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How to Delete All Messages on Mac Easily and Conveniently

Filed in Articles, Mobile Phones by on May 4, 2021

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Have you have been wondering where the Mac came from? Many people today own and operate a good number of Mac devices. Since 1998, the term Mac has been used to replace Macintosh which is a family of personal computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc. since January 1984. However, very few people know how to delete all messages on Mac.

How to Delete All Messages on Mac Easily and Conveniently

Mac devices and gadgets support some complicated messaging system which requires special attention. There is, therefore, a need to learn how to delete all messages on Mac.

With its special feature of preserving messages in a very secure location, deleting such messages is not very easy.

Understandably, there are some complexities and intricacies associated with the Mac Messaging system. Probably, this complex and sophisticated system was built to offer some durability and storability.

How to delete all messages on Mac does not come in a similar way as other devices. As such, you might need to follow some unique but easy steps to achieve this.

Why do Messages on Mac Need Special Procedure?

Normally, many digital devices are simple to manipulate. You may not need to know any special tricks or steps to carry out one operation or the other. However, when it comes to Mac devices, the owner or operator needs to learn some steps on how to delete messages.

Why is this so? Many people who quite unfamiliar with Apple Mac gadgets ask this question. The simple answer is that Mac devices and other Apple systems make use of what is called loud storage.

Accordingly, this cloud storage feature makes it possible for all data and files to be recovered and accessed even when initially deleted.

Also, with Mac devices, one can log in on a number of separate devices and still be able to view the contents in the primary device.

Do not be confused, this feature is a unique and rather useful one in many respects. Though, just like most things, it has its demerits and challenges.

The tendency of someone else to be able to trace your messages in a device you left out of use is one prominent risk with this. So, this is why you may need to know how to delete all messages on Mac.

Why do you Need to Know How to Delete Messages on Mac?

Why do you Need to Know How to Delete Messages on Mac?

The Messages app for Mac keeps track of all chat history through iMessage and SMS, providing you with a lengthy record of conversations in an easily reviewable and scrollable chat log.

Unlike iOS, there isn’t any in-app method to delete the chat history in Mac OS X, and though you can close a window it doesn’t necessarily remove all data, logs, caches, or associations with a specific chat, and those caches are still stored on the Mac.

Basically, the most secure way to ensure your conversations stay private on your devices is to only use apps that allow for end-to-end encryption, which prevents anyone (including the service provider) from eavesdropping on anything you say.

Apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and iMessage are already using end-to-end encryption to protect your privacy.

Also, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even with end-to-end encryption in place, someone who takes possession of your phone can read anything you’ve sent or received. That’s where knowing how to delete all messages on Mac or iPhone regularly can help.

Steps on How to Delete all Messages on Mac

Steps on How to Delete All Messages on Mac

In trying to delete messages on Mac, you need to follow some steps

In the Messages app on your Mac, select a conversation. To search for contacts and content in conversations, click in the Search field in the top-left corner and enter what you’re looking for. Or, choose from the suggested contacts, links, photos, and more.

If you’re restricted to sending and receiving messages with only certain people, an hourglass icon appears next to those people you can’t send messages to.

  • Do any of the following to delete one or more messages:
  • Delete messages: Select one or more messages (including text messages, photos, videos, files, weblinks, audio messages, or emoji) in the transcript, then press Delete.
  • Delete all messages within a conversation: Choose Edit > Clear Transcript.
  • This keeps the conversation in your sidebar while removing all contents from the transcript.
  • You can set how long to keep messages—Choose Messages > Preferences, click General, then click the “Keep messages” pop-up menu and choose an option.

Important: If you choose an option other than Forever, your conversations (including all attachments) are automatically removed after the specified time period is over.

How to Delete All Message Conversation

Before you proceed to delete your messages, you should note that you may be unable to recover a deleted conversation.

You have to do the following to delete a conversation:

Delete an empty conversation: Move the pointer over an empty conversation, then click the Close button.

Delete a conversation: Select a conversation, then choose File > Delete Conversation. Or, if you have a trackpad or a Magic Mouse, you can also swipe left with two fingers on the conversation in the sidebar, then click the Delete button.

If you use Messages in iCloud, deleting a conversation on your Mac deletes it from all of your devices where Messages in iCloud is turned on. See Use Messages in iCloud.

To stop receiving messages from a business chat, delete the conversation. Alternatively, you can turn off notifications.

How to delete all messages on Mac automatically

How to Delete All Messages on Mac Automatically

As you can see, deleting occasional messages or whole conversations is easy when you have to do it just a few times here and there. But the process is still largely manual and it’s very easy to forget to delete a specific message if you can be bombarded with new ones all the time.

Fortunately, it’s possible to set a sort of destructive timer on your iMessage on Mac, which would automatically delete everything past a certain date. Here’s how:

  • Open the Messages app and then Preferences
  • Click the “Keep messages” dropdown and select whether to let your messages stay in the app for 30 days, one year or forever

READ ALSO:

How to Clear iMessage transcripts

How to Clear iMessage Transcripts

Sometimes, you might be having a private rapid-fire conversation with a few people at the same time and want to periodically delete all the messages so far but still, keep the discussion going.

Deleting the conversation outright wouldn’t be optimal here as it would close the tab completely, interrupting the flow.

Surprisingly, iMessage has another function that is called Clear Transcript, which simply deletes all the messages in any given conversation but keeps the window open. To use Clear Transcript:

  • Another method involves using the Clear Transcript function. Open up a conversation window that you want to clean. Without making any bubble selections, select the Edit tab on the app’s toolbar.
  • Scroll down the list until you reach Clear Transcript. Click on it and all the messages will be deleted even though the conversation will remain open.
  • You can also use a shortcut to do this even more quickly. Press Option + Command + K, or you can right-click on an empty space in a conversation window and select the Clear Chat Transcript option.

How to Close Conversations and Chats Temporarily

Another option that the Messages app on Mac offers is to simply hide or close conversations without deleting any content in them permanently.

Using this method, no one would see that conversations ever took place. However, you would also get the full history back once someone in the chat sends a new message.

  • To close any conversation in Messages:
  • Navigate to Preferences and then check or uncheck “Save history when conversations are closed”
  • Hover over the conversation on the left side and click the X symbol just below the date

How to Delete all iMessages on Mac Forever

How to Delete all iMessages on Mac Forever

Using any of the options above should be more than enough to help you keep your life private. But if you want to absolutely make sure that no trace of your messages is left behind, you might wonder where are iMessages stored on Mac? 

Fortunately, your Mac makes it easy to dive straight into your Library folder and delete the Messages files (or back them up somewhere safe) manually: 

  • Open Messages ➙ Preferences ➙ iMessage and then Sign Out
  • Quit the Messages app
  • From the menu bar, choose Go ➙ Go to Folder (⌘ + Shift + G) 
  • Type in ~/Library/Messages and then Go
  • Delete Archive and Attachments folders as well as chat.db, chat.db-shm, and chat.db-wal
  • Restart your Mac

Sometimes, whether intentionally or otherwise, we engage in some conversations that may be quite personal and revealing. At times, we transmit confidential information over our digital devices.

In a normal state, this may not a serious issue. However, considering the high intelligence of our era and the tendency for evil, we have to know how to delete these messages.

There are several concrete reasons which might warrant you deleting all your messages on Mac. As such, you really need to pay much attention to those tips given above on how to delete all messages on Mac.

Be kind enough to share this article with your good friends.

CSN Team.

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