How to Delete or Forward Individual Text Messages on the iPhone

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Deleting an entire message thread on the iPhone is easy, but what if you want to just delete one or two messages, or a picture that you would rather not see?

You might not have realized that there’s a really easy way to delete individual messages, without destroying the rest of the message history. You can also use this trick to forward those messages, too.

In order to do this, you need to first open the message thread in question and scroll to the item or items you wish to delete. Now, press and hold the message until the context menu appears. Select “More…” to get more options.

Now the message thread will change to selection mode, and individual bubbles will appear next to each message.

Simply tap each bubble you want to select in the thread. At this point, you have four options: you can “Delete All”, which will erase the entire thread, you can “Cancel” the operation, or down in the bottom-left corner, you will see a trash can icon.

Use the trash can icon to delete each individual message you have selected. In the bottom-right corner, there is a forwarding arrow, meaning that you can send the selected message(s) to another recipient.

NOTE: deleting messages if permanent, so there’s no going back. Luckily, before you can do so, you will be given an opportunity to confirm or cancel.

So the next time you get a cute picture from your relative, you can forward it. Or if you get an inappropriate message from a friend, you can delete it–all without losing the whole conversation.

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