Auto-Delete Old Message Conversations on iPhone

One of the most common questions from the iPad/iPhone users- why are my messages taking up so much iCloud storage? If, you are wondering the same thing, here is the answer to your question.

iPhone and iPad have lots of features that make them more accessible and more straightforward for the owners. They have a default settings to store every iMessage and SMS text on the device, but this may affect your iCloud with your old messages and texts.

We all know that android phones allow their customers to enhance the storage space with a microSD card. But iPhone and iPad come with limited storage capacity, which cannot be increased with microSD cards. However, iOS has a feature of automatically delete old messages, which the owners can set. Specifically, if you have an iPhone or iPad with 16 GB memory, you have to be more cautious about saving the storage by deleting old and unwanted messages and conversations.

Also, owners can manually delete the texts from the iPhone and iPad, but this takes lots of time. Here is a guide for iPhone and iPad users on limiting the lifespan of text messages and old conversations and automatically deleting old messages to save the internal storage of the iPhone and iPad.

Steps To Auto-delete Old Message Conversations On iPhone/iPad:

Step 1:  Go to the setting app from your iPhone or iPad and click on the messages.

Step 2: Locate “Keep Messages” from the scroll down menu and tap to open it

Step 3: Users will get the option to keep the messages for 30 days, one year, or forever. “Forever” means that text messages on the device will not be automatically deleted. On the other hand, “30 days” or “1 year” means that the messages will be deleted after this period.

Step 4: After selecting “30 days” or “1 year”, users will get a pop-up text showing, this will delete all your text messages and message attachments from your device forever.

Step 5: Users need to click on the “Delete” option to confirm the above action.

Note – This is an automatic action, so think twice before setting the time. Because once you set the time and choose delete, your device will automatically delete all the old messages so that users will not be able to retrieve old conversations or messages from the iPhone and iPad.

Many users ask does deleting text messages free up space on iPhone. So, the answer is YES. Users can check the storage space taken by the text messages by following few steps –

Step 1: Go to the Settings app and tap on the General section

Step 2: Locate Storage and iCloud Usage and tap on it

Step 3: Tap on Manage Storage to check the used and available space, followed by an app list

Step 4: Locate the Message app and tap on it to check the total space taken by your texts.

Sometimes our text box contains some vital information that we want to keep, but after turning on the auto-delete option the messages will be deleted forever. So, the question is how to turn off auto-delete old conversations on iPad and iPhone?

Fortunately, iPhones and iPads have the option to stop the auto-deleting messages. And here is how.

Steps To Stop The Auto-deleting Messages:

Step 1: Open the setting app

Step 2: Tap on Messages

Step 3: Click on Keep Messages and choose “Forever.”

Also, if you have turned on the iCloud backup option before choosing the delete option and limiting the time, there is a possibility that you can restore your old messages to your iCloud storage space. If this happens, you can recover your old texts and SMS following some simple steps.

How To Recover Your Old Texts And SMS:

Step 1: Choose a backup and pick up a date

Step 2: After choosing, the transfer will start

Step 3: Your device may ask for new software. If so, follow the steps

Step 4: when asked, sign in with your Apple ID and restore your apps and purchase extra spaces if required.


This is a short guide about how to turn on the auto-delete feature to delete the old texts to free up the iCloud space and how to turn off the auto-delete feature.

The important thing is, the auto-delete option will only work for iMessage and regular text chats. This auto-delete feature would not affect third-party chat conversation apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype, Viber, and more.

Experiencing difficulties with your Device, check out our “How To” page on how to resolve some of these issues.


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