How to Delete Text Messages From the iPhone

The method you use to delete text messages from your iPhone depends on whether you want to remove individual messages from within a conversation, a single conversation in its entirety or several conversations at a time. Regardless of the method you choose, all messages you delete are irretrievable.

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Deleting a single conversation.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.

Deleting Individual Messages

Step

Touch and hold the message until the pop-up menu appears and then tap "More."

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The pop-up menu for messages.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.
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Selecting and deleting messages.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.

Step

Tap the blank circle near any other message in the conversation to select it for deletion, if necessary, and then tap the "Delete" button. The message you originally touched is automatically selected. If you want to delete all messages in the conversation, tap "Delete All" instead.

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Confirming the deletion.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.

Step

Tap "Delete Message" to confirm the deletion. If you selected several messages, the button reads "Delete N Messages" instead, with "N" being the number of selected messages; if you tapped "Delete All," the button reads "Delete Conversation." If you delete all messages in a conversation in this manner, the conversation won't disappear -- you will be left with an empty conversation.

Deleting a Single Conversation

Step

Tap "Messages" from inside a conversation view to return to the list of conversations.

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Returning to the conversation list from within a conversation view.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.
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Swiping to the left over a conversation.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.

Step

Swipe toward the left over a conversation to expose the Delete button for that conversation.

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Deleting a single conversation.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.

Step

Tap the "Delete" button to delete the conversation.

Deleting Several Conversations

Step

Tap the "Edit" button in the conversation list.

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The Edit button in the conversation list.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.
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Selecting conversations to delete.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.

Step

Tap the blank circle by a conversation to select it for deletion.

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Deleting the selected conversations.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple.

Step

Tap the "Delete" button to delete the selected conversations.