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



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