When you send a handwritten message in the Messages app on your iPhone, it’s added to the recent list of messages so you can use it again. However, if you don’t want certain messages stored in the list, or don’t want to see them at all, there is a way to delete them.

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Handwritten messages you’ve sent show up on the Apps tab in Messages, providing a quick way to send common messages. However, you may not want your private, handwritten messages stored and possibly visible to someone else who glances at your iPhone’s screen. We’ll show you how you can delete any handwritten messages you don’t want stored.

To begin, open the Messages app.

Tap on any conversation in the list, if you’re not already in a conversation.

To view your stored handwritten messages (and the built-in, canned messages), tap the Apps icon next to the iMessage box.

If you don’t see the Apps icon, tap the right arrow to show the three icons pictured above.

The stored handwritten messages display so you simply tap on one to insert it into the conversation and send it. However, you cannot delete the stored messages on the Apps tab.

Stored handwritten messages must be deleted on the handwriting screen. To access this screen, rotate your iPhone to landscape mode. The handwriting screen should display. However, if you see the keyboard, tap on the handwriting icon in the lower-right corner.

Stored and canned handwritten messages display across the bottom of the handwriting screen. You can delete these messages the same way you uninstall an app on your iPhone’s Home screen. Long press on any message until they all start to wiggle and you see an X icon in the upper-left corner of each message. Tap the X icon for the message you want to delete.

NOTE: You can delete the built-in, canned messages, but we don’t recommend doing so, as we do not know of a way to get these back.

The deleted message is gone, but the rest of the messages are still wiggling. Press the Home button on your iPhone to get out of deletion mode.

The messages stop wiggling and you can tap “Done” to return to the normal Messages screen.

Now, the handwritten messages you deleted will be gone from your recent history on both the Apps tab and in handwriting (landscape) mode.

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Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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