There are many reports that the previous versions of the iOS Messages app did not properly free up space when conversations were deleted and every subsequent restore from backup carries this "dead space" over. And, since they are deleted, there is no way to regain that space because there are no UI elements for those conversations.
For example, my Messages is using up nearly 2 GB of data, but when I examine my conversations and their attachments, they don't add up to anywhere near 2 GB.
How can I regain this dead space?
... given these constraints:
- Retaining some of my conversations (i.e. the ones that I haven't deleted).
- Retaining those conversations in the Messages app.
- Not jailbreaking my device.
Update: Apparently at least one person was confused as to what I'm asking, so hopefully this will clear it up: I have 3 (for example) conversations in Messages that I want to keep (history, attachments, and all). Those 3 take up around 100 MB of space on my iPhone. However, when I go into my iPhone's usage page, I see that Messages takes up 2 GB of space! I'm running low on disk space, so I want to get back 1.9 GB of space (2 GB - 100 MB). I tried deleting every conversation in Messages except those 3 that I want to keep. I then restarted and examined the usage again, and Messages still reports as taking up nearly 2 GB of space! The only explanation is that there is "dead space" on my phone: space that my iPhone is consuming for things I can't even see. How can I free up this dead space? I can't use the solutions from the linked MacRumors threads because they either (1) delete all conversations from the Messages app--remember, I want to keep 3 conversations; or (2) involve exporting the messages to a different app/pdf--I want to have access to my conversation history in the native Messages app.
For reference, the solutions from the MacRumors threads seem to fall into these categories:
- Backup to iTunes, delete all messages/attachments from the backup (e.g. via iBackupBot), restore using this backup. -- This wouldn't work since it violates constraint #1... I want to retain some of my conversations.
- Using an app such as iMobie PhoneClean -- First, the user never mentions that dead space will be cleared up, next no one confirms that this resolved their issue, and finally the website makes the product look shoddy at best.
- Exporting the messages to another app -- Violates #2.
- Jailbreak the device and delete all attachments -- Violates #1 & #3.
- Erasing all Content and Settings w/o a restore -- Violates #1
- Restore using iTunes, then restore through iCloud (1, 2) -- I have tried the regular restore through iCloud, but not this method yet. It looks the most promising. Has anyone had any success with this?