Step-by-step Guide of Deleting iMessages on MacOS

Unlike the Messages app on iPhone, deleting iMessages on Mac is pretty complex since the Messages app of Mac does not offer any option to delete chat history. The Messages app on Mac stores all your messages and chats. If you ever removed an important iMessage on your iPhone or iPad, you can find them in the Messages app on Mac.

However, every sword has two edges, so does the Messages app on Mac. Having all your chats stored indefinitely is not desirable or safe. If you are looking for methods to delete old iMessages on Mac, you can find everything you need in this article.

Delete iMessages on Mac

Part 1. Delete iMessages Chat History on Mac

You may have several reasons to delete iMessages on Mac. For instance, they take up much space on your hard drive and slow down the performance of Mac. How to get rid of the old iMessages on Mac if there is no deleting option? The steps below are the best answer.

Method 1: Delete all iMessages chat history on Mac

Delete iMessages

Step 1. Close your Messages app on Mac if it is opened.

Step 2. Start the Finder app, press CMD + Shift + G keys at the same time to trigger the Go To Folder dialog.

Step 3. Enter ~/Library/Messages/ into the box and click the Go button.

Go To Folder

Step 4. Select all files that you want to delete, drag and drop them into the Trash.

Tip: iMessages are usually stored in the files named as chat.db, chat.db.shm, chat.db.wal, and more.

Step 5. Then go to the Trash folder and delete the iMessages chat history on Mac completely.

Note: Mac stores iMessages and attachments separately. This way is only to delete iMessages chats but not video, audio, photo, emoji and other attachments.

Method 2: Remove one conversation

Remove Conversation

Step 1. Launch the Messages app on your Mac and locate the iMessage conversation that you intend to delete.

Step 2. Go to File > Delete Conversation or press CMD + Delete keys.

Step 3. If prompted, click the Delete button to confirm it. Then you will find the conversation disappearance in your Messages app on Mac.

Note: The Messages app on Mac is connected to your iCloud and the Messages app on your iPhone. If you have enabled Messages in iCloud, deleting iMessages on Mac also clean up them on iCloud and other devices. (Learn here to recover iMessages on iPhone/iPad.)

Part 2. Clean iMessages Attachments on Mac

As mentioned previously, Mac stores iMesssages attachments separately. So, you have to delete them separately.

Clean iMessages Attachments

Step 1. Also open the Finder app, and activate the Go To Folder dialog by hitting the Command+Shift+G keys.

Step 2. Type ~/Library/Messages/Attachments/ into the box and click the GO button to navigate the location that saves all your iMessages attachments.

Step 3. Then you will be presented the iMessages attachments listed in the folder randomly. Preview the media attachments and select the unwanted files. Select all undesired attachments at one time by hitting the CMD key and clicking. To select all attachments in the folder, press CMD + A keys. Then drag and drop them to the Trash folder and clean up them in the Trash folder to delete iMessages attachments on Mac.

Note: The Messages app is associated to your iCloud account. If you are using iOS 11.4 or above on your iPhone and MacOS High Sierra 10.13.5 including Bir Sur, you can take advantage of the Messages feature in iCloud. Once you delete iMessages in iCloud, it will be synced to the Messages app on Mac.

Part 3. Delete iMessages and Attachments on Mac Permanently

Even you deleted iMessages on Mac, they can be recovered by Mac data recovery software. Is there any way to delete iMessages on Mac permanently? The answer is yes, Apeaksoft Mac Cleaner is able to meet your need.

  • Scan your hard drives to look for iMessages chats and attachments.
  • Delete iMessages conversations permanently with a single click.
  • Preview text messages and media attachments before deletion.
  • Utilize hardware and software acceleration technology to improve the performance.
  • Available to a wide range of Mac devices, such as MacBook Pro and more.

In a word, Mac Cleaner is the smart option to delete iMessages on Mac.

How to delete iMessages on Mac

Step 1. Get the best iMessages cleaner for Mac

Download and install Mac Cleaner on your computer and launch it from your Applications folder. Make sure to disable Messages app in your iCloud; otherwise, the deleted iMessages will go back to your Mac.


Step 2. Scan iMessages on your hard drive

Go to the Large & Old Files tab from the left sidebar and click the Scan button to start looking for files on your hard drives. When scanning is done, you will be presented all large and old files on your Mac. Search for chat.db, chat.db.shm, chat.db.wal and unwanted iMessages attachments in the search bar at upper right corner.

Scan iMessages

Step 3. Delete iMessages on Mac

Tick the checkboxes next to the unwanted files and click the Clean button. Then you will get the popup dialog. Click the Confirm button to start deleting iMessages on Mac. If you have accumulated a large number of conversations and attachments on your hard drives, it may take a while to complete the process.

Note: Mac Cleaner utilizes advanced technology to delete files on Mac. Once files are removed by Mac Cleaner, they cannot be recovered. So, you’d better make a backup of iMessages on your hard drives before cleaning up your Mac.

Delete iMessages on Mac


Now, you should master how to delete iMessages on Mac in various situations. First of all, you should disable Message app in your iCloud to prevent from iMessages syncing. If you intend to delete one or some iMessages chats, you can get it in the Messages app on your Mac. There is no way to remove multiple iMessages at one time, so you have to perform it one by one. To get rid of all iMessages history, you can delete them in the Finder app. If you want to protect your private iMessages, Apeaksoft Mac Cleaner is worth to try. We hope that our guide and recommendation are helpful to you.

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