If your iPhone or iPad is running out of storage space, the most likely cause can be your bloated Messages app. Text messages, photos, videos, gifs, and audio notes combined can take up a few gigabytes of space in no time. And you may not even realize it, as your iPhone or iPad are set to store every message you send or receive forever – by default.
To make matters worse, the same amount of storage is wasted on your iCloud account when you back up your device – not a good thing if you are on a free iCloud plan with a 5G storage limit.

Luckily, since iOS 8, you can limit how long you want your messages stored on your iPhone or iPad. So, unless there is a mission-critical reason for you to hang on to old messages, deleting them automatically can free up tons of space on your iPhone or iPad – leaving more space for that cool app you just found.

First, take a look at just how much space you messages app is hogging and then configure the messages app to auto-delete old messages.

Check how much space old messages take up on your iPhone, iPad :

  1. Launch the Settings app and tap on General.
  2. Choose Storage & iCloud Usage.
  3. Tap on Manage Storage in the Storage section.
  4. Scroll to the Messages app to see how much storage old messages are taking up.

Changes are a few gigabytes of storage are being wasted on old messages. You can delete old messages manually from within the Messages app or, the easy option is to set up the app to automatically delete older messages so that you never have to worry about it again.

How to automatically delete old messages on iPhone, iPad :

To have old messages automatically deleted from your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app and choose Messages.
  2. Scroll down to the Message History section and tap on Keep Messages.
  3. Note Forever is ticked by default. Choose either 30 days or 1 year instead.
  4. A popup message will ask you to confirm that you want to delete older messages.
  5. Tap Delete. Note you cannot undo this action.