General "Permanently" deleting iMessage's from iPhone and iPad

tarkster

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 17, 2012
1
0
Thought this would be the best place for this thread since I think its a software issue.

iMessage is a great feature, especially when you sync all your devices together to access your messages.

I've recently had iMessage chats on my iPhone, which also showed up on my iPad since they are synced. Since then, I've deleted those iMessages from my iPhone, and then deleted them from my synced iPad as well.

Nothing strange till here.

Last night I ran a search for an app on my iPad using "Search iPad" (the left most home screen). When I typed in the first letter I realized that the iMessage conversations that I deleted from my iPhone and iPad are still showing up entirely! I did the same search on my iPhone, and voila! Although the iMessages are deleted from my iPhone and iPad, they still show up when I run a search. So when I go into iMessages/Messages, they are not there but they show up when you run a search.

I searched for the forum and the web for this, but no results came up.

Any help to "permanently" delete these iMessage conversations would be appreciated.
 

Stuke00

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2011
1,674
74
Collinsville,IL
I noticed the same thing on my iPhone. An iMessage conversation still appeared after deleting it via search. Rebooting my iPhone removed it from the search.
 

lpeedin

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2011
193
1
Same way with old emails as well. It's my understanding that's its been that way since the first version of iOS - not that that makes it any more acceptable.
 

Hawtin

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2012
59
2
Pretty shocking this has never been addressed.

Only way I can get rid of the 'deleted' messages in spotlight is to erase all content and settings
 
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Hawtin

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2012
59
2
Why isn't it? I dont understand why youre being arsey about someone elses opinion. People obviously feel its a bit of an issue, people think something is deleted but its not. If people feel it should be fixed then that's up to them.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,912
17,548
So, when they show up from the Spotlight search, can you actually go to those particular conversations in question, or do you simply see them in the results, but can't actually select/go to them?

Assuming you can't actually access/go to them this is really more of an indexing thing--basically Spotlight indexes data on your phone and keeps an index of it separately so that it can run searches on it quickly. When you delete that data, its indexing (which is generally just some important bits of the data, and not all of the data) is not deleted at the very same instant, it's removed the next time Spotlight does a re-indexing which is something that isn't done all the time but at particular times (which might be happening when the phone is idle/locked for a while and/or charging).
 

TacticalDesire

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2012
2,286
23
Michigan
I was having this issue as well so I just turned off messages from showing up in spotlight. Not
That i use spotlight much anyway
 

Hawtin

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2012
59
2
So, when they show up from the Spotlight search, can you actually go to those particular conversations in question, or do you simply see them in the results, but can't actually select/go to them?

Assuming you can't actually access/go to them this is really more of an indexing thing--basically Spotlight indexes data on your phone and keeps an index of it separately so that it can run searches on it quickly. When you delete that data, its indexing (which is generally just some important bits of the data, and not all of the data) is not deleted at the very same instant, it's removed the next time Spotlight does a re-indexing which is something that isn't done all the time but at particular times (which might be happening when the phone is idle/locked for a while and/or charging).

Yes that's correct. Messages show in spotlight, and you can click on them, the messages app will open but the actual SMS doesn't appear. Is there no way to force spotlight to reindex?
 

BlaqkAudio

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2008
487
14
New York
Yes that's correct. Messages show in spotlight, and you can click on them, the messages app will open but the actual SMS doesn't appear. Is there no way to force spotlight to reindex?
Disabling and enabling Messages in Spotlight seems to work for me.
 

PNutts

macrumors 601
Jul 24, 2008
4,839
347
Pacific Northwest, US
Why isn't it? I dont understand why youre being arsey about someone elses opinion. People obviously feel its a bit of an issue, people think something is deleted but its not. If people feel it should be fixed then that's up to them.
Is this actually a serious question?

Not being able to permanently delete content is a big problem.
It's just a question. I'm curious why folks think this is an issue because there are a couple of answers depending on what they want done.

1. If you only don't want deleted messages to show up in a search then turn off Messages in Spotlight Search.

2. If you want the messages physically removed, a quick Google found that syncing with iTunes removes deleted messages (I haven't tried this).

3. Don't forget messages are backed up in iTunes so that also needs to be considered.

4. iCloud backups ???

5. The person you're messaging with may have copies

6. And there are probably more...

Anyway, just like with PCs/Macs/Android, much information is cached and deleted items are often not securely erased without additional or alternate steps. And if someone has physical access to your iPhone or iTunes then securing the device is difficult if not impossible.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,101
8,790
Florida, USA
I removed messages from Spotlight search because I don't want private messages showing up when I'm searching for music with a friend watching. I've been embarrassed before!

It's easy enough to turn it on that once in a blue moon when you need to find an old message.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,631
815
Los Angeles, CA
2. If you want the messages physically removed, a quick Google found that syncing with iTunes removes deleted messages (I haven't tried this).
.
A reboot or power off of the phone would likely also do it. The emails and messages are probably in a cache until they a knocked off by new data, same as web pages, Netflix streams etc. shutting off the device typically clears out such caches
 

SaeSaeFlower

macrumors newbie
Jun 3, 2013
1
0
Well i dont know how to delete them but i know how to make it stop appearing in the spotlight search ( the search thing on the left) follow the instructions
Settings> General>Spotlight Search
Then you'll find a list of the types things that show up in the search. Then you just disable messages and anything you dont want showing up in the search thing
 

MrMacMack

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2012
837
0
A reboot or power off of the phone would likely also do it. The emails and messages are probably in a cache until they a knocked off by new data, same as web pages, Netflix streams etc. shutting off the device typically clears out such caches
That's exactly what I suggest too. Additionally, you may want to consider NOT using iMessage and instead send regular SMS / MMS text messages.
 

bettymall

macrumors newbie
Nov 13, 2014
1
0
I noticed the same thing on my iPhone. An iMessage conversation still appeared after deleting it via search. Rebooting my iPhone removed it from the search.
Well, because i have backed up all my data including the imessages in my iTunes, I recover them all after that.
So it is very important to back up data frequently.
 

jassonier

macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2015
1
0
Well i dont know how to delete them but i know how to make it stop appearing in the spotlight search ( the search thing on the left) follow the instructions
Settings> General>Spotlight Search>delete iPhone text messages
Then you'll find a list of the types things that show up in the search. Then you just disable messages and anything you dont want showing up in the search thing
Though we're still searching for a way to delete multiple email messages from the iPhone simultaneously, an enterprising developer has now developed a native third-party application that will allow you to delete individual SMS text messages instead of simply clearing conversations (the iPhone's only option, by default), which will delete all text messages with a given contact.
 
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