How Can I Delete Text Messages On My Phone?
For most of us, texting has become a quick way to communicate what we’re thinking at the moment, whether an affectionate note or last second shopping instructions. And while nearly all the texts we send are fleeting, most live on for months or even years in in our devices.
The fact is, unless you have a sentimental reason to hang onto a conversation with a special someone, you really should know how to delete text messages on your iPhone®. There are lots of reasons why this makes sense, starting with the obvious such as removing clutter, or your phone is running low on storage space. But you should also consider security. Is there a text on your device that contains private information? Then you need to delete it.
This article will help guide you through the process of removing individual text messages and conversations from both iPhone and Android TM devices – simply deleting them from the device itself as well as erasing them from your system.
Deleting texts versus erasing them
How to delete text messages on your iPhone is relatively simple if you know the steps. But this can lull people into a false sense of security, believing the messages are gone forever. Because they’re not. They can live on in “Deleted” folders or on iCloud®. If you really want to make sure a text is gone for good, you may need to take a few extra steps than the simple ones outlined here.
But first, let’s start with the easy one. How to delete a text message on an iPhone or Android.
How to delete text messages from an iPhone or Android
If you want to know how to delete text messages from your iPhone or Android, you have two choices. You can either delete individual texts, or you can delete entire conversations with someone. Depending on your device, the process is slightly different. Let’s start with how to delete text messages on the iPhone.
How to delete texts on your iPhone
Let’s say you want to delete individual textsfrom a thread, but keep the rest of the conversation. That’s easy. You can do it with the following steps:
- Open Messages.
- Open the conversation containing the messages you want to delete.
- Now tap and hold the message you want to delete until the menu appears. Tap More
- A circle will appear next to each text message.
- Tap the circle next to all the messages you want to delete. A checkbox appears in the circle next to those messages, indicating that it will be deleted.
- Tap the trash can icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Tap Delete Message in the pop-up menu (earlier versions of the iOS® may have slightly different menu options, but they're all similar.
- If you change your mind, you can always tap Cancel to exit without deleting anything.
Deleting entire conversations from an iPhone
Sometimes deleting individual messages here and there isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need to get rid of an entire conversation on your iPhone. In that case, follow these steps:
- Open Messages.
- Find the conversation you want to delete. Now you have two choices. You can either swipe right to left across it, or you can tap the Edit button at the top left of the screen then tap the circle at the left of the conversation you want to delete.
- Whether you swiped across the conversation or used the Edit button, a Delete button will appear.
- Tap the button to delete the conversation.
5.Again, the Cancel button can save you from deleting anything if you change your mind or didn't mean to open the Delete button.
How to delete text messages - Android
Though Android and iPhone devices are similar, the procedure for deleting messages or conversations is slightly different. In fact, it’s slightly easier on an Android, since you can delete either individual texts or an entire thread using the same procedure. How to delete messages on a Samsung®? Follow these steps:
1.Tap on the Menu and open the messaging app.
2.Make a long tap on the individual text message or the thread you want to delete. Tap Delete. Tap Delete a second time to confirm your selection.
3.If you’re deleting an entire thread, long tap on any message and check the box beside the contact name. Then tap Delete Selected to remove all the messages from that contact.
How to permanently delete text messages on an iPhone and Android
Of course, deleting your text messages using these methods is quick, but the messages are not entirely gone. Any data recovery software will find them in seconds, and despite your best efforts they can still fall into the wrong hands.
That’s why sometimes you may need a more permanent solution for getting rid of unwanted text messages.
How to permanently delete text messages on iPhone
If you lose your phone or drop it in the pool, iCloud is your best friend. But just like data you want to keep, data you don’t want to keep will live there forever too. So, if you really want to get rid of unwanted text messages from your iPhone and make sure they’re gone for good, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings and tap on General.
- Tap Storage & iCloud Usage then Manage Storage below the iCloud.
- Select the device you wish to delete under Backups.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Delete Backup.
- Tap Turn Off & Delete and the backup is gone.
There is another permanent, though drastic, way to remove unwanted text message from your device. A factory reset. And while a factory reset will completely clear the texts from the Messenger application on the device, they will still linger in the system. So, you will still need to find and delete the backups in the Cloud or iCloud.
To perform a factory reset on your iPhone, simply:
- Go to Settings > General > Reset and select Erase All Content and Settings.
- Enter your passcode. You'll see a warning, with the option to Erase. Tap it.
- Enter your Apple ID password to confirm, and the device will wipe everything off its storage and return to the setup screen.
To perform a factory reset on your Android, follow these steps
- In Settings, find Backup & Reset, then tap Factory data reset .
- Enter your pass code. Tap Erase Everything.
- Once completed, select the option to reboot your phone.
Using data wiping software
There’s an app for everything, and naturally there are more than a few for permanently deleting text messages. Many of these apps such as iMyFone are supported by both iOS and Android.
These apps scan your device for the information you want deleted and use various methods to make sure it’s gone. Some overwrite the data with new information and eliminate any trace of the old data, rendering it impossible to recover. Other apps simply wipe the data from your system much like a factory reset. But all of them guarantee that the erased data is 100% unrecoverable.
A Few Final Things to Consider
When it comes to deleting text messages there are a few things to keep in mind.
First off, remember that “deleted” messages are not really gone. They continue to exist somewhere. So, for total peace of mind, you need to know how to permanently delete messages on your iPhone and Android.
Second, if you do decide to erase messages permanently, remember that “permanent” really is forever. There’s no going back. No changing your mind. Once you’ve wiped a text message from iCloud and your backups, that’s it. It’s gone forever. So, before you get rid of your texts, make sure that you never want to see it again.
Finally, by changing the settings on your device, you can eliminate the need to spend time removing individual texts to free up space or secure your information. Rather than store text messages forever, you can change the settings on your device to automatically delate text messages for 1 year or 30 days, rather than “Forever,” which is the default setting most people never change.
There you have it. By knowing how to delete text messages on iPhone and Android, and by adjusting the settings on your texts, you can take more control over your device.
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