How To Delete All IMessages From A Mac Or MacBook

Apple’s iMessage is the developer’s standard messaging app with a lot of great features. It is most commonly known for its seamless text-based communication capabilities among iPhone users. Almost all Apple devices support iMessage. It is possible to view your texts on your phone, watch, and even your Mac computer.

You can automatically save and back up your messages with iMessage on your connected devices. When you decide to delete all of your iMessages, however, this makes things more difficult.

In case someone looks through your Mac and finds your messages, or for some other reason, deleting them is, fortunately, relatively simple. The following steps will guide you through the process of deleting all of your iMessages from your Mac or MacBook.

The Problem with Deleting iMessages

The process of deleting your iMessages on a Mac is not difficult. There are a few tricks you need to know to delete them permanently.

When you delete a message or conversation from iMessage, and you use the default settings, chances are you’ll recover them all. Also, there is a big difference between deleting conversations and closing them.

In spite of the fact that the text may disappear after you close a conversation, the messages will reappear if you start a new conversation with the same contact. What can you do to fix this?

How to Delete iMessages on a Mac

You can delete messages and conversations with a few clicks if you have a Mac or Macbook. The good news is that it’s easy to delete all messages on a Mac. In this section, we’ll walk you through all your options.

How to Delete an iMessage on a Mac

The following steps will help you delete a message within a conversation:

  1. Locate the message you want to delete in the Messaging app on your Mac.

  2. Delete the message by right-clicking (control + click).

For each message you want to delete, follow these steps.

How to Delete iMessage Conversations on a Mac

You can delete all conversations on your Mac quickly if you want to delete all messages. Even though this won’t give you a mass-delete option, it’s one of the quickest ways to clear out your messages.

You can delete entire conversations by following these steps:

  1. Locate the conversation in the messaging app on your Mac. Select it by right-clicking.
  2. Delete the conversation by clicking Delete.
  3. Delete the file when prompted.

The conversation and all of its messages will now disappear.

Disable iCloud Messages

Messages can be sent from your iPhone to your Mac with Apple products. Nevertheless, you can prevent messages from coming to your Mac if you wish.

To disable iCloud Messages on a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. On your Mac, open the Messaging app and click Messages in the upper left corner.
  2. Go to Preferences and click on it.
  3. Select iMessage from the tabs.
  4. iCloud Messages cannot be enabled. Un-check the checkbox.

It doesn’t solve your problem with older messages that have already been saved under the previous setting. Fortunately, you can permanently delete all your chat history.

How to Permanently Delete Messages on a Mac

You can permanently delete all of the messages on your Mac by following these steps:

  1. Press Command + Shift + G after exiting the iMessage app. Please note that the top of the Go To Folder window should say Finder. If not, click on your desktop.
  2. Select ~/Library/Messages and press Go
  3. You should select chat.db, chat.db-wal, chat.db-shm, and everything else you find there.
  4. Delete the selected files from the Trash folder and then empty the Trash folder.
  5. Verify if the operation was successful by opening iMessage.

You won’t lose any attachments from the conversations, only the messages. The following steps must be followed if you wish to delete the attachments as well:

  1. Open the Go To Folder window by pressing Command + Shift + G after exiting the iMessage app.
  2. Press Enter to enter /Library/Messages/Attachments.
  3. Make a list of all the files you want to remove, such as text files, archives, music files, videos, etc.
  4. Delete them from the Trash folder and then empty it.

Your attachments and previously deleted messages will be permanently deleted.

Alternative Methods to Delete iMessages

You can always run a simple command that empties the folder completely from the terminal if you don’t want to manually select the files.

Enter the following command in the terminal:

rm –r ~/Library/Messages/chat.*

Without emptying the Trash folder, all iMessages will be permanently deleted.

The following command can be used to delete attachments:

rm –r ~/Library/Messages/Attachments/??

Regardless of whether the chat has been emptied first, this will remove everything in the Attachments folder.

It is important to remember that both of these command lines result in permanent changes. Unless you have backed up the files before deleting them, you cannot recover data deleted.

Using the Clear Transcript Function

The Clear Transcript function can also be used.

  1. Open the conversation window you want to clean. Make a selection without making any bubble selections in the Edit tab of the app’s toolbar.
  2. You will find Clear Transcript at the bottom of the list.
  3. You can clear a conversation by clicking Clear.

To make this process even faster, you can use a shortcut. Right-click an empty space in the conversation window and select Clear Chat Transcript, or press Option + Command + K.

If you want to quickly delete all of the messages from each conversation on your Mac or Macbook, you can do this for each conversation.

A Final Thought

When it comes to erasing your chat history on a Mac, you have multiple options. Individual messages, bulk messages, attachments, even entire conversations can be removed.

Keep in mind, however, that either of these methods will permanently delete the data. Before you decide to hide your chat history from prying eyes, take some time to think it through.

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