Forum Question: Why Are My SMS/iMessages AutomatiCally Deleted?

I just recently purchased my first iOS device, the iPhone 4S. My messages in the Messages app are being deleted by themselves. SpecifiCally, I have one contact (also a new iPhone 4S user) with whom I’ve sent about 100 messages. However, only 50 of them are visible and we do not know how to find the old ones. Neither of us has deleted any of the older ones. Each time we send another message to each other, the oldest one of the 50 is automatiCally deleted for both of us. I’d be very surprised if the iPhone cannot store more than 50 messages per contact.
Is there a way to access the older messages? Is the phone just unable to store more than 50 messages per contact? Could this be a glitch? Or is there something else that I am missing here?
Akiva Gordon

Comments: 12 Responses to “Why Are My SMS/iMessages AutomatiCally Deleted?”

    11/8/11 @ 7:53 am

    Are you looking at a single conversation? Perhaps there is a 50 message limit on a conversation. Maybe just to keep the scrollable list of messages to a manageable size.

      Akiva Gordon
      11/8/11 @ 5:40 pm

      Yes, I am looking at a single conversation. I guess I’m just quite surprised that with such a large storage capacity, it would limit the size of a text conversation to simply 50 messages. Is there a way to export/save the message or view the message on iCloud and export/save it from there?

        11/8/11 @ 5:43 pm

        No way to easily save or export them that I know of. But I rarely use text messages and certainly haven’t tried to do that with them.

    12/13/11 @ 2:17 pm

    @Gary: Thanks for your suggestion. I’m having the same problem. The thing is, when I start a “new thread” rather than just hitting reply, messages app will automatically tag my new thread to the old one. So in other words, iphone will continue to delete my messages until they resolve this problem… :-(

    Hong Sun
    12/18/11 @ 7:12 pm

    Has the problem been fixed? I am having the same issue! I called Apple but they don’t seem to know how to fix it! I have restored my phone which took 5 hours but the problem persists!

    1/2/12 @ 5:33 pm


    I’ve recently had the same problem as well, also with just one person. Every time I send a text, the oldest one gets removed which is incredibly annoying. This has only happened since I upgraded on itunes to 5.0.1. I even tried switching off the imessage feature thinking that was the problem, but it still does it.

    I’ve been searching for ages for a solution and am yet to find one. I refuse to call apple because they will probably charge me for the privelage of calling them. If anyone hears of a solution please forward it on!!!

    5/23/12 @ 3:02 pm

    Did anyone get this issue resolved?? It’s just started happening to me with one of my contacts… Help!!! :)

    6/12/12 @ 8:32 pm

    This has happened to me as well with at least 2 conversations that I’m aware of. After it happened the first time, I wrote down the time of the oldest text I had for each contact. I noticed in another conversation that the oldest message had been deleted. I’ve called Apple’s Support twice and they told me that messages aren’t supposed to be deleted but based on internet research, it’s definitely happening to more people than just me.

    7/17/12 @ 12:00 pm

    I had this problem and got it fixed. This is what you do.
    1.) If there is a new update try updating your phone. could be a bug.
    2.) If that doesn’t work, try re-setting your settings and set up as a new phone. (back up your phone to iCloud first, if you haven’t done so recently)
    3.) Try sending messages from the reset phone, see if it works.
    4.) If so, reset your phone again but this time from iCloud back up. Select your most recent back up. You should get all your data back on your phone and the problem should stop.
    5.) If not, it means the problem is not in the data, or software, so it has to be with the phone itself. Go to the apple store, tell them what you did, and they should swap out a new phone for you.

      7/17/12 @ 8:53 pm

      Correction to #5. If you are still having a problem it’s not necessarily the hardware. You may have to find an app on your mac where you can export all of your text messages. Then, you have to do a complete reset of your phone. (this will wipe everything, texts, contacts, apps, photos) If you back up your phone to your computer you will be able to put back all purchased content. Your photos will be saved. But you won’t be able to get back your messages.

    7/23/12 @ 7:38 am

    I sent a message to my friend had a showed prob about hour later I went to sent another message and all of my messages were gone at the same time my provider (Optus) was down could not use internet at all. I rang Optus they said had to call apple I rang them they tried to give me some lame excuse that I should not have had my phone in the bathroom and th condensation can make iPhone do strange things!?!? Hmm so I looked online and a lot of ppl are have the same trouble I have never backed my phone up before my partner backed it up on the computer (iTunes) and restored it hoping this would work and still no messages.. I had a *** load of messages and most of them inneed for court
    My storage space was very low or prob full cause now it says there is only 620 mb free space
    So after all that I would like to know what the hell is going on some one Plz help
    Is there anyway to get them back
    And can they automaticlly be deleted withought consent because of low storage space
    And would if it it does would it be easy to have roughly 800 mb worth of txt messages

    12/8/12 @ 1:27 pm

    Im am so glad that Apple has this new feature of automatically deleting messages. Surveys shows that 74% of the iphone users like this feature. I remember the old way back in the day u couldnt send somebody a text cause their inbox was full. AWESONE!!! In today society there is no need to have to go back 50 messages ago. Thats old news!!!! Plus somebody doesnt have a life if u text that much. I average 7500 text a month. So yeah i love the Auto delete feature. Thanks Apple!!!

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