Reclaim even more FREE Space on iOS 11 – Here’s how you can do it (Hint: Delete your Messages)

Apple with iOS 11 has introduced a lot new features and given a lot more transparencies and controls to the end users – us.
This time, let’s go further to utilize whatever Apple has made transparent and give us control to even reclaim more FREE space on iOS 11. Here’s how to do it.

See how much space iMessage, SMS and MMS taken your iPhone storage on iOS 11

Free iOS Space iOS 11 Message - iPhone Storage
Free iOS 11 Space: Message – iPhone Storage
Although nowadays we (I bet you are) rarely use SMS or even MMS, but occasionally we still received SMS from someone either marketing related SMS, Bank/e-commerce SMS, OTP (One Time Password) SMS – which normally you get when you login to certain website or try to connect to public Wi-Fi and yet so many other parties still sending out SMS. Sometimes I, myself, still need to send message via SMS to those formal entities such as booking a flight or booking a cross-country ferry. Do you have any idea how much space those SMS and MMS are occupying your iPhone storage? Well, I bet you don’t. At least there was not any easy way to know how much space they (SMS and MMS) occupying our precious storage.
To make it (look and sound) even worse, since the introduction of  stickers, message effects and playable games on iMessages on iOS 10, iOS Messages app now contains so much things: pictures, videos, stickers and games. Do you have any idea, how much space they are occupying your iPhone storage?
Well before iOS 11, there’s no way for us, normal user, too see and know how much the iPhone Messages app occupied the storage space. Today with iOS 11, Apple has provide the way to not-only giving the info for us to see, but also provide a way to delete/reduce the amount occupying the phone.


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Here’s how to check how much Messages App Occupying iPhone Storage on iOS 11

Here’s how you can check and see how much space Messages App occupying your iPhone Storage:
1. Open Settings.
2. Navigate to General > iPhone Storage. Wait until the loading finish to show all your installed apps and games.
3. Once loading finished, find Messages. Here, you can see how big your messages combined (SMS, MMS, iMessage, Stickers, Photos, Videos, etc) occupying the storage.
4. Tap on Messages, to manage it.
Inside iPhone Storage Settings for Messages, there are various options you can do to FREE up your iPhone storage. I’ll detail them one by one.
Free iOS Space iOS 11 Message - options
Free iOS 11 Space: Message – Available Options

Option #1: Messages – Auto Delete Old Conversations

The easiest way to FREE up space is by enabling this option. It will delete everything that were sent or received over 1 year ago.

Do enable this, only if you don’t really care about your messages and their contents and only want to get FREE space as soon as possible.

If you need to keep certain things, don’t enable this option. Go to the next available options.


Option #2: Messages – Review Large Attachments

iOS will let you know how much space you can reclaim if you delete all the considered large attachments. Tap on the option to bring you to the next page, containing all the attachments (conversations, photos, videos, GIFs and stickers and others) available on your Messages app.

They will be shown order by their sizes, from the biggest one to the smallest one.

To start deleting, do the following:

1. Tap on Edit on the top right corner of the iOS screen.

2. Then tap and tick on the attachment you wish to delete.

3. Once done, tap on the trash bin icon to delete those attachments you have selected to delete.


Option #3: Messages – Documents & Data

This is the last option, the one with the most efforts required, however this option can help you to reclaim the most storage space on your iPhone since this option does not limit you to delete only old conversation and large attachment only but everything!

Conversations: Tap on this, if you wish to delete by the conversations (aka senders / recipients name). It will delete anything inside the conversations including photos, videos, voice memos, GIFs, Stickers.

Free iOS Space iOS 11 Message - Conversations
Free iOS 11 Space: Message – Delete by Conversations

Photos: Tap on this, if you wish to delete photo attachments only without deleting the messages and conversations.

Free iOS Space iOS 11 Message - Photos
Free iOS 11 Space: Message – Delete by Photos

Videos: Tap on this if you wish to delete video attachments only without deleting the messages and conversations.

Free iOS Space iOS 11 Message - Videos
Free iOS 11 Space: Message – Delete by Videos

GIFs and Stickers: Tap on this if you wish to delete GIFs and Stickers only without deleting the messages and conversations.

Free iOS Space iOS 11 Message - GIFs and Stickers
Free iOS 11 Space: Message – Delete by GIFs and Stickers

Others: Tap on this if you wish to delete anything else, such as location sharing, voice messages, PDFs, any other items that are not considered as photo, video, GIF and Sticker.

Free iOS Space iOS 11 Message - Others
Free iOS 11 Space: Message – Delete by Others

Bring it all together

Using the methods above, I did using combination of option#1, #2 and #3, I managed to reclaim around 3 GB  (out of 7.35 GB Messages app occupying) worth of iPhone storage. What about you, how many space you can reclaim using these new iOS 11 features?


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