Use Messages in iCloud

iCloud can keep your entire message history updated and available on all of your devices, even when you set up a brand new device.

Here's how it works

When you turn on Messages in iCloud, your message history will be updated automatically on all of your devices. That way, you'll always have the same view available wherever you use iMessage. If you have deleted a message, photo or conversation on one device, it will be removed from all of your devices. And since all of your attachments are stored in iCloud, you can save space on your device.

You can use Messages in iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and Mac. For your privacy, Messages in iCloud is end-to-end encrypted, which means you can't view or access Messages online via a browser. 

Find out more about end-to-end encryption and iCloud security.


Turn on Messages in iCloud

To turn on Messages in iCloud, make sure that you've set up iCloud and are signed in with the same Apple ID on all of your devices, and that you've turned on iCloud Keychain. You also need to use two-factor authentication with your Apple ID.

On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap your name.
  3. Tap iCloud.
  4. Turn on Messages.

Turn on Messages in iCloud on your iPhone

On your Mac

  1. Open Messages.
  2. In the menu bar, choose Messages > Preferences.
  3. Click iMessage.
  4. Select the tickbox next to Enable Messages in iCloud.

Mac iMessage settings screen with Enable Messages in iCloud selected


Turn off Messages in iCloud

When you turn off Messages in iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac, you can choose to turn off Messages in iCloud for just that device. For any device where Messages in iCloud is still turned on, whatever you send and receive from that device will continue to be stored in iCloud.

You can also turn off Messages in iCloud on all of your devices.

On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap your name > iCloud.
  3. Turn off Messages.

On your Mac

  1. Open Messages.
  2. In the menu bar, choose Messages > Preferences.
  3. Click iMessage.
  4. Deselect the tickbox next to Enable Messages in iCloud.

If you turn off Messages in iCloud on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch device, your message history will be included in iCloud Backup. If you've set up an Apple Watch for a family member, Messages in iCloud is the only way to back up messages.

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