Easily Delete Unwanted Messages: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Delete Messages on MacBook

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Keeping your MacBook clean and organized is not just a matter of aesthetics and functionality; it has a significant impact on your device’s performance. Much like physical clutter can slow down your productivity, a jumbled mess of old, unnecessary files, and messages can affect your MacBook’s speed and performance. One of these culprits that can quickly gobble up your precious storage space is the accumulation of old messages.

Understanding the Messaging System on MacBook

For newbies to MacBook, it’s essential to understand what iMessage is and how it functions. Essentially, iMessage is an instant messaging service developed by Apple Inc. It allows you to send texts, documents, photos, videos, contact information, and group messages over the internet to other iOS or macOS users.

While it’s a fantastic way to stay connected, managing your messages is essential. Just as you would carry out spring-cleaning in your home or office, it’s crucial to delete old messages, declutter your virtual space, and get your MacBook performing optimally.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Delete Messages on MacBook

Directly from the Messages App

1. Open the ‘Messages’ app.
2. Select the conversation you want to delete.
3. Right click on the conversation.
4. Click ‘Delete’ from the drop-down menu.
5. Select ‘Delete’ again to confirm.

Through the Message History in Settings

1. Go to ‘Messages.’
2. Click on ‘Keep messages and attachments.’
3. Choose how long you want messages to be kept.
4. Click ‘Delete.’

Deleting Multiple Conversations at Once

Unfortunately, currently, Mac does not allow bulk deletion of iMessage conversations. You have to delete each conversation manually.

How to Delete Attachments on MacBook Messages

Brief Explanation about Attachments and Their Storage Burden

Attachments are typically larger than text-based messages and can quickly fill up your MacBook’s storage. They include documents, photos, videos, and other media files.

Steps on How to Delete Attachments One by One

1. Open the conversation containing the attachment(s) you want to delete.
2. Hover your mouse over the attachment and click on ‘X’ that appears in the corner.
3. Click on ‘Delete.’

Steps on How to Delete All Attachments at Once from a Particular Conversation

1. Open ‘Messages.’
2. Right-click on the message thread.
3. Select ‘Delete Attachments.’

How to Auto-Delete Old Messages on MacBook

Explanation on the Auto-Delete Feature

The auto-delete feature on MacBook automatically deletes messages that reach a certain age. You can set it to delete messages older than 30 days, a year, or never.

Steps on How to Set Up Auto-Delete

1. Open ‘Messages.’
2. Go to ‘Preferences.’
3. Select ‘Keep messages.’
4. Choose for how long you want to keep messages: 30 days, 1 year, or forever.

Impact of Deleting Messages from MacBook on Linked Apple Devices

iMessage synchronization across your Apple devices means when you delete a message from your MacBook, it will also remove it from other linked Apple devices. This feature keeps your messaging streamlined across devices but remember, once you delete a message, it’s gone permanently from all devices.


As you’ve seen, maintaining an organized MacBook involves managing your messages well. This not only boosts your device’s performance, but also makes navigation easier for you. Therefore, one should never underestimate the potential impact of a routine cleaning of their device.


Why can’t I delete certain messages?

Sometimes, glitches in the operating system can prevent you from deleting messages. If that’s the case, restarting your MacBook should resolve the issue. If the problem persists, contact Apple Support.

If I delete a conversation, can I get it back?

Once a conversation has been deleted, it is permanently removed from your device and cannot be retrieved.

How can I delete messages on my MacBook without deleting them from my iPhone?

To do this, you must turn off iMessage synchronization between the two devices.

What happens when you permanently delete a message on MacBook?

When you permanently delete a message, it is removed from both the local storage of your device and from the iCloud, if the synchronization is turned on.

Why is the auto-delete feature not working on my MacBook?

This may be due to your settings. You may have set your messages to never be deleted, or there could be system bugs leading to this issue. If the problem continues, contacting Apple Support can be helpful.

How to avoid deleting important messages accidentally?

There’s no surefire way to avoid this, however, regularly backing up your device helps ensure you could potentially restore accidentally deleted messages.