How to Delete Messages on a Macbook?

In the digital age, our MacBooks often become overloaded with conversations and attachments, making it crucial to know how to declutter and manage your messages efficiently. Here's a comprehensive guide on "how to delete messages on a MacBook," clear your chat history, and free up storage space.

Messages App on Mac

message app

The Messages app is a core part of the macOS experience, seamlessly syncing with your iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices through iCloud. Understanding how this app works and its syncing features is the first step in managing your conversations effectively.

Deleting Individual Messages

  1. Open the Messages app: Find it in your Dock or Applications folder.
  2. Select the conversation: Click on the chat that contains the message you want to remove.
  3. Delete the message: Right-click (or Control-click) on the message and select 'Delete.' Confirm the deletion if prompted​​​​.

Note: If iCloud synchronization is enabled, deleting a message on your MacBook will also remove it from other synced devices.

Deleting Multiple Messages

  1. Select multiple messages: Hold down the Command key and click on each message you want to delete.
  2. Bulk delete: Right-click on the selected messages and choose 'Delete,' or use the Edit menu in the menu bar​​​​.

Learn More About How to Wipe Your MacBook Before Selling or Upgrading.

Removing Entire Conversations

delete all messages

  • Method 1: Control-click on a conversation in your sidebar and select 'Delete.'
  • Method 2: To delete the conversation, swipe left with two fingers on a trackpad, then click 'Delete.'

Managing Message Attachments

Attachments like photos, videos, and documents can take up significant space. Here's how to clear them:

  1. Open Finder: Press Command + Shift + G.
  2. Navigate to Attachments: Type ~/Library/Messages/Attachments and press Enter.
  3. Delete files: Remove the files and folders you no longer need and empty the Trash​​​​.

Clearing iMessage Transcripts

  1. Open the conversation: Select the chat you wish to clear.
  2. Clear the transcript: Click Edit > Clear Transcript and confirm your action​​​​.

Automating Message Deletion

  1. Open Messages Settings: Click on Messages in the menu bar, then select Settings.
  2. Set duration: Under the General tab, choose how long to keep messages (30 days, one year, or forever).
  3. Automatic deletion: Your selected preference will automatically delete messages after the specified period​​​​.

Deleting Messages Permanently Using Terminal

  1. Open Terminal: Go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  2. Enter command: Type rm -r ~/Library/Messages/chat and hit Enter to delete all messages.
  3. Remove attachments: To delete attachments, use rm -r ~/Library/Messages/Attachments/??​​​​.

Clearing Messages via Finder

  1. Access Finder: Press Command + Shift + G.
  2. Navigate to Messages: Type ~/Library/Messages and Enter.
  3. Delete message files: Select 'chat. Db', 'chat. db-wal', and 'chat. db-shm', and move them to the Trash​​​​.

Handling Messages in iCloud

  • Check iCloud settings: In Messages, go to Settings > iMessage and check if 'Enable Messages in iCloud' is selected.
  • Disable to save locally: Uncheck this option to stop syncing messages with iCloud and keep them only on your MacBook​​​​.


Managing your messages on a MacBook is essential for keeping your digital space organized and your device running smoothly. Whether you're clearing individual texts, entire conversations, or attachments, these steps will help you clean and free up valuable storage space on your MacBook.

Remember: Regular maintenance of your inbox and chat history keeps your device optimized and ensures your privacy and data security.

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