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willed

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 4, 2007
47
161
Hi all,

I'm trying to install a software update on my 16GB iPad but of course there's no space free.

It turns out iMessage is hogging 1.6GB. 'Great,' I think, 'I'll turn off iMessage and save all that space.' Of course this doesn't work - all the messages are still there.

How do I delete the messages off the iPad WITHOUT deleting them anywhere else?

I've googled this but everyone else seems to want to know how to delete messages across ALL their devices. I very much want to keep all my messages, just get rid of them on one device.

And also, why the hell can't all but the most recent messages be kept in the cloud rather than taking up space on Apple's under-spec'd devices?!

Thanks in advance for any answers!
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,392
19,459
Deleting them on one device shouldn't delete them anywhere else. As far as storing them on iCloud, iMessges are encrypted and don't get stored anywhere outside the devices that send/receive them, that's part of the privacy/security design of the iMessage service.
 
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WordsmithMR

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2015
369
457
Murica
My iMessages can be deleted on a specific device and don't get deleted on the others. I don't believe I did anything special... Have you tried messaging yourself and deleting it to see what happens?
 

chscag

macrumors 601
Feb 17, 2008
4,622
1,946
Fort Worth, Texas
I just double tap each iMessage that I want deleted from my iPhone and then tap on the trash at the bottom. The messages remain on my other devices until I delete them from there. The process is not difficult at all. :rolleyes:
 

willed

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 4, 2007
47
161
Oh right, sorry! I thought the whole point of iMessage is that it sync'd across devices, sounds like that's not the case.

Thanks!
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,392
19,459
Oh right, sorry! I thought the whole point of iMessage is that it sync'd across devices, sounds like that's not the case.

Thanks!
It does that when messages are delivered or sent, but not deleted, as that is basically on a per-device basis.
 

Shiefy

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2020
1
1
I know this is old, but just in case anyone needs to know, still, a lot of us are looking to delete an entire iMessage thread from a single device without having to go through the process of selecting each individual message. This is time consuming and counterproductive. Swiping left on a thread and clicking “delete” prompts a pop up warning that it will delete the thread from all your devices. I’ve always found that not giving the “one or all” option is a complete ball drop and honestly one of the reasons iDevices irk me to the core.
6F485006-2CFF-4079-8520-3F182195D100.jpeg
 
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Tia Novinger

macrumors newbie
May 25, 2020
1
0
I know this is old, but just in case anyone needs to know, still, a lot of us are looking to delete an entire iMessage thread from a single device without having to go through the process of selecting each individual message. This is time consuming and counterproductive. Swiping left on a thread and clicking “delete” prompts a pop up warning that it will delete the thread from all your devices. I’ve always found that not giving the “one or all” option is a complete ball drop and honestly one of the reasons iDevices irk me to the core. View attachment 916142
Love it! Lmfao!
 

TheGodfather_

Cancelled
Oct 29, 2021
2
1
Go to your iCloud account on your iPhone or iPad. Click on iCloud again. Then turn off messages in iCloud (as shown in the image below). When you delete a thread on one device it wont delete the thread on other devices.
 

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Becs

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2021
1
0
Go to your iCloud account on your iPhone or iPad. Click on iCloud again. Then turn off messages in iCloud (as shown in the image below). When you delete a thread on one device it wont delete the thread on other devices.
I've seen this advice a few times, but what happens if you then turn messages in icloud back on after deleting on one device? Will it resync the deleted messages? Or will push the delete to other devices?
 

TheGodfather_

Cancelled
Oct 29, 2021
2
1
I've seen this advice a few times, but what happens if you then turn messages in icloud back on after deleting on one device? Will it resync the deleted messages? Or will push the delete to other devices?
Yes, by design. So it's best to just leave it off to ensure deletes on one device don't transfer to another. Issues might presumably arise when moving from one iPhone to another. But then I believe if you restore the new iPhone from the old iPhone's backup you may be in good shape.

But yeah, my prior recommendation is the only way that's ever soundly worked consistently for me across all my iDevices.
 
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max2

macrumors 603
May 31, 2015
6,405
2,034
Go to your iCloud account on your iPhone or iPad. Click on iCloud again. Then turn off messages in iCloud (as shown in the image below). When you delete a thread on one device it wont delete the thread on other devices.

Does this work the opposite way if I turn it on for the Apple Watch.

Where it will delete a text message on my Watch if I delete it from my phone or if I delete it from my phone it will delete it from my watch ?
 

Fred Zed

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2019
5,059
5,956
Florida Unfortunately
Very good thread. I was always under the impression that turning off iMessage iCloud switch on said device , then deleted messages on said device was sufficient. But now you’re all saying it’ll sync zero messages to iCloud should one accidentally turn the switch on.
 
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