Deleting messages from your iPhone is a requisite skill, no matter whether it is because you want to keep Message app tidy, free up some space of your device, or you want to protect privacy (the message conversations have something in it you don't want someone else to see). It is very easy to delete iPhone messages (the messages include SMS, MMS, iMessages). But many users complain that iPhone text messages don't actually get deleted -- when going to Spotlight and search for the text that has been already deleted, they still show up.
In this article, you will get the all-round info and tips to erase (aka delete) saved messages from your iPhone, involving how to generally remove the chats, how to permanently delete those SMS messages if they are found in the Spotlight, and why the delete data will appear in search result.
Before you're going to do messages deletion, make sure you are ready to erase them without regret. Or you can backup your iPhone messages in case you want to get them back.
How to Delete Messages from iPhone 5S/5C/5/4S/4 on iOS 7.1/7/6
Here we divide the content of how to delete iPhone text messages into 2 parts. They are applied to iOS 10/9.3/9.2/9/8/7 and any iPhone model, including iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4. If you have an iPad (such as iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2), you can also try the tips below:
- Part 1. How to Generally Erase SMS Messages from iPhone
- Part 2. How to Permanently Delete iPhone Messages If the Deleted Messages Are Not Actually Deleted
You can delete an entire conversation or remove individual text messages from iPhone quickly.
1. To Delete An Entire Conversation:
Tap the Message app on your iPhone, go to the list of conversations, and find the chats you want to delete (in iOS 6 or earlier, swipe left to right; in iOS 7.1/7 or later, swipe right to the left). A "Delete" button will appear. Tap it to delete that entire conversation.
2. To Delete Individual Text Messages from iPhone:
You can leave your conversations intact but simply delete a few messages from it. Enter the conversation that has the messages you want to delete. In iOS 6 and lower, tap the "Edit" button at the top right; iOS 7.1/7 and higher, tap and hold on a message until the menu pops up. Then tap "More". Tap the circle next to a message - it will fill with a checkbox, indicating that it will be deleted. Tap the "Delete" button.
If you have already deleted some messages, but when going to Spotlight all the deleted messages appear in the search result, you can permanently erase these SMS messages in 4 ways. Try any of them.
1. Sync with iTunes Regularly
Syncing with iTunes can actually erase items you've marked for deletion. If you've already deleted an SMS on your iPhone, then the messages will really be gone for good after syncing. You can go to Apple's official website to see the details of how to sync with iTunes at: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1386
2. Remove Messages from Spotlight Search
Your deleted messages won't appear in a Spotlight search if Spotlight isn't looking for them in the first place. You can adjust the settings of Spotlight - what it searches in and which it ignores.
To do this, go to Settings > General > scroll down the screen and tap Spotlight Search > Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Messages to uncheck it.
3. Restore iPhone to Its Original Factory Settings
Factory settings reset will no doubt wipe off all your iPhone contents, but it is a workable way to permanently delete your text. Backup your iPhone data before restore.
To do restore, connect iPhone to computer, select it when it appears in iTunes, choose the Summary tab, click "Restore iPhone", and click "Restore" button.
4. Use A Third-Party App
Some apps claim that they can help to perpetually erase your messages, such as iErase, ProtectStar iShredder Pro, SecureWipe. You can have a try.
Bonus Tips: Why You Can Find the Deleted Messages in Spotlight
This is the result of an intricacy of how iPhone detects data. When you "delete" some kinds of files, they are not really gone. In fact they are still on the iPhone. They will be marked for deletion by the operating system and hidden. So if you search them in the Spotlight, they could appear.
Last but not least, if you would like to recover deleted messages from iPhone, UltData is your best option.