iPhone IOS 13 completely messed up my messages!! Merged threads, deleted media. Help!

wireless-toyz09

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2009
91
6
So I’m someone who doesn’t delete messages at all. I have all my messages on my current iPhone 7 Plus from all the way to my first iPhone 3G (restoring from backup on each new iPhone I get) so there’s hundreds of thousands of messages in total. NOTE: I do not use iCloud messages. Never have, never will.

Normally when I have a contact with multiple phone numbers listed under their contact card, if they send me a text (iMessage or SMS), I would have a thread listed for every phone number or email address they would’ve sent it from. So some of my contacts have multiple threads in my messages app and so there are different conversations in each thread and of course different images, videos and voicenotes as well. Which is how I like it and how it’s been for all these years. I can go in each message thread for that contact, press info and view the media we’ve sent to each other.

Fast forward to me updating to iOS 13 today. Here’s the issues: messages has MERGED all the threads from the contact into one thread and when I press the info button at the top there is no media there at all. If I want to try and find the media I’d have to scroll through month and months of messages with that person until I see the media. That makes no sense at all. Also for my contacts with only phone number, when I press the info button at the top there’s only one or 2 photos or videos there when there should be hundreds because I would’ve been talking to that person for a long time. Also in my group chats, when I press info to view all the media we’ve sent in the chat, there’s nothing. There should be hundreds.

This is VERY upsetting. I don’t remember Apple advertising the merging of message threads or the deletion of media in chats when you press info for this iOS 13 update. Had they done so I would NOT have updated. When I called Apple support they’re saying it shouldn’t happen and my case has to be “escalated” as they always say.

Does anyone know what happened with this iOS 13 update? Was this a known issue? Any solutions? Is there a merging switch that can be toggled off? Some help would be GREATLY appreciated. I don’t want to have to revert to iOS 12.4.1 because my backup alone is 150GB and I don’t want to miss out on the iOS 13 features.

PS: my iPad is connected to my messages app and so because I didn’t update it to iOS 13, everything is as it should be (multiple threads for a contact with all the media in each thread)
 

Paddle1

macrumors 68040
May 1, 2013
3,413
1,146
Merging message threads was added in iOS 12, strange it only happened now.

Is it possible the media will appear later on when the device finishes indexing?
 
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AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Sep 21, 2008
4,382
2,654
So I’m someone who doesn’t delete messages at all. I have all my messages on my current iPhone 7 Plus from all the way to my first iPhone 3G (restoring from backup on each new iPhone I get) so there’s hundreds of thousands of messages in total. NOTE: I do not use iCloud messages. Never have, never will.

Normally when I have a contact with multiple phone numbers listed under their contact card, if they send me a text (iMessage or SMS), I would have a thread listed for every phone number or email address they would’ve sent it from. So some of my contacts have multiple threads in my messages app and so there are different conversations in each thread and of course different images, videos and voicenotes as well. Which is how I like it and how it’s been for all these years. I can go in each message thread for that contact, press info and view the media we’ve sent to each other.

Fast forward to me updating to iOS 13 today. Here’s the issues: messages has MERGED all the threads from the contact into one thread and when I press the info button at the top there is no media there at all. If I want to try and find the media I’d have to scroll through month and months of messages with that person until I see the media. That makes no sense at all. Also for my contacts with only phone number, when I press the info button at the top there’s only one or 2 photos or videos there when there should be hundreds because I would’ve been talking to that person for a long time. Also in my group chats, when I press info to view all the media we’ve sent in the chat, there’s nothing. There should be hundreds.

This is VERY upsetting. I don’t remember Apple advertising the merging of message threads or the deletion of media in chats when you press info for this iOS 13 update. Had they done so I would NOT have updated. When I called Apple support they’re saying it shouldn’t happen and my case has to be “escalated” as they always say.

Does anyone know what happened with this iOS 13 update? Was this a known issue? Any solutions? Is there a merging switch that can be toggled off? Some help would be GREATLY appreciated. I don’t want to have to revert to iOS 12.4.1 because my backup alone is 150GB and I don’t want to miss out on the iOS 13 features.

PS: my iPad is connected to my messages app and so because I didn’t update it to iOS 13, everything is as it should be (multiple threads for a contact with all the media in each thread)

This is a big bug I think. The media (not sure on the merge). If you go to your messages and swipe down and do a search, do you see a message about blah blah blah messages will be available after indexing? If you do, it’s indexing. Your media will show up after that. Like me, it drove me mad on the beta. It took 20+ hours for it to complete. The larger your history, the longer. I suggest keeping it juiced up and be patient.

Apple should warn users of this but they do not. This is why I wonder if it’s a bug or not. I tested so many iterations, restores, options over several days. It’s iOS 13. It does not do this in 12.4.1. Media shows up nearly instantly.

Merging also has been buggy since implementation in 12. You can’t turn it off. You have the opposite problem I had. I hated when things didn’t merge. Drove me crazy. Lol
 
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wireless-toyz09

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2009
91
6
Merging message threads was added in iOS 12, strange it only happened now.

Is it possible the media will appear later on when the device finishes indexing?
I was reading some forums on google where people said merging for them happened from iOS 12. It never happened to me. I had no clue this was even a thing. When I called Apple and they called me back, the agent told me merging wasn’t supposed to happen lol. Clearly tech team wasn’t even sure about this.
 

wireless-toyz09

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2009
91
6
This is a big bug I think. The media (not sure on the merge). If you go to your messages and swipe down and do a search, do you see a message about blah blah blah messages will be available after indexing? If you do, it’s indexing. Your media will show up after that. Like me, it drove me mad on the beta. It took 20+ hours for it to complete. The larger your history, the longer. I suggest keeping it juiced up and be patient.

Apple should warn users of this but they do not. This is why I wonder if it’s a bug or not. I tested so many iterations, restores, options over several days. It’s iOS 13. It does not do this in 12.4.1. Media shows up nearly instantly.

Merging also has been buggy since implementation in 12. You can’t turn it off. You have the opposite problem I had. I hated when things didn’t merge. Drove me crazy. Lol
After playing with the messages search feature I came across that indexing message. Wasn’t sure what it meant cus it didn’t seem it was doing anything. And you’re right. In 12.4.1 media showed up instantly which is why I figured everything was deleted when I didn’t see any media.
 

wireless-toyz09

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2009
91
6
UPDATE: late last night Apple support called me back to say the tech team’s solution was to erase to factory and retsore from the backup I did before the iOS 13 update and we will SEE if that fixes the problem. I told her a resounding bell no cus my iCloud backup is almost 200GB. She told me that was the only solution and they feel it was a glitch. I hung up from her and put the phone on charge. After about 40 mins I was responding to some messages and when I checked the media for the contact I was talking too, all of the media was now there including the ones from the now merged threads. So I guess because I had so much messages it took a while to Las the media under the correct contacts.

I still feel merging threads should’ve been a simple toggle in settings but I guess I’ll get used to it. Just happy to have my media back.

Thank you two for your responses! I really appreciate it.
 

PorkPump

Suspended
Jun 27, 2019
65
75
I totally agree. They needed more time. Kinda wish I waited to update. My apps suddenly stopped updating today. Had to restart in order to get that working again.
The lack of support for dark mode makes for a clunky experience.

Text window with 1/2 of the emoji screen showing default purple unicorns is idiotic. I will never send a purple unicorn. Ridiculous UI design.

Mail UI is terrible. The button we have used to reply for ten years is now not a reply button at all. Terrible design. I have to execute too many hops to simply move a message now with the new reply button. WTF is that?

So much inconsistency all over the place. I knew, I just knew I was going to get burned by installing this garbage.
 
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