I know that if you have an iPhone and an iMac computer/laptop, you can text off your iPhone, then once coming within a certain radius of your computer, iCloud uses Wi-Fi and sends the conversations to your iPhone. However, i was wondering what happens if the laptop is dead? I assume it can't transfer the messages, correct? Also, I was wondering what happens if BEFORE you charge the laptop and turn it on, you delete the messages off your phone? Will they still somehow be transfered to your laptop?

  • Being within a certain radius of your computer is irrelevant. iMessage delivers all messages (both those you receive and those you send) to all of your devices. Whether you are sitting at your computer or 3,000 miles away, both devices still get the messages.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 22, 2013 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


What happens in your proposed case is that if you delete messages from the iPhone, and then power on your Mac, the Mac will not receive those deleted messages.

EDIT: Well, folks, I stand corrected. I certainly believed the above to be the case, but my tests proved otherwise. I sent several messages from multiple devices to other devices that were powered down. Each message was deleted before the recipients were powered back on. Although there was a significant lag in reception (one took nearly ten minutes), all messages that were sent were received, even those that were deleted.

Several of the messages were out of sync, which doesn't surprise me given the flakiness of the iMessage system during its infancy. However, to the original question, the answer is that messages, deleted or otherwise, eventually find their destination, even to devices that were powered down when those messages were transmitted.

(Hat tip to tubedogg for the correction.)

  • Do you have anything to substantiate that? Conversations seem to be stored in the cloud as well as locally, and deleting a message on one device does not cause it to disappear from another device. Therefore I'm not sure why the other device being off would have any relevance. I could be wrong though.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 22, 2013 at 18:52
  • It depends upon whether or not the other device was on before or after the message was deleted. If the message was sent and deleted before the other device came online, the message isn't sent. If it is deleted after the device comes online, the message was already sent and does not delete.
    – Dave
    Aug 22, 2013 at 19:37
  • I understood your initial answer. I'm asking if you have anything to back up your answer as I would be very surprised if that's how it works.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 22, 2013 at 19:46
  • 1
    @tubedogg, see correction above.
    – Dave
    Aug 22, 2013 at 21:01
  • After I started questioning you I started thinking about it, and thinking maybe I was wrong...if you delete a message, and then set up a totally new device, you certainly don't get that message back. So I was thinking maybe the deletion did sync back to the cloud, just not down to existing devices, but then the question would become whether an existing device that was off would be affected by the deletion. And apparently it's not. I was thinking about trying to test but I hadn't figured out how I would do it yet, so good job!
    – tubedogg
    Aug 22, 2013 at 21:08

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