How to use Apple's new iMessage feature that will save space on your iPhone

  • Apple released iOS 11.4 this week which includes a new Messages in iCloud feature.
  • It can help you save space on your iPhone, better sync messages between your iPhone and iPad and more.
  • Here's how to set up Messages in iCloud.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Apple released iOS 11.4 for iPads and iPhones yesterday, and it includes a new feature that makes it easier to keep iMessages in sync between your iPhone and iPad.

The feature is called "Messages in iCloud," and it relies on Apple's iCloud storage to not only back up your messages but keep an identical copy of the iMessages on your iPhone and iPad.

This is helpful for several reasons:

First, if you ever lose an iPhone you can restore it and all of your messages, down to the last one sent or received (instead of the last backup).

Second, if you delete a message on your iPhone or iPad, it'll delete from the other device. That didn't work previously, so it was really annoying to switch to an iPad only to see old conversations still floating around.

Finally, you can save a lot of local storage -- holding on to lots of iMessages can quickly add up to several gigabytes of data. Storing it in iCloud frees all of that up.

The new feature is really convenient, so I'll show you how to set it up.

Update your iPhone to iOS 11.4

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap "General."
  • Tap "Software Update."
  • Check for the update and install it if you haven't yet.

Turn on Messages in iCloud

  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Tap your name at the very top of the page.
  • Select "iCloud."
  • Toggle the button for "Messages" so that it turns green, which means it's active.
  • Do this on your iPad or other iPhones.

It'll look like this when it's turned on:

Turn the Messages option in iCloud Settings on.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Turn the Messages option in iCloud Settings on.

That's all you need to do. Now everything will remain in sync across all of your iOS devices, and you'll have a backup of all of your messages in case you lose your phone.