iPhones often run out of storage space. One quick fix is to delete all or most of your messages from your iPhone: using the method outlined below we reduced the space taken by the Messages app from 2.2GB to just 112MB.

For more general tips on dealing with a shortage of storage, see How to free up space on an iPhone.

How do you quickly delete all messages from an iPhone?

Our iPhone was carrying 2.2GB of messages because it was set (as a default) to Keep Messages "Forever". Follow these simple steps to clear all messages from your iPhone at once.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Messages and tap it.
  3. Under Message History, tap where it says Keep Messages.
  4. There are three options: 30 Days, 1 Year, and Forever: choose the first or second option.
  5. Confirm that you want to delete the old messages and attachments by tapping the Delete button.

If you select the 30-day option you'll delete the majority of messages on your iPhone and make substantial storage savings. If you want to finish the job, you can open the Messages app, hit Edit, select the small number of remaining conversations and tap Delete.

But look at how much space we saved without going this far. First, see the 2.2GB of messages that we had with the default Keep Messages Forever option.

How to delete all old messages from iPhone: Settings

Now see the results when we selected 1 Year - down to 885MB.

How to delete all old messages from iPhone: Storage

Finally, we selected to Keep Messages for just 30 days, and reduced the storage space taken up by Messages to just 112MB!

How to delete all old messages from iPhone: Save space

If you change your mind and want to get them all back, read our tutorial How to recover deleted text messages on iPhone.