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Documents & Data cleanup - how can I downsize iMessage archive?

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by shenan1982, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68040

    So my (formerly Other Data) "Documents & Data" has swollen to a whopping 4.7GB, and it's all because of iMessage (or at least the hundreds of photos contained within the threads.

    Is there a way I can save these conversations but scrub them of the images within them? I thought there used to be an easy way in iExplorer, but I can't figure it out.

    I want to keep the dialogue, but dump the photos (or at least remove them from my phone onto my computer) to free up those gigabytes of storage.

  2. macrumors 6502

    Willing to kill for an answer to this question!
  3. macrumors 68040

    HAHA, it's been bugging me for a long time. Obviously can painstakingly go through messages and look for photos, but my guess is there's a media directory somewhere someone knows about that iExplorer can zap or transfer off the device.

  4. kmichalec, Sep 24, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Yes, its actually pretty easy. You can delete just the single message with the photo, since it make the photo and the text that came along with it two separate items. Go into the conversation that has the picture, and tap and hold the picture for a few second. You'll get a menu that pops up, and one of the choices is MORE. Click more, and the conversation will move to the right, and there will be little check mark bubbles to the left of each individual message. Make sure the bubble is checked next to the picture(s) you want to delete, and click the Trash Can icon in the bottom left. Just make sure you don't click the Delete All button at the top left, or it'll wipe out the whole thread.

    See the attached screenshot.

    Hope this helps!

    *EDIT* - Sorry. If you were looking for a way that would delete all the pictures in one swoop, then no, what I mentioned won't work. But if you are ok with deleting all the pics from each thread at one time, this will.

    Attached Files:

  5. macrumors 68040

    Yeah, I think we're all aware of this method... but to have gathered 4.7 gb of photos within convos, I'd be spending the next 6 months deleting, hitting load more, deleting, load more.

    There's got to be an easier way...
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Gotcha. Ok. Sorry my suggestion didn't help. Good luck!
  7. macrumors member

    Here is a thread that may lead to an answer. Read through it.


    Regards, Dave
  8. macrumors 6502

    Great stuff; thank you Dave!
  9. macrumors 68040

    So seems there's no way to do it without backing up, scrubbing out the backup file of image files, then restoring? Not really ideal, I guess I can just delete the conversations and re-start them.... unfortunate bug if there really is no other way to rectify. Kinda shady of Apple not to design a mechanism to delete them.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    You can reduce the size of your backed up messages by deleting them individually from the messages app. Mine was taken up by a bunch of memes and stuff that my friends send around in texts....they add up after a while.
  11. macrumors 68040

    Yeah mine is caused by photos and videos. Unfortunately some of the threads are a year or more and would take weeks to keep "load more" then delete the photos. :-(
  12. macrumors member

    I felt I had saved most of the important pictures at the time of delivery, so I used the method in that link to scrub my backup clean. I got 3.9gb back. It would be a major pain to go through one by one.

    Regards, Dave
  13. macrumors 68030

    Not ideal, but really easy and it does exactly what you're after.
  14. HMI
    macrumors 6502a


    Backup the photos on your iOS device to your computer, then delete all the old/unnecessary photos from your device in the photos app. This will then remove the photo from all the other places it was used on the device, such as albums, photo streams, and message conversations, thus reducing the "other" space used on the device.
  15. macrumors 68030

    Removing a photo or video from the camera roll does remove it from albums as well - but since albums are just links, you can have the same video in a hundred albums, and it won't take any more space than if it wasn't in any album at all.

    On the other hand, removing a photo from the camera roll will NOT remove anything from the Messages app or photo streams.

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