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How to Selectively Delete SMS on iPhone 13: A Step-By-Step Guide

Mar 21, 2023 • Filed to: Data Wipe Solutions • Proven solutions

The Messages app is at the heart of the iOS experience in an iPhone. It supports both SMS and iMessage and is the default messaging app on the iPhone. iOS 15 has just been released, and even today Apple seems aloof to the idea of allowing users a clear way to delete SMSs from conversations in iPhone 13. How to erase an SMS from a conversation on iPhone 13? Below is a step-by-step guide to doing it.

Part I: How to Delete Single SMS from Conversation in Messages on iPhone 13

Apple is not entirely averse to the idea of the Delete button in apps. There is a beautiful-looking trash can icon in Mail, the same icon is used in Files, and generally in many more places wherever there is a Delete button. Problem is, Apple, even in iOS 15, continues to think users do not deserve a Delete button in Messages. Consequently, even with the newly launched iPhone 13, people are wondering about how to delete their SMS in iPhone 13.

Here are the steps to delete a single SMS from conversations in the Messages app:

Step 1: Launch Messages on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on any SMS conversation.

Step 3: Long-hold the SMS you want to delete, and a popup will be shown:

sms eraser

Step 4: As you might see, there is no Delete option, but there is a More option available. Tap that option.

tap delete to delete single message

Step 5: Now, in the screen that follows, your SMS will be preselected, and you will find that Delete button (the trash can icon) at the bottom left corner of the interface. Tap that and finally tap Delete Message to confirm and delete the message from Messages.

 confirm delete to delete single message

This is how simple (or difficult, depending on the way you slice it) it is to delete a single SMS in the Messages app.

Part II: How to Delete Entire Conversation in Messages on iPhone 13

One would wonder how difficult it would be to delete entire conversations in Messages on iPhone 13 considering the gymnastics required to delete a single SMS on iPhone 13, but, surprisingly, Apple provides an easy way to delete entire conversations in Messages on iPhone 13. In fact, there are two ways to do that!

Method 1

Step 1: Launch Messages on iPhone 13.

Step 2: Long-hold on any conversation you want to delete.

 delete conversation in iOS

Step 3: Tap Delete to delete the conversation.

Method 2

Step 1: Launch the Messages app on iPhone 13.

Step 2: Swipe the conversation you want to delete to the left.

swipe a conversation to the left

confirm to delete conversation

Step 3: Tap Delete to and confirm again to delete the conversation.

Part III: How to Automatically Delete Old Messages on iPhone 13

Automatically delete old messages on iPhone 13? Yes, you read that right, there is a way to automatically delete old messages in iOS, only that it is buried under Settings and is rarely talked about. If you want to delete your old messages automatically on iPhone 13, this is what you do:

Step 1: Launch Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down to Messages and tap it.

Step 3: Scroll down to the section titled Message History with the option Keep Messages and see what it is set to. It would likely be set to Forever. Tap this option.

choosing to automatically delete message history

choose duration to keep message history

Step 4: Select from 30 Days, 1 Year, and Forever. If you select 1 Year, messages older than 1 year will be automatically deleted. If you select 30 Days, messages older than a month will get deleted automatically. You guessed it: Forever means nothing ever gets deleted.

So, if you are facing issues with Messages, where messages from years ago show up in Messages when you enable iCloud Messages, this is how you tackle that problem. It needs to be said that you may want to make copies of/ take screenshots of important messages before enabling the automatic deletion of messages on your iPhone 13.

Part IV: Permanently Wipe Messages and Deleted Data from iPhone 13 Using Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS)

You might think that the data you store on your disk gets deleted when you delete it. After all, that is what you just did, didn’t you? There is an option to Erase All Content and Settings on the iPhone, so it must be doing that, right? Wrong!

Not that Apple is at fault here or is misleading you about your data, it is that this is how things are done when we talk of data deletion. Data storage on a disk is handled by the file system that knows where on the disk to look for when a particular data is called upon by the user. What happens is that when we talk about deleting the data on a device, we only delete this file system, making the data on the disk directly inaccessible. But, that data is very much present on the disk even after that supposed deletion since that data was never touched, and it can be accessed indirectly through tools! That is what data recovery tools are all about!

Our conversations are private and intimate. Seemingly mundane conversations can tell a lot about people that have them if you know what you are looking for. Empires such as Facebook are built on conversations, which people inadvertently and intentionally disclose to the company by way of using its platform. With that in mind, when you want to delete your conversations, wouldn’t you want to be sure that they are really wiped out and unrecoverable by any means?

How do you make sure that when you delete your SMS conversations from iPhone 13, they are wiped out from the disk, the right way, so that the data is unrecoverable even if someone were to use recovery tools on the phone’s storage? Enter Wondershare Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS).

Here is how to use Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS) to securely wipe your private data off the device and make sure no one has access to it ever again. You can remove only your messages or more of your private data, and there is a way to wipe out even the data you already deleted!

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Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS)

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Step 1: Download and install Dr.fone - Data Eraser (iOS) on your computer.

Step 2: Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch Dr.Fone.

Step 3: Select the Data Eraser module.

Step 4: Click Erase Private Data option from the sidebar.

ios private erase

Step 5: To scan your private data, select the types of data you want to scan for and click Start. In this case, you want to select Messages and click Start to scan for your messages and wipe them securely so that they are not recoverable any longer.

information page

Step 6: After the scan, the next screen shows your list of private data on the left and you can preview it on the right. Since you only scanned for messages, you will see the messages list populated with the number of messages on the device. Click the checkbox next to it and click Erase at the bottom.

select the imformation

Your message conversations will now be erased securely and will be unrecoverable.

Did you mention something about wiping already deleted data? Yes, we did! Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS) has you covered when you want to wipe data that you already deleted from your phone. There is an option in the app to specifically wipe only the data already deleted. When the app is done analyzing in step 5, you will see a dropdown above the preview pane on the right that says Show All. Click it and select Only Show The Deleted.

only show the deleted

Then, you can proceed by clicking Erase at the bottom to wipe your already deleted SMS from the device. Neat, huh? We know. We love this part, too.

Part V: Conclusion

Conversations are an integral part of human interaction. We might not be using our phones as much to call people today as we used to, but we are using them to communicate and converse more than we used to, only the methods of communicating and conversing have changed. We text a lot more now, and the Messages app on an iPhone can hold secrets about people that can be flattering as well as embarrassing. There is a need to ensure that SMS conversations or message conversations, in general, are wiped out from a device securely so that they become unrecoverable, in the interest of user privacy. Ironically, Apple does not provide a way to wipe message conversations securely enough to make them unrecoverable, but Wondershare does. Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS) can safely and securely wipe your private message conversations apart from a bevy of other private data from your iPhone so that you can be sure that no one can recover your conversations from the device and be privy to them. You can also use Dr.Fone - Data Eraser (iOS) to completely wipe your iPhone better than the stock option found under Settings in iOS so that data is truly wiped on the iPhone’s storage and is rendered unrecoverable.

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Daisy Raines

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