How To Free Up iPhone Storage by Deleting Photos From Messages

| How-To

Sometimes your iPhone or iPad gives you warnings about being full, and you notice that Messages is taking up a ton of space. How can text be using that much of your device, I hear you ask? It may not be, all those photos back and forth take up space too.

If you save the photos you want to your photo roll for safekeeping, the rest of the pics in Messages are just taking up extra space. Thankfully, there's a way to delete those extra photos so you can reclaim space on your iPhone or iPad.

First, here's how to save a photo you want to keep. Start by locating the thread with the photo:

Look at that face. Of course I need to save this picture!

Tap on the photo, and it should show up full screen. From there, tap the share button and you can save the image to your camera roll.

Save Image. Because cute.

Not all pictures are quite this adorable. Here's how to remove those:

Again, launch messages and find the thread with photos in it. Like this one.

Planning. As one does.

Admittedly, that pic was an excellent illustrative aid at the time, but do I need to keep it? Not at all.

To delete it, tap and hold on the photo itself until you get a popup menu.

Long tap will pop up a nice menu for you.

Choose "More…" and you should see circles appear on the left hand side of the screen for each entry in the thread, including images. You can check the ones you want to remove, and tap the trash can for the ones you want to delete entirely.

Note, the first:  this works for individual messages just as well as photos or other items sent via Messages.

Note, the second: scrolling through the list will likely result in selecting something else in the thread with each swipe. If maintaining your important conversations about spy drinks is important, mind what you're doing and double check your checks.

When your point has been proven, delete away!

Now you can clear out some of that space and use it for more productive things, like all those varieties of Angry Birds.


Lee Dronick

Kelly, I see that I have scads of photos, and videos, in conversations with some people. Do you know of an easy way to delete them in bulk? I am thinking that I could just delete the conversation and start fresh, would that be the only method?

Kelly Guimont

Unfortunately there’s not an easy way to bulk remove from within a thread, you’d have to delete the whole thing and start over.

Lee Dronick

That it what I thought. I don’t think that there is anything important stored in the messages so I will just delete the conversation. This is a good reminder to save important attachments and text when they arrive.


Lee Dronick

I deleted the iMessage conversation on my iPad thinking that conversation would then be deleted on my iPhone. That does not seem to be the case, but I will give it some more time to synch.

Lee Dronick

No luck, I am assuming that there is no synching of iMessage conversations.


Okay to be clear tap and hold on the picture as you see it in messages, not when it is showing you the full picture. With that you only get a copy button not an option with more.


I really hope Apple does something to help here, or an App of some sort. Even a ‘select all on the page’ option that selects all the roughly 50 messages that a single ‘page’ typically contains would be very useful.  I iMessage a lot and I don’t have time to manually select every message to delete, nor do I want to erase the entire conversation.  AND, when I am selecting a batch of 50 to delete manually, if I accidentally hit in the wrong area of a message I may lose all of the selection circles on the left side of the screen.  A real pain.

Mikey's Indifference

You can now go into the “details” of a message thread and see all the attachments at once from that person. Then by pressing and holding as described, pressing “more” will allow you to select any pictures that have ever been used in that thread. You can save or delete all right then and there in bulk.
Thank you Apple lol.

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