How To Delete Saved iMessages and Free Up iPhone Memory Storage

iPad Help, Tips & Tricks
// October 16, 2015
delete iMessage messages

Q: My iPhone says I have 2.2GB of messages caches (saved). I’ve looked into it in other forums and people are saying it’s a glitch with the iOS software…just wondering if there’s any new info on how to remove these unneeded messages. (iPhone 6, iOS 7.0.3)

Also read: how to recover deleted messages from your iPhone with a iOS Devices Data Recovery Tool for Mac and PC.

A: 8GB of memory storage is not enough space, considering that you’ve also got to take into account the amount of space iOS consumes before having only a small portion of memory storage left. I realize that you have an 8GB iPhone 4 now, and can’t do anything about that, but I would suggest getting at least a 16GB iPhone in the future. Since you have an 8GB iPhone 4, it’s likely that your saved iMessages are consuming nearly half of the 5GB of memory storage remaining on your iPhone.

iMessage data amount before deletion


saved iMessages data after deletion

It seems to be the case that there is a glitch with the software in iOS 9 I had 92MB of saved iMessages, and I deleted every message to find that there was still 5MB remaining. If you want to attempt to delete your saved iMessages, perform the following steps:

Go into your saved iMessages and select edit at the top left corner

Step 1

Go into your iMessage app and select edit to delete saved iMessages.

Select edit and you will see red circles to the left of your saved iMessages

Step 2

At this point, your text messages will gain a red circle with a line in the middle to the left of the phone number and date. In order to delete saved iMessages, you must tap on the red circle to the left of the individual name.

Select the red circle to the left, and the word delete will appear to the right of your saved iMessages

Step 3

After tapping the red circle, the word “delete” will appear to the right of the name and the date. Select “delete,” and the saved iMessages will disappear.

While I was able to get rid of my messages, the fact that you deleted 2.2GB of texts and still have saved iMessages consuming 2.2GB of space is a sign that your iOS software is very much damaged and needs to be restored to factory settings. Unfortunately, you’ll have to restore your iPhone to factory settings by placing it in recovery mode.

There is one thing you can do before restoring your device to factory settings, however: you can restore your iPhone 6 settings by going into your settings menu on your iPhone desktop, then scroll down to “reset,” select it, and then decide to “reset all settings.” This will not get rid of your content, but it may help recalibrate the amount of memory space your saved iMessages count contains – seeing that you’ve deleted all your messages but still see “2.2GB” of space. If, after resetting your settings, you still encounter the same problem, you’ll likely have to restore the device by placing it in recovery mode, then connecting it via USB to your computer, and follow the steps at iTunes to restore the device.

If you decide to restore your device, it is likely a good idea to use another app for your messaging needs. iMessage will fill up quickly, but there are other good apps that can best serve your needs, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, BlackBerry Messenger, and Google Hangouts. I would suggest resorting to one of these in the future. Two text messaging apps that I use on a regular basis are Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts, and both serve the purposes I need because they allow me to sync my phone contacts and text people who do not have Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts.

I won’t just tell you to restore your device to factory settings, since it’s the case that the iOS software glitch will remain. If there’s a long-standing glitch in iOS, restoring the device won’t help the problem; rather, Apple must release an update to fix the glitch in iOS. Therefore, restoring it may get rid of the problem now, but you’re likely to encounter more saved iMessages issues in the future. Thus, using a new app for your texting activities may be best until Apple sorts out the saved iMessages glitch. This may not be the best news, but at least there are numerous other alternatives that you may come to like – along with your contacts.

Are you encountering 2.2GB of saved iMessages in your iMessage app that you cannot eliminate? Write in and let us know. We want to draw attention to the problem you’re having so that Apple will release an iOS update soon.

Method #2

For method #2 you’ll need to iBackupbot (Download link) and your iPhone 6 connected to a Mac or PC running the latest version of iTunes. Click here for the youtube instruction Guide for iBackupbot

  1. First you need to backup your iPhone/iPad on iTunes, by connecting your iPhone to iTunes and select Backup Now
  2. backup-iphoneNow open the program iBackupbot on your PC/Mac and open System Files -> Mediadomain -> Library -> SMS -> Attachments and delete all of the unwanted files.(To select a lot of file hold on shift and click on the files)
  3. Now with those junk cache files deleted, Restore your iPhone from iTunes

If you have a better Fix to this problem, leave a message below with the solution.

15 thoughts on “How To Delete Saved iMessages and Free Up iPhone Memory Storage

  1. Pan says:

    I should clear iMessages cache often, becuase it can be taking up an excessive amount iPhone space. Wonder will there be more ways to get additional space in my iPhone?

  2. Rich says:

    My iMessages app was taking up too much storage spaces. Thanks for clearing up all those extra storage space with this tutorial.

  3. Peter says:

    I was running out of storage spaces for my iCloud so I had to get rid of those messages cache.

  4. Axe says:

    Another place to check is the video caches Settings->Messages->Video Messages Expires and set it to 2 mintues or never

  5. Joey says:

    Thanks!Finally I have found something to fix my notorious problem of not having any space on my iPhone 6!

  6. Russ says:

    Wow… Thank you Sally, didn’t even need to restart my phone. I simply set it to 30 days and over 20g worth of saved messages have disappeared! I could kiss you

  7. Russ says:

    Wow… Thank you Sally, didn’t even need to restart my phone. I simply set it to 30 days and over 20g worth of saved messages have disappeared! I could kiss you!!!!

  8. K says:

    I did what Sally said and got 4.2 GB back! I’d been all over the internet and seen comments instructing people to back up and/or restore the phone. Her solution was much faster and easier.

  9. Jackson says:

    Any faster way to free up space on iOS 9.0? And is their a way to backup my message to the computer or iCloud?

  10. Eeross says:

    If you don’t want to take so much time to do the releasing job, one click to do all the job would be a perfect way. Check this guide which could make life easier: .

  11. Christine says:

    I have a iPhone 5c OS 8.3 that has 3.5GB of saved iMessages in the iMessage app that I cannot eliminate. It needs to be addressed. Thanks for posting!

  12. Sally says:

    in settings click Messages.
    Scroll down to Keep Messages. If it says Forever click for further options of 1 year or 30 days.
    You may need to turn phone off completely a few times and wait a few hours but eventually it clears almost all of the saved messages and frees up your storage.

  13. Richard Caprio says:

    i have deleted virtually all my emails and my phone still shows 3.5 GB data used !!!! I’ve reset my phone once and here I go again!!!
    I deleted all sent nail also.. No change !!! Help!!!!

  14. Cheryl Hoffman says:

    I have deleted my messages in iMessage but won’t eliminate it from my storage capacity – leaving me no room in my storage for my phone at all. Going to try to reset my settings

  15. Frank Mossbridge says:

    I don’t use iMessage at all on my iPad, but I note that the storage value is increasing periodically (as shown in Usage). Are there any other apps that could be increasing my iMessage storage? Yesterday, for example, the value increased from 3.1meg to 3.2megs of supposedly ‘saved messages’. As stated, however, I don’t use iMessage at all, so remain confused. Can you advise?

    Kind regards,


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