turns off notifications. Whenever Shortcuts runs an automation (let's say, disable rotation lock when a particular app is opened) it does so in the background....
ipados 15 live text

How to Disable Live Text on iPhone and iPad

Tuesday February 15, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple's Live Text feature can automatically recognize text when it appears in your camera's viewfinder, in a photo or screenshot you've taken, and in Safari, and let you copy or share it. Sometimes, however, the text auto-detection can become a distraction, and you might prefer to turn it off, either completely or just for the Camera app. This article explains how. Ho...
icloudkeychain

iOS 15.4: How to Add Notes to iCloud Keychain Entries

Tuesday February 1, 2022 4:23 pm PST by
In iOS 15.4, currently in beta, Apple has added the ability for users to add notes to account entries in iCloud Keychain. This article explains how it's done. Slowly but surely with each iteration of iOS, Apple has been improving iCloud Keychain to put it on equal footing with rival third-party password managers such as 1Password. And in iOS 15.4, it continues that tradition with a simple...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5.1 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Wednesday May 25, 2022 9:42 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5.1, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5.1 comes about 10 days after the launch of tvOS 15.5. tvOS 15.5.1 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌‌‌ owners who have automatic software updates...