How to delete– or forward– part of a Messages conversation on the Mac

Sometimes you want to delete part of a Messages conversation on a Mac. Maybe someone sent you a picture that’s NSFW (“not suitable for work”) and you need that picture off your phone, now. Or maybe someone’s written something in anger and you just want to get rid of that one thing. Or maybe your Mac’s done a hilarious bit of auto-“correcting” and changed an innocent typo into something obscene.

Note: you can forward part of a Messages conversation on the Mac the same way. Read on!

We already know how to delete part of a text message conversation on an iPhone or iPad: you tap and hold on what you want to delete, you tap More…, you tap the trash can. Here’s how you do it on a Mac.

Note: if you’ve turned on Messages in iCloud (in System Preferences on your Mac, in Settings on your iPhone) deleting something on one device deletes it in the other device as well.

1. Control-click on the thing you want to delete.

You’ll get a little menu. Here’s how it looks when you control-click on an image (I clicked on the black image with the blue curve):

Control-click on image in a Messages conversation
Control-click on image in a Messages conversation

Here’s how it looks when you control-click on some text. (Note: if you click directly on a word, it won’t work. You still click on the balloon, just not directly on a word.)
Control-click on text in a Messages conversation
Control-click on text in a Messages conversation

2. You’ll get a box that looks like this:

Do you want to delete this message?
Do you want to delete this message?

It looks bad but you’re only deleting the part you control-clicked on. The rest of the message will remain. “Trust me.”

3. Click the Delete button (or Cancel if you’re not sure), and you’re done.

Here are the before and afters.

Deleting part of a Messages conversation
Before…

Deleting part of a Messages conversation
After!

Were you looking to forward part of a Messages conversation? Go back and look at the pictures. “Forward” is right there in the contextual menus.

Want some more, longer how-tos?

Visit my other website, christianboyce.com

How to insert a return (line feed) in Messages on the Mac


If you’ve ever tried inserting a return (or technically, a line feed) in a Messages message on a Mac, you’ve probably not been successful, because pressing the Return key on the keyboard sends the message. (Line feeds in messages on an iPhone or iPad are easy– just press Return, as you’d expect.)

Turns out you can insert a return in a Messages message on a Mac, and as usual, there’s a bit of a trick. Also as usual, it involves the Option key. All you have to do is…

Hold the Option key down as you press Return! That’s it. So now you can write text messages such as the one below.

Message with line feeds, ready to be sent.
Message with line feeds, ready to be sent.

Tap Return (without the Option key) to send it.


Check out my Option Key series of articles at christianboyce.com for more Mac Option key fun.


Want some more, longer how-tos?

Visit my other website, christianboyce.com

How to temporarily turn off all Notifications on a Mac

Notifications (those little banners that slide in at the top right of your screen) are handy.

Representative Mail notification
Representative Mail notification

It’s nice to be notified that you got an email, or a Message, and nice to be able to respond right there. But, sometimes you want to focus on something, or watch a video full-screen, or otherwise not be bothered.

Here’s how you temporarily turn Notifications off, quickly and easily. (Apple calls this “Do Not Disturb” mode.)

Note: it’s just as easy to turn them back on.

All you do is hold down the Option key and click on the Notification menu at the very top right of your screen. When you do it, the icon goes from black to grey. Option-click it again to turn Notifications back on. You’ll see the icon return to black when you do it.

Notification Menu (normal)
Notification Menu (normal)
Notification Menu (inactive)
Notification Menu (inactive)

So easy! Way easier than going to the Notification control panel and doing it there.

BONUS: here’s a link to my other articles about cool things you can do with the Option key.

Want some more, longer how-tos?

Visit my other website, christianboyce.com

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