How to set iPhone to automatically delete audio messages in Messages app

Audio message in iMessage on iPhone

When I’m in a hurry, I prefer to send my friends short audio recordings by tapping on Messages’ microphone icon than peck away on my iPhone’s keyboard.

Apple calls this Tap to Talk and it’s even better with Messages’ walkie-talkie-like Raise to Listen function which lets me listen to, or respond to an audio message by lifting the phone to my ear (bonus: both features work the Lock screen).

On the downside, audio messages pile up on and can waste precious storage space over time. In this post, we’re going to tell you about a handy switch in Settings to prevent Messages from automatically keeping every audio message you receive.

How to adjust expiration of audio attachments in iOS Messages

Step 1: Go to Settings → Messages on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

Step 2: Tap Expire under the Audio Messages heading.

Step 3: Select After 2 minutes to have iOS automatically remove any audio message created within Messages two minutes after it has been listened to.

Delete audio messages after two minutes in iMessage

“When you send or listen to an audio message, it will automatically be removed from your conversation history after 2 minutes,” reads the feature’s description.

IMPORTANT: This setting does not affect audio attachments that are created outside of Messages and then shared through Messages via iOS’s multi-purpose Share sheets. Those are kept in the Messages database forever, or at least until you delete them manually.

To automatically keep audio messages, select the Never option. People who exchange a lot of audio messages through Messages might want to use this option as it helps save storage space.

iOS 9 Messages audio iPhone screenshot 001

Even if you set audio messages to expire after two minutes, you can easily override this setting on a per-message basis by tapping the Keep link below an audio attachment.

RELATED: How to prevent Messages from recording audio when you lift iPhone to your ear

Shoot us feedback and tutorial ideas to