Free Up Space by Cleaning Up Apple Messages

In an Apple Messages group chat, my family and I like sharing photos and movies. We’ve mainly posted photos and videos of dogs, infants, food, snow, hikes, and the 20-plus bananas I mistakenly purchased in an internet grocery order since COVID-19 hit. Most of these aren’t pictures or videos I’d want to preserve forever. Even if I store my own copy, I don’t want them buried in a text thread.

In addition to backing up and organizing your pictures from your iPhone or iPad, which you should do first, you may wish to remove them from the Apple Messages app. This will assist you in freeing up space not just on your mobile devices, but also on any desktops where you use Messages. The steps are below, but first you should be aware of three odd things you may experience when deleting pictures and videos from your Apple devices.

BEWARE OF THESE THREE QUESTIONS

When I removed movies and pictures from Messages, I discovered three peculiarities. To begin, despite the fact that I sync Messages across macOS and mobile devices, removing pictures and videos from one place does not remove them from the other. In other words, I can remove movies received through text message from my phone, but they remain visible when I access Messages on my computer. If you’re cleaning up, be sure to clean up in all of the locations where you utilize Messages.

The second anomaly occurs only on the iPhone. When I choose several videos or pictures to delete from the Messages app, a button displays asking me to confirm that I wish to Delete X Messages, and the X number is often incorrect. For example, when I removed one video (which had no responses, such as a heart or thumbs up), the confirmation notice stated Delete 3 Messages. I’m not sure why this happens, but it’s never resulted in an undesired deletion.

Third, when I attempt to browse through a message thread on a mobile device to pick several pictures and videos at once, the software often crashes. The program bounces around and the scrolling becomes choppy, making it difficult to see what I chose. This issue does not occur when I pick several pictures and videos that are near together, but it does occur when I go through the message history. Rather of going back and forth to locate additional material, remove a few items at a time.

ON A MAC, REMOVE VIDEOS AND IMAGES FROM MESSAGES

On a Mac, there are two methods to remove movies and pictures from the Messages program. One method allows you to remove them one by one on the moment and is ideal for quickly cleaning material. The alternative technique allows you to remove material in bulk and sort things by size or date. This second option is ideal for rapidly freeing up space and removing a large number of pictures, videos, bitmoji, or other visual material.

You may even delete whole conversations, which removes the entire text history as well as any material inside the message thread. It’s a far more drastic choice. Simply right-click on the chat and choose Delete Conversation.

Method 1: Immediately Delete Videos and Images from Apple Message

1. Navigate to Messages on your Mac.
2. Go to the chat in which you got or transmitted the material you wish to remove.
3. Locate the picture or video.
4. Select Delete with a right-click (two-finger click).
5. Go through the process again for each video and picture.

Method 2: Massively Delete Videos and Images from Apple Message

1. Locate the Apple symbol in the upper-left corner of your screen and click it.
2. Click on About This Mac.
3. Click Storage, and then wait for your computer to calculate your storage use. This may take up to a minute. When it’s finished, the gray storage bar becomes colorful, and a numerical breakdown of your storage use appears.
4. Select Manage.
5. Select Messages from the left rail.
6. A Finder-style window appears, displaying movies, pictures, stickers, and other visual material that you’ve sent or received in Messages.
7. I suggest sorting the material by size. Click on the Size column to sort it from biggest to smallest.
8. Go through the material again. Any file may be opened and viewed in a bigger format by clicking on it.
9. You may remove several things at once by choosing the first one, holding down the shift key, then selecting the final one. Alternatively, you may hold down the Command key while selecting pictures to remove in masse.
Then, either click Delete in the bottom right corner or right-click and choose Delete.

REMOVE VIDEOS AND IMAGES FROM IPHONE OR IPAD MESSAGES

You have two choices for removing movies and pictures from an iPhone or iPad once again. One method is to use the Messages app. The second option is to do it from Settings, which enables you to prioritize files and pictures that take up the most space.

Method 1: Delete Videos and Images from the Messages App Directly

1. Launch the Messages application.
2. Go to the discussion containing the videos and pictures you wish to remove.
3. Locate the information you want to remove and press and hold it.
4. A tiny menu of choices displays. Select More.
5. You may now choose several pieces of media at the same time by pressing the circle to the left of them. (Remember the peculiarity stated before; scrolling may be jumpy, so stick to what’s in view or nearby.)
6. Tap the trash symbol in the bottom-left corner to confirm deletion. (Remember the oddity stated before; the number may not be correct.)

Method 2: Remove Video and Messages from Settings

1. Navigate to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage to begin. Allow a few moments for this page to load.
2. Locate and hit Messages.
3. On the next screen, you can view how much data is used by chats, pictures, videos, GIFs and Stickers, and other data. There is also the option to Review Large Attachments, which I suggest. Select Review Large Attachments from the drop-down menu.
4. Select Edit. You may now remove all of the pictures and videos in this list by selecting them all. When you’re ready to erase them, tap the trash icon.

SAVE AN APPLE MESSAGES PHOTO OR VIDEO

When you discover a picture or video you wish to keep, you may create a local copy on your device and then back it up. Here’s how to make a backup:

• Press and hold the picture or video on a mobile device. Tap Save, and a duplicate of the image will be stored in your Photos app.
• Right-click the picture or video on a macOS machine. You may save it by selecting Add to Photos Library. Alternatively, you can choose Copy the picture and then paste it anywhere you want to save it.

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