How to Turn Off Recently Deleted Messages on iPhone

Enhance iPhone privacy—discover how to turn off Recently Deleted messages. Safeguard your chats and maintain the confidentiality of your conversations.

Demi by Demi Updated May 22, 2024
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In the fast-paced world of mobile communication, managing your digital footprint is essential for privacy, efficiency, and device optimization. One aspect that often puzzles iPhone users is the Recently Deleted Messages feature, where deleted messages find temporary refuge.

turn off recently delete messages

If you're looking to take control of your message management, safeguard your privacy, and optimize your iPhone's storage, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of turning off Recently Deleted Messages.

Part 1. Overview of Recently Deleted Messages

Before turning off Recently Deleted Messages on iPhone, it is necessary to understand the meaning of the "Recently Deleted" function.

By default, when you delete a message on your iPhone, it doesn't disappear immediately. Instead, it's moved to the Recently Deleted folder, providing a safety net in case you need to check or recover deleted text messages within the next 30 days.

Recently Deleted

While this feature can be beneficial, especially if you accidentally delete an important message, some users may find the constant presence of deleted messages unnecessary and prefer a more streamlined approach to message management.

Part 2. How to Turn Off Recently Deleted Messages on iPhone

Now, let's walk through how to turn off Recently Deleted Messages on iPhone. Actually, iPhone doesn't provide you with a direct way to disable the "Recently Deleted Messages" function, but is doesn't mean you cannot turn it off. You can delete all of the messages in the "Recently Deleted" folder to get rid of the folder. Here's how you can remove "Recently Deleted Messages" on iPhone:

Step 1. Go to your iPhone Messages app > If needed, tap Filter to go back to the homepage of Messages app.

Step 2. Select Recently Deleted folder > Tap Delete All from the lower left corner > Tap Delete x Messages to confirm.

clear recently deleted

💡 Warm Tip: 
• Please be noted that messages in "Recently Deleted" folder cannot be recovered once they have been erased.
• Besides, the "Recently Deleted" folder will return if you delete any new messages. Thus, to avoid seeing the "Recently Deleted" folder again, clear the folder after each message deletion.

Advanced Measure: Auto-delete old text messages
Instead of manually delete messages from iPhone, you can set up automated message deletion by following steps bloe.

Step 1. Go to the Settings app from the homepage and select Messages.

Step 2. Scroll down and tap Keep Messages under MESSAGE HISTORY. There are three options: 30 Days, 1 Year, and Forever. You can choose a timeframe for message retention.

auto delete messages

In this way, messages that surpass the specified duration will be deleted automatically to save up storage space.

Part 3. Benefits of Turning Off Recently Deleted Messages

Turning off Recently Deleted Messages on your iPhone offers several benefits that cater to privacy, message management, and storage optimization:

👍 Enhanced Privacy:
   - Disabling Recently Deleted Messages ensures that your deleted messages are immediately removed from your device. This reduces the risk of unintentional exposure and enhances your overall privacy.

👍 Streamlined Message Management:
   - Without the Recently Deleted Messages folder, your Messages app becomes less cluttered, making it easier to locate and manage important conversations. This is particularly beneficial for users who prefer a more organized digital space.

👍 Improved Storage Space:
   - Deleting messages permanently can free up valuable storage space on your iPhone, especially if you're dealing with a large volume of multimedia messages. This optimization contributes to a smoother and more responsive device performance.

👍 Reduced Notifications:
   - Disabling notifications for recently deleted messages means fewer interruptions. This allows you to focus on essential messages without being alerted to the presence of deleted content.

👍 Customized Message Retention:
   - Adjusting the "Keep Messages" setting lets you customize how long your messages are stored before being automatically deleted. This flexibility allows you to strike a balance between retaining important messages and managing storage efficiently.

Bonus: Selective Backup Important iPhone Text Messages via FoneTool

Before permanently deleting messages from your iPhone, please check carefully whether there is something useful or important for you. If you are looking for a solution to selectively backup your iPhone files, like photos, messages, contacts, etc., here FoneTool comes.

Different from iCloud or iTunes, FoneTool allows you to choose only wanted iPhone files to backup to PC. Free download this software to your computer, and have an overview how to backup iPhone messages to PC via FoneTool.

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Step 1. Connect your iPhone to PC with USB > Launch FoneTool, and click Phone Backup > Mouse over to Selective Backup, and click Get Started.

Custom Backup

Step 2. Click Messages icon to view and choose the messsages you'd like to backup > Click OK to continue.

Select Messages

Step 3. You are able to choose a storage path to save your messages by clicking Backup Storage Path. Finally, click Start Backup to begin the task.

Backup Messages


Taking control of your iPhone's settings empowers you to tailor your device to your preferences and lifestyle. Turning off Recently Deleted Messages is a simple yet impactful adjustment that grants you more control over your message management, privacy, and storage space. By following the provided steps and understanding the associated benefits, you can customize your iPhone experience, creating a more efficient, personalized, and secure device.

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