How Much Memory Does Texting Take Up on Your iPhone?

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Discover how much memory text messages take up.
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Texting is one of the most common methods of communication, with more than 150 billion messages sent each month in the U.S. alone. As a result, many users have thousands of messages saved on their device from dozens, if not hundreds, of senders. Typically, this isn't a problem, as the average SMS is only 190 bytes in size. That means an iPhone with 16GB of free space can store more than 90 million messages. But with the release of iOS 5, messages sent from one iOS device to another were transmitted in the iMessage format. This enables users to send text, photos, video, audio and map attachments for free. However, iMessages can be several megabytes in size. As a result, texting on an iPhone can take up considerably more space.


Text Formats

There are four message formats that you're likely to use on an iPhone or iPad. The most common is the standard SMS, which typically uses 190 bytes. That means it takes more than 5,500 SMS messages to use 1MB of data. When sending pictures or audio, the message is typically sent in the MMS format. This uses a maximum of 600KB, so on average it takes two to three MMS messages to use 1MB of data. When sending messages from one iOS device to another in the Messages app, the iMessage format is used. iMessages can be any size depending on the message content, so can take up a considerable amount of space. Finally, apps such as WhatsApp send messages in raw data. Again, these can be any size depending on the message content.

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Usage Stats

To find out how much memory the Messages app is using, open the Settings app, tap "General", select "Usage," then "Messages". You'll see how much space all your messages, photos and attachments are using from here. At the bottom of the screen is the total amount of space remaining on your device. This should give you a rough estimate of how many more messages you can store.


Messaging Apps

While checking the Usage stats, make sure to note any messaging apps installed on your device. Third-party messaging apps include WhatsApp, Skype, Voker, Kik Messenger and Viber. These all store data locally, and when combined might take up GBs of space.



Delete Messages

If you're running low on storage space, it's easy to delete messages and conversations from your iPhone. Open the Messages app, view a conversation, then tap the "Edit" button at the top of the screen. Next, select the messages you wish to remove, then tap the red "Delete" button in the bottom-left corner of the screen. To clear an entire conversation, tap the back arrow in the top-left corner to go back to the conversations overview screen, tap "Edit," then select the conversations you wish to clear.



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