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We have an iPhone that has run out of space. Most of the space is taken by Messages. We don't want to delete all those old photos and videos. We'd like to save them to our Photos app.

The latest version of iOS and macOS possibly syncs all your Messages between your connect iCloud devices. If true, all of our photos and videos from Messages on the iPhone should be on the Mac connected with the same iCloud account.

I also understand there is a folder on the Mac under ~/Library/Messages/Attachments which contains all the photos and videos from the macOS Messages app, which based on my assuming that all messages are synced between iCloud and all connected devices, should represent all of the photos and videos from the Messages app on the iPhone.

My questions are:

  1. Should the Mac Messages app contain all of the iPhone Messages, including all of the photos and videos in those messages?
  2. Shouldn't I be able to import that /Attachments folder into Photos app on the Mac to backup/save all of the photos and videos from the Messages app on the iPhone?
  3. If and once I do back then up, is it safe to assume that if we delete those photos and videos from the iPhone to free space, that those same photos and videos will also be delete from the Mac Messages app (but obviously, not the Photos app if imported before)?

Thank you.

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    my folder ~/Library/Messages/Attachments folder appears to only contain 2018 messages. – jmh Aug 25 '18 at 15:41

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