iMessage bug - media attachments

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by r-m, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. r-m macrumors 6502a

    May 7, 2010
    iOS 6 has a really annoying bug to do with iMessages and attachments.
    When you delete an iMessage (possibly normal MMS too, not sure) that has an attachment, it doesn't actually delete the file - it only deletes the message and keeps the file hidden away.
    I know this because my iCloud backup size doesn't drop after deleting an attachment (easily tested with a 1 minute video sent/received via iMessage). Also using a backup recovery tool, it shows message attachments even though I've deleted everything.
    I currently have about 500mb wasted iCloud storage from message attachments on my iPad, and about 2.5gb wasted iCloud storage from my iPhone.

    Very frustrating that my iCloud storage is wasted, constantly nagging me that it's full/almost full. I have to keep emptying my camera roll more often at the moment, but it's getting to the point where even that isn't helping.

    Anyone know of a way to recover that stolen space (without buying more iCloud storage - I'm gonna assume Apple left in this bug so they could get more iCloud upgrade sales ;) )? I don't want to have to wipe my iPhone or iPad and start again.. (restoring a backup puts the hidden files back).
    Is there a backup tool that I can use to delete stuff out of a backup, but doesn't destroy the backup so I can then restore that (with message attachments removed)?
  2. Joesmith13245 macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2012
    I have this issue as well. Although my issues started prior to IOS 6. I've been looking for a solution other then complete factory restore.
  3. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
  4. r-m thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 7, 2010
    Yeah I never really noticed til iOS 6 because I never used iMessages that much in iOS 5 for photos + video (email was always more reliable). So I didn't know how long the bug has been around for! Very disappointing if it's existed since iOS 5 and hasn't been fixed! I may get iMessages on my old iPad and see if it does the same on that (still on iOS 5). I had to delete its' backup to free some iCloud space...

    I've filed a bug report, but not holding out much hope.
  5. stephen1108 macrumors 65816

    Sep 30, 2007
    I have this same problem too guys!! Any input would be much appreciated :(
  6. ATC macrumors 65816

    Apr 25, 2008
    I didn't know this bug existed until reading this thread. It sucks.

    I guess the first thing to do for now is to pass along the feedback to Apple, probably best done by a developer or iOS beta tester.
  7. r-m thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 7, 2010
    I've logged a bug report. It was flagged as a duplicate... Doesn't hold much hope if its been around since 5.1 though..
  8. DMH3006 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2011
    I have something similar but in mail,it tells me Im using approximately 500MB of mail storage although i only have like 40 emails(small ones) and every other folder is empty.
  9. Joesmith13245 macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2012
    This issue is annoying. just received a video from my wife through IMessage and now my backup is over 2GB even after deleting the txt. lol.. my Wife, because she sent the video, also increased her bakup and now We are at our 5GB limit!!!!

    I'm suprised this has not been escalated. A hacker can easily exploit this by sending a Large video to MANY iMessage users. At some point the phone will be out of usable capacity which i'm sure would create many issues. I guess we can only hope this happens so Apple will be forced to address the issue.
  10. r-m thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 7, 2010
    Ah crappy! I've updated to 6.1 and the large amount of "Other" remained, so I don't think it's been fixed. I'm waiting for the jailbreak now, and will delete the files myself!
  11. r-m thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 7, 2010
    I haven't tried that tool, but I'll give it a go tomorrow night (need some sleep...).
    But, as of 6.1, deleting a message from the Messages app with an attachment, DOES now delete the actual file too.
    The only issue is that any deleted messages with attachments prior to 6.1, those files still remain.
    At least it's fixed so it can't get any worse though...
    I'm told the other remaining files will be dealt with in a later update (had a call from Apple).
  12. stephen1108 macrumors 65816

    Sep 30, 2007
    REALLY? So Apple called you and let you know they fixed the message bug?
  13. r-m thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 7, 2010
    Ha, yes, it's not quite as out of the blue as it may sound.
    With my iCloud being full, I emailed tim cook's email address out of desperation on Monday not expecting a response, then yesterday morning had a phone call from someone about the issue. She told me it was fixed in 6.1, so at least the problem shouldn't get any worse. They're working on a fix for removing the older files that got left behind.
    She said she was going to email me about the issue and with her details, asked for some details off me and asked me to let her know if the problem was still there after I update to 6.1 and test it.
    Sure enough, she emailed me with her details. She was from the "Executive Relations EMEIA" based in Ireland.
  14. Xenomorph macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
    St. Louis
    That's PhoneClean program does *not* clean up SMS Attachments.

    It can only access normal user-areas, not the system area like the SMS Attachments.

    A clean restore or a jailbreak are the only sure ways to delete SMS Attachments right now.

    Another method is to make a backup, zero-out the files (very time consuming), then restore that backup. That caused my device to reboot over and over, though.
  15. r-m thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 7, 2010
    At least they've fixed it now though, so that deleting a message on 6.1 actually deletes the attachment too. Just means losing all message to clear out all current attachments.
    I'm waiting for the JB so I can clear out any others myself.
  16. Joesmith13245 macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2012
    Yes!!! WooHoo!! Finally fixed.

    I can deal with the legacy attachments.
  17. nsayer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I tried to post a message about this on Apple's discussion forums, but it was removed. Censorship remains alive and well in Cupertino.

    In any event, has anyone actually confirmed that 6.1 has improved the situation? I would attempt to do so, but I already have 7 GB of "other" on my phone and can't really spare the space if they haven't fixed this.

    And, of course they haven't really properly fixed it even now - the old files are still there unless you either jailbreak or factory-reset your phone.
  18. CharismaticNerd macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    I'd like this and the stupid dead email bugs to be deleted! Because I've unchecked all of spotlight just because it irks me to death.
    Even with icleaner it doesn't delete smack.

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