How to Delete Messages from iPhone but Not iCloud

This guide will show you how to clear message storage on iPhone but not iCloud. In addition, you can also find a better iCloud alternative to back up and delete your data simply.

Kathy by Kathy Updated March 6, 2024
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Can I remove messages on iPhone but keep in iCloud?

The only Apple device I own is a 16GB iPhone. I pay for the extra 50GB of iCloud storage. iMessage is taking up over 1.3GB of storage on my device. If I go to "Manage Storage" and delete the locally saved iMessages, will they remain in iCloud? If I set the messages on my device to delete after 30 days, will they be backed up forever in iCloud?

- Question from Reddit

Why delete messages from iPhone but not iCloud?

For lots of people who don't have enough cell phone storage, accumulated text messages can take up much storage on your iPhone. And you may get an “iPhone Storage Full” notification soon or impart the iPhone’s performance. Especially, if you often share videos with your contacts.


However, as a cloud service, iCloud offers users free storage to store and sync data across devices. So many people wish to delete messages on their iPhones to clear the iPhone space but still store them in iCloud to restore them one day if necessary.

Does deleting text messages delete from iCloud?

In general, clearing messages on iPhones will also remove them from iCloud. And If you set the messages on your iPhone to delete after 30 days or 1 year, the messages older than 30 days or 1 year will also be deleted from iCloud.

In these situations, you can disable iCloud messages on the iPhone settings app before deleting the messages or setting to stop removing them from iCloud.

How to delete messages from iPhone but not iCloud

If you need to save messages to iCloud and delete from iPhone, there are 2 ways to assist you to make it. And if the messages are really important to you, it is suggested that you can back up your messages to your computer.

Preparation: Disable iCloud messages

Before deleting, ensure to disable iCloud messages on the iPhone so that you can delete messages from iPhone but not iCloud. And here’s how:

Go to Settings > Tap on your Apple ID Name > iCloud > Move the toggle next to Messages to the off position.


And now preparation has been completed, you can choose the one-click operation to delete all your iPhone messages. 

One click to delete all iPhone messages (unrecoverable)

How to clear message storage on iPhone most conveniently? In this situation, FoneTool can be your ideal choice to delete all your messages.

And it features a user-friendly interface that is both intuitive and straightforward to navigate. Anyone can easily remove text messages from their iPhones without deleting from iCloud.  

Tip: FoneTool also offers “Selective Backup” allowing you to back up all data or selectively back up messages to PC.

Click this button to download FoneTool for free and we will demonstrate the steps on how to delete messages from iPhone but not iCloud:

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Step 1. Launch FoneTool on your PC > Connect your iPhone to the computer with the USB cable > Tap Trust on your iPhone. 

Step 2. Go to Toolbox > choose Data Eraser.


Step 3. Click Erase private data > Choose Get Started.


If you are considering selling your old iPhone or solving an issue, you have the option to select "Erase all data" to wipe the entire content of your device and reset iPhone to the factory settings effortlessly.

Step 4. Tap Messages and check Enable Deep Erase Technology if you want them unrecoverable, then click Start Erase.


How to delete specific messages on the phone

If you don’t wanna a third-party tool to clear all your messages storage, you can also delete them on the iPhone directly. According to your need, you can choose to delete single messages or entire conversations. And you can delete messages from iPhone but not iCloud simply.

Steps on deleting single text messages on iPhone:

Step 1. Turn on Messages > Tap the conversation that has the messages you need to delete in it.


Step 2. Press and hold the messages you want to clear until the menu pops up, then tap More.

Step 3. To mark a message for deletion, simply tap the circle located next to all the messages you wish to delete. Then click the trash can icon and choose the Delete Message button in the pop-up menu.


And if you need to delete entire conversations on iPhone, there exists a different set of steps.

Here’s how to delete entire conversations:

Open the Messages app > Found the conversation you want to delete and swipe right to left across it > Press the trash can > Click Delete to confirm or tap Cancel if you click wrong.


Tip on how to clear message storage on iPhone automatically: Launch the Settings app > Scroll down to Messages and tap it > Click where it says Keep Message under Message History > There are three options: 30 Days, 1 Year, and Forever: choose the first or second option. Then all messages older than 30 days or a year can be deleted completely.

Conclusion & FAQs

From the passage, you can get a handy tool to solve your problem about “How to delete messages from iPhone but not iCloud completely”. Next time if you need to get your messages back, you can go to this how to download messages from iCloud guide to make it.

As an all-in-one iPhone management application, it enables you to clear all your messages with a one-click operation. And its iPhone transfer feature can also help you transfer contacts from one Apple ID to another when you need to switch to a new iPhone.


• Can I recover deleted messages from my iPhone even if I don't have them in iCloud?

If you have not backed up your messages to iCloud or any other platform, it may not be possible to recover deleted messages. Regularly backing up your iPhone helps ensure you have a copy of your messages in case of accidental deletion.

• Can I access deleted messages on my iPhone from iCloud backup?

Yes, if you have an iCloud backup that includes the deleted messages, you can restore your iPhone from the backup to access them again.

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