If you are actively using iMessage to chat, you will eventually end up with a shortage of storage space. Be it an iPhone or even an iPad (if they’re both synced), the iMessages app takes up a lot of space.
Freeing up space from your iMessage can be tricky – you will face the dilemma of either going through chats and their respective attachments (files, photos) and deleting them manually, or deleting the conversation as a whole and risk regretting it if you want to refer to it in the future.
Whichever route you decide to take, in this post, I’m going to walk you through both processes in a step-by-step guide.
I’ll also share some tips on how you can optimize storage space taken up by iMessage so you can avoid having to go through the deleting process in future. Let’s begin.
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Before we start…
Before we start, it is important to make sure your iOS is updated to its latest version on whichever device you’re using (iOS or iPad, or both).
To check if you are using the latest version, do the following:
- Launch Settings.
- Go to General > Software Update.
- Make sure Automatic Updates is turned On and your current version is up to date.
How much space has iMessage taken up on my phone?
Before deciding if you should optimize, or delete messages to clear up spaces on your device, you should first check how much space iMessages has actually taken up. To do that:
- Launch Settings
- Go to General > iPhone Storage/iPad Storage
- Scroll down, and look for Messages and tap to access it.
This page will give you an overview of how much space iMessage has taken up on your device and other information like:
- Conversations that are taking up the most space
- Breakdown of document types (Photos, videos, and other attachments) taking up the most space.
Delete Conversations to free up more space
If you think that you can afford to delete certain conversations to free up space in iMessages, then here’s how you can do it.
Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage/iPad Storage > Messages.
Here, if you tap into Top Conversations, you will be presented with all conversations, sorted in chronological order with the ones that have taken up the most space.
You can swipe right to manually delete a conversation, or tap Edit to select multiple conversations to bulk-delete.
Delete other assets to free up more space
iOS also lists all other iMessage assets in one place so you can see how much space they’re taking.
To access these, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage/iPad Storage > Messages page,
Again, you can navigate inside photos, videos, GIFs, stickers, and other media to manually delete those space-hogging files.
Prevent iMessage from filling up in the future
While deleting conversations and other attachments helps clear up storage space in your device, however, you will end up back at square one if you are not careful enough.
Here are some preventive measures that you can take to ensure storage space taken up by iMessages is at the bare minimum.
Method 1 – Purge old conversation
iOS gives you an option to delete your messages after a certain period of time. So, instead of keeping all your chats forever, you can keep them for either 30 days, or 1 year. Any conversation older than the set option will be automatically deleted.
To apply these changes:
- Go to Settings > Message
- Scroll to Message History, tap Keep Messages
- Choose between “30 Days“, or “1 Year“.
Method 2 – Send images at a lower quality
Images you send in iMessage chats play their part in taking up storage space as well. If you cannot avoid sending images, you can change your settings to send images at a lower resolution. Here’s how you can do it:
- Go to Settings > Message
- Scroll to “Low-Quality Image Mode“
- Tap to turn it On.
That’s it. I hope you find these iMessage storage space optmisation tips useful.