How to Backup and Delete iPhone Messages to Save Space.
We all send text messages using our phones, and sometimes they take up too much space so there isn’t enough space left to save or back up new photos and videos, messages, apps and more.
Backing them up is a great way to free up and / or save space, in addition to giving you extra space to save every message you receive or send.
It’s also a good way to hide important data so you can recover it if your phone is lost, stolen, damaged, or you left home annoyed and forgot to take it with you.
If you have an iPhone and don’t want to insanely delete one text after another just to free up space, there are several options for backing up your messages. Thus, you can immediately delete texts from your phone and free up space for other files.
In this guide, we are going to show you various methods that you can use to back up and delete iPhone messages to save space.
How to backup iPhone messages
There are three methods you can use to back up and delete iPhone messages:
1. Back up iPhone messages to iTunes
2. Back up iPhone messages to iCloud
3. Use a third party application
Back up iPhone messages to iTunes
iTunes provides a reliable platform from which you can back up your messages and other data.
This method requires a Lightning to USB cable, which you’ll use to connect your iPhone to your computer (desktop or laptop). iTunes should open automatically after connecting two devices, but if it doesn’t, you can start it manually.
- Unlock iPhone if prompted. It will appear in iTunes and automatically sync (if enabled) with your computer using iTunes.
- If you have not turned on automatic syncing with iTunes, go to the “Backup” section on your iPhone and select “Automatic backup to iTunes.”
- Click Back Up Now to start the process. You can also perform a one-time manual backup by going to File Devices and clicking Backup.
- iTunes will keep all your text messages and other data on your iPhone.
If you want the only data backup on your iPhone, the iTunes backup method can be used, except that you cannot select individual items when you want to restore them to your phone. However, a third party application will give you that flexibility.
Backup iPhone messages to iCloud
iCloud is Apple’s own cloud storage service and is the most obvious choice for backing up iPhone messages and other data. You get a whopping 5GB of storage space for free, but you can always pay for extra storage if you need more.
The main problem with this method is that when you delete a message from your phone or other devices using Messages in iCloud, it will most likely be deleted in iCloud as well.
- If you still prefer to save your text messages to iCloud and you have an iCloud account, go to Settings on your iPhone, tap your name, and then tap iCloud.
- Turn on Messages and the backup process will begin.
Note. If your iPhone and other devices use iCloud and Messages in iCloud, all your text messages and iMessages will be automatically saved to iCloud.
How to Delete iPhone Messages
Now that you have backups of all your text messages, it’s time to delete them to free up space on your iPhone.
The preinstalled Messages app on your iPhone groups your text messages into conversations. This way you can delete entire conversations, but you can also delete individual texts in each conversation if you like.
How to delete an individual message on iPhone
- To do this, open Messages, press and hold the pop-up message. Click More.
- You will see a circle next to each message. Select the message bubbles you want to remove by touching each bubble next to the message to mark it for removal.
- In the lower left corner of your phone screen, click the trash can icon, and then click the Delete Message button in the pop-up window.
How to delete a text message conversation on iPhone
This process has different stages than deleting individual messages.
- To do this, open Messages on your iPhone and find the conversation you want to delete. You can click the “Edit” button in the upper left corner of the screen or swipe from right to left over the conversation.
- Click the circle next to the conversations you want to delete. If you used the Edit button, after selecting a conversation, you will see a Delete button in the lower right corner of the screen, but if you have scrolled through the conversation, you will see a Delete button on your right.
- Click the Delete button to delete conversations.
Note. You can always use the Cancel button if you change your mind before deleting any conversation or text.
- Another way to delete a text message conversation on your iPhone is to tap on the conversation and then press and hold the message.
- Click More, and then click Delete All in the upper left corner of the screen.
- At the bottom of the screen, click Delete Conversation.
Still text messages stuck around your iPhone? Here’s what to do
Sometimes, you can still see some of the texts you deleted on your iPhone, especially in the search results, and you can still read them. This can also happen in some cases when searching in the Messages app.
This is because some items are not removed when you delete them. Instead, your phone’s operating system marks them for deletion and hides them so they look like they’ve disappeared but remain on your phone.
Such files will not be completely removed from your iPhone until you sync them with iTunes or iCloud.
If you want to permanently delete text messages from your iPhone, you can do the following:
- Sync your iPhone regularly with iCloud or iTunes to remove items marked for deletion.
- Remove the Messages app from Spotlight search so that it doesn’t appear. To do this, tap Settings Siri & Search, and then tap Messages. Move the slider next to Search & Siri Suggestions to Off. (White).
- If you don’t want to leave any notes, use a messaging app that automatically deletes your messages after a certain period of time.
Deleting a message from your iPhone doesn’t necessarily mean that it has really disappeared forever. It can be stored on the servers of your mobile operator as it is transmitted from your phone to the recipient. In many cases, the carrier will keep copies of your messages, which can be used, for example, in a criminal court.
However, if you are using Apple iMessage, the same may not be the case because your texts are encrypted from start to finish and no one – not even law enforcement agencies – can decrypt them.