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Your iPhone Has a New Messaging Feature That’s Much Easier Than Anything Android Has «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

Editing and unsending iMessages are definitely the stars of the latest update to the Messages app, but they’re not the only new features worth exploring. A tool you may not have discovered yet fixes an issue that has plagued the Messages app since its inception.

Although the Messages app for iOS always prompts you for confirmation when deleting conversations and individual messages, it’s easy to hit Delete without thinking twice, only to realize you’ve accidentally deleted the wrong one. The new iOS 16 software solves this problem with a new “Recently Deleted” section that works for SMS, MMS and iMessage. It’s a much better solution than the mess you have to deal with on Samsung Galaxies and other Android phones.

Depending on how you’ve set up the Messages app on your iPhone, you might not even have noticed the new tab for recently deleted conversations and messages. The app stores content for 30 to 40 days, similar to a computer’s recycle bin, before it is permanently deleted. You can delete or restore a deleted conversation or message before these days expire.

The feature also appears in iPadOS 16.1 for iPad and macOS 13 Ventura for Mac, which are still in beta. iPad instructions are the same as iPhone instructions below, and Mac instructions are also included below.

Option 1: Use “Recently Deleted” from the “Edit” menu.

If you haven’t enabled “Filter unknown senders” for your messaging app, tap “Edit” from the conversation list, then select “Show recently deleted.” Permanently:

  • Delete all deleted messages: tap Delete All, then tap Delete [#] Messages.”
  • Recover all deleted messages: tap Restore All, then tap Restore [#] Messages.”
  • Delete just one or several: tap the empty circle next to each message, select “Delete,” then “Delete [#] Messages.”
  • Restore just one or several: tap the empty circle next to each message, select “Recovery,” then “Recovery [#] Messages.”
Tap Edit (left), Show Recently Deleted (middle), then manage messages (right).

Option 2: Use “Recently Deleted” from the “Filters” menu.

If you’ve enabled Unknown Sender Filtering for your messaging app, tap Filters from the conversation list or swipe right from the left side of the screen, then open the Recently Deleted folder. Permanently:

  • Delete all deleted messages: tap Delete All, then tap Delete [#] Messages.”
  • Recover all deleted messages: tap Restore All, then tap Restore [#] Messages.”
  • Delete just one or several: tap the empty circle next to each message, select “Delete,” then “Delete [#] Messages.”
  • Restore just one or several: tap the empty circle next to each message, select “Recovery,” then “Recovery [#] Messages.”
Tap Filters (left) or swipe right (middle), then select Recently Deleted (right).

Use Recently Deleted from your Mac

In macOS 13 Ventura, the process works differently. To access your deleted messages, tap View from the menu bar, then select Recently Deleted.

This is slightly different from iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 as there is no Erase All or Restore All button. Instead, you can select one message (click), more than one message (command-click), or part of messages (Choose-click). You can then select “Delete” or “Restore” to act on all selected content.

And then “Delete [#] Messages’ or ‘Recovery [#] Messages” in the confirmation prompt.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to lock “Recently Deleted” texts the same way you can in the Photos app for recently deleted images. Apple made your “Recently Deleted” photos locked by default in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, but they didn’t offer such a feature in the Messages app.

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Cover photo, screenshots and GIF by Jovana Naumovski/Gadget Hacks