As Apple's built-in messaging service, you can use iMessage on any Apple device, including Apple Watches. The service offers various cool features like handwriting, on-screen animations, emoji Tapbacks, and more.
However, the service only works if the recipient is also using an Apple device, or it will automatically convert to SMS or MMS. You'll also need a data service, such as mobile data or Wi-Fi, to use iMessage, or your text messages will be sent as an SMS instead. All attachments, sent and received, are stored on your iPhone or other Apple device.
There will come a time when you may need to start clearing your storage space. Whether it's deleting old files or attachments in iMessage, it's relatively easy to do.
Empty storage space
Clearing your entire storage folder is the easiest and quickest way to remove anything except apps that can cause your device to run slower. By using this method, you will also avoid deleting messages that come with attachments.
Other methods involve deleting an entire conversation, including attachments. Having multiple options to make space in the storage folder is always a good thing. Here is what you need to do to rid your device of all attachments.
- Press the Settings application
- Select GeneralThen IPhone storage
- Select Review large attachments under Recommendations section. You may need to press Display all for Review large attachments to display.
- Tap Edit and select the attachments you want to delete and tap the trash can icon in the top right corner.
Managing attachments looks pretty easy on paper. This may even be true given how easy it is to sort and delete photos and videos. But if so, why are so many users complaining?
It's simple, actually. When you sort your list of attachments to mark them for deletion, you cannot preview a larger representation. You should judge every photo and video by the very small thumbnail image.
It can't help you determine the quality and sometimes not even what is happening in the image. However, you can make an assessment based on the date and the size of the file.
Delete multiple attachments from iMessage
If you don't want to clear all your storage, you can choose to only delete received attachments in iMessage.
- Open the Message application
- Tap a chat with attachments you want to delete
- Tap the person's profile picture at the top of the screen, then tap Info when he appears
- Tap See all photos at the bottom of the screen
- Tap Select and select the attachments from this chat that you want to delete, then press the Remove button at the bottom right of the screen
- Tap Delete messages to confirm your action
You can also remove all documents or links from this page.
Configuring automatic deletion of messages
If you know you'll run out of storage space, you can always set iMessage to automatically delete incoming messages after a certain period of time. Doing this will delete the conversation and all attachments received.
- Open Settings application
- Tap messages
- Locate Message history and select Save messages
- Tap the period that suits you best
- Select Remove
Another Storage Compensation Tip
Messages can only be automatically deleted if they are older than 30 days or a year, depending on your choice. If you want to automatically delete audio and video messages, you can set shorter delays.
- Open Settings application
- Tap messages
- Locate the Audio Messages and press Expire under each.
- Select After 2 minutes, or elect Never if you want to start recording audio and video messages again.
This is another cool way to free up space on your iPhone or iPad. It's also a great feature to turn on if you're worried about being bombarded with spam or corny birthday messages. This saves you from having to manually dig through the logs to see what is taking too much storage capacity.
Frequently Asked Questions
We've included this section to answer more questions about your iMessage attachments.
Can I delete all attachments at once?
Unfortunately no. Although some iOS features offer a "Select All" option, there is none for message attachments. There is, however, an option to delete all your iMessages in a thread at once. All you have to do is long-press on any of the texts in a conversation, tap "More," then tap "Delete All."
You can also delete all iMessages from your phone in the text messaging app. Open the app and tap "Edit" in the top left corner. Then tap "Delete All". This will delete all your texts, attachments and conversations.
What if I accidentally deleted an attachment?
After performing the above steps, you may find that you accidentally deleted an attachment that you need. Luckily, there are ways to recover valuable data you've deleted. First, if you have another Apple device such as an iPad or Mac, find the attachment in the iMessages app on those devices.
Then you can check your iCloud. Depending on the time and date of your last backup, the attachment may be in your iCloud account. One way to find out if your messages and attachments are backed up is to go to your iPhone settings and tap on your name at the top. Next, tap on “iCloud”. From there, scroll down to "Messages" and see that it's enabled.
If you still can't find your iMessage attachments, check out this article.
How do I download an iMessage attachment?
Sometimes it's better to save an iMessage attachment on your device than to let it sit in the Message app.
If you need to save a photo or video sent to you, follow the same instructions above to locate attachments in iMessage. Tap "Show All" and then the one you want to save. In the lower left corner, tap the share icon. Then select "Save Image". You can also share the image among other options.
You can do the same for all documents sent to you via iMessage.
One last thought
No matter how much storage you have, it's easy to lose track of how much storage you have after a while. While you are busy downloading music, making personal calls and watching movies, you can easily forget how many video, image or audio files you have saved from incoming messages.
While erasing attachments isn't complicated, it's not a good idea to let your device clutter up to capacity. What if you want to capture your child's first steps, but the camera can't record the video?
Using some of the tricks in this article, such as automatically deleting messages, can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.