How to Delete Text Messages From an iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Deleting text messages from your iPhone is quite straightforward. Simply go to your Messages app, find the conversation you want to delete, swipe left, and tap the ‘Delete’ button. Alternatively, you can use the ‘Edit’ button in the top corner to select multiple messages to delete at once.

After you complete this action, the selected text messages will be permanently removed from your iPhone. They will no longer be recoverable, so make sure you’ve saved any important information before deleting.


We’ve all been there – scrolling through our iPhone and realizing we have messages from years ago clogging up our storage. Maybe it’s time for a fresh start, or perhaps there are conversations you’d rather forget. Whatever the reason, knowing how to delete text messages from your iPhone can be incredibly useful.

You might think, why bother deleting old messages? Well, apart from freeing up storage space, it’s also a matter of privacy and organization. With just a few simple steps, you can declutter your phone and keep your personal information safe. And let’s be honest, most of us have sent texts we later regretted or received spam that we don’t need to keep. So, whether you’re an iPhone newbie or a seasoned user, stick around, and let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of text message management. This article is perfect for anyone looking to clean up their iPhone’s Messages app.

Step by Step Tutorial – Deleting Text Messages on an iPhone

Before we get into the specific steps, remember that deleting your text messages is permanent. Once they’re gone, there’s no getting them back. So take a moment to make sure you’re deleting the right messages.

Step 1: Open the Messages App

The first step is to open your Messages app where all your text conversations are stored.

When you open the Messages app, you’ll see a list of all your conversations. If you’ve never deleted any messages before, this list might be pretty long.

Step 2: Swipe Left on the Conversation

To delete a specific conversation, swipe left on it and you’ll see a red ‘Delete’ button appear.

Swiping left is a quick shortcut to delete a conversation without opening it. This is handy when you want to remove a conversation quickly.

Step 3: Tap ‘Delete’

After swiping left, tap the ‘Delete’ button to remove the conversation from your Messages app.

Once you tap ‘Delete,’ a pop-up will ask if you’re sure you want to delete the conversation. Remember, this action cannot be undone.

Step 4: Use the ‘Edit’ Button to Delete Multiple Messages

If you want to delete multiple conversations at once, tap the ‘Edit’ button in the top corner of the Messages app.

The ‘Edit’ button allows you to select multiple conversations. After selecting, tap ‘Delete’ at the bottom of the screen to remove all selected messages.

Step 5: Delete Individual Messages within a Conversation

If you only want to delete certain messages within a conversation, open the conversation, tap and hold the message, select ‘More…’ and then tap the trash icon.

This option is perfect for when you want to keep a conversation but get rid of specific messages that are no longer needed.


Frees Up StorageDeleting old messages can clear up significant storage space on your iPhone, especially if you tend to hold onto messages for years.
Privacy ProtectionRemoving sensitive conversations helps protect your privacy and ensures that personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Better OrganizationA clutter-free Messages app means you can find important conversations more easily, without sifting through unnecessary texts.


Permanent DeletionOnce you delete a message or conversation, it cannot be recovered. Be sure to save any important information elsewhere before deleting.
Time-Consuming for Multiple MessagesIf you have many individual messages to delete, the process can be time-consuming as you have to select each one manually.
Potential for Accidental DeletionThere’s always a risk of accidentally deleting the wrong message or conversation, so proceed with caution.

Additional Information

Deleting text messages from an iPhone is a handy skill to have, but there are a few extra tips and pieces of information that can make the process even smoother. First off, if you’re worried about losing important messages, you might want to consider backing up your iPhone before you start deleting. This way, you’ll have a record of your messages just in case you need them later on.

Also, did you know that your iPhone might be keeping deleted messages in the background? That’s right, sometimes messages aren’t completely gone even after you hit ‘Delete.’ To ensure they’re really wiped from your device, you might need to reset your iPhone’s settings or use a third-party app to clear out any lingering data.

And here’s a fun fact: if you’re deleting messages to free up space for that latest iOS update or a new app, you might be surprised at how much space messages can take up. Those little bits of text add up over time, especially if there are pictures or videos involved.

Remember, staying on top of your digital hygiene is important, and regularly deleting unneeded text messages is a big part of that. Not only does it keep your iPhone running smoothly, but it also helps keep your personal information secure.


  1. Open the Messages app
  2. Swipe left on the conversation you want to delete
  3. Tap the ‘Delete’ button
  4. Use the ‘Edit’ button to delete multiple messages
  5. Delete individual messages within a conversation

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recover deleted text messages?

No, once a message is deleted, it cannot be recovered. Be sure to save any important information before deleting.

Will deleting messages improve my iPhone’s performance?

It can. Removing data like old text messages can free up space and potentially improve your iPhone’s performance.

Is there a way to delete all my messages at once?

Yes, you can reset your iPhone which will remove all data including messages. However, this will also remove all other data and settings.

Can I delete messages from my iPhone but keep them on my iPad?

If you’re using iMessage and have messages syncing across devices, deleting a message from one device will delete it from all devices.

If I delete a message, will the other person still have it?

Yes, deleting a message from your iPhone will not delete it from the recipient’s device.


There you have it, the ins and outs of how to delete text messages from an iPhone. Whether you’re a minimalist seeking a clutter-free digital life or someone concerned about privacy, managing your messages is essential. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s a skill that’ll serve you well as you navigate the ever-growing digital world.

Remember, take a moment to ensure you’re deleting the right conversations, and consider backing up important messages before saying goodbye to them forever. Keeping on top of your message management not only helps with organization but also protects your private information. So go ahead, give your iPhone’s Messages app that much-needed spring clean. And who knows, you might just find that tidying up your virtual space is just as satisfying as organizing your physical one.