How to delete (or forward) part of a text message conversation on an iPhone or iPad

iOS Messages
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Every so often, for one reason or another you want to delete (or forward) part of a text message conversation. Not the entire conversation, just part of it. Maybe just one or two messages (maybe pictures). Here’s how you do it. (Here’s how you delete part of a Messages conversation on a Mac.)

Note: if you want to delete an entire conversation you simply swipe left on the conversation itself and then tap “Delete.” If you just want to delete every text message that is more than a year old (maybe you’re a football coach being investigated by the NCAA), go to Settings/Messages and set it to “Keep Messages” for 1 year.

To delete a single message from a text message conversation on an iPhone or iPad, open the conversation so you’re looking at the messages. It will look something like this:

Typical text message conversation
Typical text message conversation


Tap and hold on the message you want to delete. You’ll see a few things pop up, including “More…” at the bottom. Tap “More…”

Text message showing special menu
More…


Now you see the conversation with everything shifted to the right, leaving space for a little circle to the left of each message. The circle next to the message you tapped on will be checked.

One message checked for deleting
One message checked for deleting


Notice the trash can icon at the bottom left. Tap that to delete the message. Tap a confirming “Delete Message” button and you’re all set.

Confirm Delete
Confirm Delete


Two things to notice:

1. After tapping “More…” you’re able to tap and put a check mark next to as many messages as you wish, and delete them all at once.

Multiple messages selected
Multiple messages selected


2. Also after tapping “More…” you’ll see a “Forward” button at the bottom right, opposite the trash can. It looks like a curvy arrow pointing to the right. Tap that to forward the selected messages to someone else. You’ll choose who to forward the messages to in the box that pops up after you tap the Forward button.

Forwarding a text message
Forwarding a text message

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2 thoughts on “How to delete (or forward) part of a text message conversation on an iPhone or iPad

  1. Super helpful about editing & forwarding messages! Thanks and Merry Christmas to you, BloggingElf!

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