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How to delete a message or conversation in iOS, iPadOS

Apple’s Messages is a very handy tool. If you use it as much as I do, you may end up with a long stream of messages or conversations and need to delete some of them. It’s easy.

However, you should note that when you delete a message or conversation, you can’t get it back. It’s gone forever. So make sure that you save important information from your messages.

Done? Okay, here’s how to delete message or conversations:

To 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 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.

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.

(This how-to is based on my experiences and info on Apple’s support pages — where the images sometimes come from.)

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.