There have been a lot of functional changes in iOS 8 beneath the very little cosmetic update. One of them includes a feature in the Messages app that auto-deletes messages, audios and videos in messages. By default, messages are not set to be deleted automatically but a few surprised users are reporting that their iPhone messages get erased/deleted automatically.

We’ve written about how you can turn on auto-delete for iMessages and SMS (MMS) on your iPhone. It’s pretty easy. And within the same feature lies the solution to fix the problem where messages seem to get deleted automatically.

How to Stop iPhone Messages from Getting Auto-deleted in iOS 8-x

Messages get deleted automatically in iOS 8? Here’s how to prevent auto-delete:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Scroll down and tap on Messages
  • Under the label Message History, tap on Keep Messages

Prevent iPhone Messages from Getting Auto-Deleted in iOS 8

  • Select Forever

Stop iPhone Messages from Getting Auto-deleted in iOS 8

  • Quit the Settings app

With this, iOS 8 will no longer auto-delete messages on your iPhone/iPad.

The auto-delete feature affects two things: texts (in the messages) and the photos (only photos). Audio recordings you sent / received and video messages sent/received have their own separate toggle.

Having your messages get deleted/purged automatically can either be useful (when you receive a lot of messages that are going to clog up the memory) or annoying (because you want to save the messages). Hopefully, this toggle will help.

The reason Apple included an auto-delete feature for messages was largely driven by the popularity of iMessage. Since it’s slick and easy, a lot of conversations happen over iMessage and even more importantly, people share a lot of photos/media via iMessage. This quickly eats up your iPhone memory. (Check out “Other” data.)

When you select “Forever”, all behavior reverts back to how it was in the good old days: no message gets deleted automatically. You will have to manually delete each individual thread to purge data from Messages. And no, we still do not have a “delete all” option for Messages (which is a good UX decision, by the way; you don’t want to accidentally delete all messages).