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How to Delete Messages and Conversations on an iPhone Quickly (Update iOS 15)

Want to quickly delete messages from your iPhone? Take a look at this short guide to show you an effective way to make any conversation disappear from an iOS device in seconds.

delete messages and conversations on an iPhone

Hey friends! It’s Frankie here again. Welcome to my blog. Today, I want to talk about deleting iMessage texts or ordinary SMS messages on your iPhone (or other iOS devices).

This is a judgement-free space, so I understand that there are many reasons that you might want to quickly delete whole conversations or portions of one from your iPhone. You might be hiding something from a prying spouse, in an argument with a friend and want rid of the conversation, or even just looking to free up some space on your device.

I will show you the ways to better utilize iMessage on your iPhone and iPad to delete unwanted messages in a few short steps.

Yes, these strategies can get rid of your messages individually or as a group, but it does not completely protect your phone from the possibilities of being spied on by someone.

This is due to the fact that it is now easier than ever to find and install spy apps like mSpy. This software enables the user who installed it to view conversations you have had – even if they have been deleted.

Enough talking – let’s get started.

Note: The guide is applicable to the iOS 15 software and applicable to all current iPhones and iPads, including the iPhone 13.

Delete a Conversation on on iPhone

You might not know this, but deleting a conversation thread is as easy as a swipe.

Don’t believe it?

Here is what you do:
  1. Open up iMessage
  2. Find the chat in the list that you want to delete
  3. Swipe to the left until you see the “Trash” icon appear
  4. Click on this icon. A pop-up appears asking you to confirm your choice. Click on “Delete“. When you do, the conversation is gone

Deleing a Conversation on iPhone

That is a very easy and simple way of getting rid of an entire exchange of texts.

Delete One (or More) Messages from a Conversation on an iPhone

Want to just delete a small portion of the conversation, or a single statement?

Here is how you do that:
  1. Open iMessage
  2. Locate the chat where messages must get deleted and open it
  3. Long press on the individual message you wish to delete (often only 2-3 seconds)
  4. When the pop-up appears, choose “More
  5. If you want to delete just that message, click on the box in the lower left corner. You will receive a prompt where you can delete the message. If you wish to remove multiple messages from the thread, tap on the Trash icon in the lower left corner. You can choose “Delete Messages” in the box

Deleting One or More iMessage Messages on iPhone

You’ve got it now.

This is the most effective and painless way to remove individual ‘inconvenient’ messages or free up space on the device.

Before moving forward, I have something else I would like to show you that might save you a good deal of time.

You can delete all messages in a single chat by choosing “Delete All” in the top left corner from inside the thread. This is the same as swiping left out in the thread list.

How to Automatically Delete Old Messages

It is possible to continually regulate space on your iPhone without always manually deleting messages on your own. The iMessage app allows you to designate a time span for messages to disappear.

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap on “Messages
  3. Open the “Keep Messages” tab under message history
  4. Select how long you wish to keep messages – including options like thirty days or a full year
  5. Tap the “Delete” option to confirm that you want iOS to delete messages on your behalf after this designated amount of time

Setting Messages to Delete After a Period of Time on iPhone


Frankie’s Take:

Once you do this, there is no going back – you cannot undo deleting those messages.


Many people on the blog and Facebook have asked me questions like:

Can I recover deleted messages from my iPhone?

Is there a way to permanently delete a chat?


If I delete messages from the iPhone, do they automatically get deleted from the iPad?

In this part of the guide, I want to take a few minutes and address some of the most common questions and concerns that I encounter.

How Can I Recover Deleted iPhone Messages?

First, I would like to stress that it is possible to do this. There are several methods ranging from backing up data from your iCloud to many other options. I wrote a detailed guide about this explaining the best techniques to restore deleted messages. Check it out today.

Can I Permanently Delete Messages on iPhone?

Let me just fairly state that no, you can’t. However, unless you are using iCloud backup for your information, recovering deleted messages is challenging.

Can I Delete Messages on a Recipient’s Device?

No, you cannot. Once you send a message through iMessage, you no longer have any control of it where it goes. This is possible on WhatsApp, however, with a limited 7-minute window. If you want to know more, I wrote a guide about deleting messages sent through WhatsApp.

If I Delete Messages on My iPhone, Will They Also Disappear on My Mac or iPad?

Short answer is yes, though only if you have syncing enabled through iCloud. Here is the official Apple guide about completing this connection.


Now we have reached the end of this guide. I hopefully have provided you with all of the information you needed to solve the problems you had.

Just a quick recap, though: you can delete whole chats or individual messages on iPhone. You can also set a timer that deletes messages for you after a specific point.

Once messages get deleted, you can recover them in multiple ways. Some of the best routes to take are in a guide I wrote devoted to recovering deleted messages.

Any doubts or questions? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the box below so that I can help.

A hug,


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About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media, instant messaging apps and computer security. I help all those frustrated people who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world.

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