How to save storage on an iPhone or iPad by automatically deleting older messages

How to save storage on an iPhone or iPad by automatically deleting older messages
In this piece, we'll show you how to save internal storage space on your Apple iPhone or iPad by limiting the number of messages stored by the Messages app.

One of the disadvantages that iPhones and iPads manifest compared to most of their Android competitors is the lack of a microSD card slot. As those of you rocking an iPhone or an iPad with 16GB of internal storage probably know all too well, it's only a matter of time before apps, photos, and videos expand to take up the entire storage space, which inevitably translates into "out of storage" messages and sluggish all-around device performance.

If you've been using your current iPhone or iPad for a long period of time, and you're the type of user that often engages in conversations through the Messages app, then chances are that you might be wasting too much space by storing a lot of old messages that you'll probably never read again. 

In what follows, we'll show you how to check how much storage space is occupied by the Messages app, and then we'll show you how to automatically delete old messages and regain this lost storage.

How to check how much space Messages is taking up


Step 1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, then tap the "General" section.

Step 2. Go to Storage & iCloud Usage.

Step 3. Go to Manage Storage.

Step 4. Check how much storage space Messages takes up. In our example here, the app eats up an impressive 3GB of storage space. If you've only been using your iPad or iPhone for a few months, then chances are that the Messages app is not a heavy data consumer. 

This is how you can check how much storage space is used up by the Messages app

This is how you can check how much storage space is used up by the Messages app


How to delete automatically delete older messages on an iPhone / iPad:


Step 1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, then tap "Messages".

Step 2. Scroll down, find Keep Messages, then tap it.

Step 3. Here you can select '30 days' or '1 year'. These settings dictate for how long messages will remain stored on your iPhone or iPad.

Step 4. A popup message will ask you to confirm the deletion of older messages. Obviously, you might want to think twice before committing to this deletion.

How to automatically delete old messages on an iPhone or iPad

How to automatically delete old messages on an iPhone or iPad


What do you guys make of this trick? How much space can you save by limiting the lifespan of your Messages conversations?

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7 Comments

1. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Or you can get a higher storage phone as 16gb is not acceptable for a flagship device, considering they don't have sd expansion and they're pricing is insane. Oh well, either way, they'll buy it anyways.

3. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

It doesn't take an Apple hater to see that really. Oh well, brace yourself, Ahovking and Mxy may be coming to get you for what you said.

5. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

+1 bro.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 30661; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I don't think he's hating, heck I wouldn't ever consider a 16 gig phone, but as long as they're selling, it totally makes sense for Apple to keep making them.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30661; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You act like that bothers you lol. If someone wants a 16 gig iPhone, then by all means dude.

2. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Thus should be the last thing people are forced to do in a modern smartphone.

4. AceNJ

Posts: 24; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

you know what would be even better? the ability to choose not to backup messages to icloud. the 5gb limit kills me and i have no control over it unless i disable icloud backups.

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