Delete and recover messages on your iPhone or iPad

In iOS 16, iPadOS 16.1, or later, you can recover conversations and messages you deleted in the Messages app.

Delete a single message

  1. Within a conversation, touch and hold the message bubble to open an options menu.
  2. Tap More .
  3. Tap the Trash button , then tap Delete Message.

To keep your messages for a certain amount of time, go to Settings, tap Messages, then tap Keep Messages. Then select how long you want to keep your messages.

When you delete a message, the message only disappears from your Messages thread, not from your contacts' threads. To remove a message that you accidentally sent from everyone's threads, use undo send.

If you use Messages in iCloud and delete a message, photo, or conversation on one device, it’s removed from all of your devices.

Delete a conversation

  1. Touch and hold the conversation to open an options menu.
  2. Tap Delete .
  3. Tap Delete once more to confirm.

As long as the conversation isn't pinned, you can also swipe left over the conversation, tap Delete, then tap Delete again to confirm.

To delete more than one conversation, open Messages and tap Edit in the upper-left corner. Tap Select Messages, then tap the circle next to the conversations and tap Delete in the bottom-right corner.

Retrieve a deleted message or conversation

  1. In Messages, tap Edit.
  2. Tap Show Recently Deleted .
  3. Choose the conversations with the messages you want to restore, then tap Recover.
  4. Tap Recover Message or Recover [Number] Messages.

You need iOS 16, iPadOS 16.1, or later to recover deleted messages and conversations. You can only recover messages and conversations that you deleted within the last 30 to 40 days.

Published Date: