iPhone automatically deletes voice messages sent and received through iMessage within two minutes of sending one, and within two minutes of listening to one received from someone else.

How can I change the amount of time that iPhone will wait before deleting sent and received audio messages?

iPhone 5s, iOS 8


Go to Settings app > Messages and scroll down to AUDIO MESSAGES and VIDEO MESSAGES Under each one, there is an option labeled Expire. Tap on it and then tap Never to prevent them from being deleted automatically.

Never or two minutes are your only options, though.


If you want to have recording outside of iMessage (i.e. as an mp3 or whatever), then press and hold the recording in iMessage. A menu will appear with Copy, Save, More.... Select Save and your recording will now be in the Voice Memos app. From there you can tap the share button to send as email attachment, or you can get it from iTunes when you connect your phone to a computer.

  • 2
    This doesn't seem to work on iOS 12. The option is there but it doesn't appear in the Voice Memos app. – Leon Jan 4 '19 at 23:08

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