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I noticed that when replying to a text message I can access and scroll through previous message from the person I am replying to so I have a good view of the conversation history and can e.g. copy some text from it.

However after typing more than 7 lines of text I can no longer go back to the the message I am replying to.

Is there a way to access conversation history in that scenario, or is it simply a design feature saying "keep it short"?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Tap the Edit button, the keyboard will then hide letting you see the previous text message.

Just be careful to Cancel and not Clear All ;)

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Is this still valid (ios8.4)? I have no 'edit' button (or cancel or clear-all for that matter). It seems once the previous messages scroll off the top of the screen you're screwed and must either 'send' the message or delete enough lines to be able to 'grab' the old messages at the top and drag them back into view. (iphone5) – John2095 Jul 29 '15 at 8:12

I was not able to replicate your issue with my iPhone (running iOS 5.0.1). I was able to type eight lines (one character and a carriage return for each line) and was still able to see past conversation history.

The trick is to swipe down on the visible history - that will remove the virtual keyboard and display the conversation history.

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Try nine lines, or ten. It is possible for the message-composition box to fill the entire viewport, blocking message history entirely. Once this happens, I can't find any point from which you can swipe to collapse the keyboard. – Dan J Feb 24 '12 at 20:43

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