iMessage not deleting on iPhone (FIX)

iMessages, along with FaceTime, is one of the main selling points for Apple’s ecosystem. And, unless you are messaging Android users and see the infamous green bubbles, everything usually works as one would assume it would — effortlessly and without hiccups. However, some users report that a particular iMessage is not deleting no matter how many times they remove it from the list of conversations. Luckily, we got your back and, thanks to some knowledgeable Reddit users, we found a few solutions that should address the problem.

Why do text messages reappear after deleting on iPhone?

If your text messages reappear after deleting, restart your iPhone, delete media files that you received in the reappearing messages, and remove all Recently Deleted texts. If that doesn’t work, disable MMS in Messages settings. Of course, we always recommend keeping your iPhone up to date in hope that the next stable release won’t carry over the same bug. Learn more about the aforementioned steps below.

1. Reboot your iPhone and try deleting messages again

The first thing you should do is restart your iPhone and try deleting particular messages or conversations in Messages. That usually works for minor issues. It especially worked for users on iOS 15 and older iterations. However, it might not be enough on iOS 16.

If you still can’t delete text messages on your iPhone and they keep reappearing, try deleting media files that came with that particular message first.

2. Delete photos or videos that came with the message

We found reports about a bug that caused deleted messages to reappear because the files they were containing were stored locally. Why is that the case, we can’t say with certainty other than that we suspect that iCloud Photos backup got stuck and caused this. So, an applicable solution would be to delete those media files (photos or videos) and try deleting messages again.

You can find all photos and videos from messages in Files or in the Photos app from where you can delete them. Also, you should empty the Recently Deleted just to be certain that the photo is gone from your local storage. Once you’ve done that, open Messages and try deleting the message in question.

3. Remove all Recently Deleted texts

This seems to be the definitive solution for most users. iPhone stock Messages app keeps all recently deleted conversations and messages for 30 days and some Reddit users suggest deleting all messages there to fix the problem with reappearing iMessage that is not deleting when it should.

Here’s how to remove all Recently Deleted messages and, hopefully, fix the problem that way:

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Tap Show Recently Deleted.
  3. Tap Delete All.imessage not deleting
  4. Confirm when prompted and try deleting messages that keep coming back.

That should fix the problem. On the other hand, if you still can’t make it work, try disabling the MMS option under Messages settings.

4. Disable MMS in Messages Settings

Finally, we suggest disabling MMS under Messages Settings and, hopefully, fix the issue that way. One way or another, MMS messages that usually come from Android users are rarely of any use considering how compressed and low-quality they are. If you message Android users a lot, it’s recommended to use instant messengers like WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, etc.

Here’s how to disable MMS in Messages:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Disable MMS Messaging.imessage not deleting
  4. Open Messages and try deleting reappearing conversations. Don’t forget to remove them from Recently Deleted, as explained above.

And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your thoughts, questions, and suggestions with us and other readers. You can do that in the comments below.

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