How to Delete Messages on Mac: The Easiest Way


In this article, I’ll show you how you can delete individual messages (including SMS, text and
and entire conversations in Messages on your Mac. Moreover, I’ll show you how you can set up your Mac to automatically delete messages.

See also What is iMessage? How does it work? Explained

Your Mac keeps a permanent copy of your messages forever by default. There is a high chance that you will not
save a lot of space on yourMac
by deleting messages. But if you have tons of messages, you may become overwhelmed. To take control of your messages, it is important to delete some of your messages
so that you can keep your messages organized particularly if you chat with lots of people.

Before you jump into it, please keep in mind that you can’t recover a deleted message or conversation.

Delete a message

Follow these steps to delete a single message in a conversation:

  1. On your Mac, launch the Messages app.
  2. Identify the conversation that you wish to delete a message from.
  3. Look for the individual message you wish to delete.
  4. Click once on the message to highlight it.
  5. On your keyboard, press the delete key.
  6. You will see a popup that says “are you sure you want to delete this message? You cannot undo this action.”
  7. Click Delete to confirm your action.
  8. Now, the message will go away.

Delete a conversation

Follow these steps to delete the whole conversation:

  1. Identify the message thread you wish to delete from the Messages list.
  2. Select the conversation. Then:
    1. You can right-click (control-click) and select Delete Conversation. Again, you’ll see a popup that says “would you like to delete this conversation? You
      cannot undo this action”. Just hit Delete to confirm.
    2. Alternatively, click File from the menu bar and select Delete Conversation. Click Delete again.
    3. Finally, if you are using a trackpad or a Magic Mouse, you can swipe left with two fingers and then click the red Delete button. Click Delete one more time
      to confirm your action.

Keep in mind, if you are using Messages in iCloud, therefore, conversations you delete from Mac will automatically be deleted from your other Apple devices like your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.


macOS offers you an option to keep your messages for 30 days, a year, or forever. This means that your Mac will automatically delete your messages after
the selected time period elapse. This will include the attachments as well. Here are instructions for how to turn on automatic removal:

  1. On your Mac, launch the Messages app.
  2. Now, click on Messages.
  3. Next, click Preferences.
  4. Next on, Click the General tab.
  5. Lastly, click the “Keep messages” pop-up menu and then choose how long you want to keep messages.

For instance, if you select 30 days, your conversations and attachments will be deleted after 30-day is over. By default, forever is selected. Therefore,
your Mac keeps all messages forever unless you delete them manually.

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About the author
GeeksModo Staff
GeeksModo Staff
GeeksModo Staff is a team of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch experts led by Moses Johnson. We're passionate about all things Apple!

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