I have years of messages on my iPhone 5s. Associated attachments are taking up many GB on my phone. I can see them in my Settings >> Messages >> Documents & Data, but I can't find an easy way to remove them from my phone. As far as I can tell the UI would require me to individually click on every single item in order to delete it.

Is there any way to bulk-delete the Messages attachments from the phone without removing the message text? (I.e., "Auto Delete Old Conversations" is not what I want.)


1 Answer 1


Source. This can be done with both Attachments and Images:

  1. Launch the Messages app and open a conversation that has attachments you want to get rid of.
  2. Tap on the blue “i” button at the top right of the app.

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  1. In the new interface that appears, scroll down and then tap and hold on one of the attachments in the grid view to reveal an Action Menu.

  2. Tap on the More… button to select the attachment you were just tapping and holding on.

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  1. A blue check mark will appear, and so will several empty circles on the rest of the attachments; tap on each of the attachments you wish to delete to select them and this will put a blue check mark on those attachments as well.

  2. Once all of the attachments you want to delete have been selected, tap on the blue trash can icon at the bottom right of the app.

  3. In the pop-up menu that appears, tap on the red Delete … Attachments button to confirm deletion of your selected attachments from your conversation.

  4. All those attachments will now be removed from the conversation, but your conversation itself will remain; double-check the conversation to verify.

  • 1
    This is a little better in that I can sort of "drag-select" in step five and not actually have to click each item, but it's worse in that it requires me to go into every conversation.
    – feetwet
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 17:10
  • Yes, but it's the only method I know of doing a bulk deletion without deleting the entire conversation. FYI, I wouldn't recommend keeping important conversations in Messages because it's not synced across all your iCloud-enabled devices (that was removed from iOS 11 prior to the GM). You could lose all conversations.
    – fsb
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 18:51
  • Thanks, good to know. In that case I'll more diligently backup and extract messages!
    – feetwet
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 19:22

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