How to Lock Text Messages from Being Deleted on iPhone

Text messages have become an essential part of our daily communication. They contain valuable information, memories, and conversations that we often want to keep for future reference. However, there are instances when text messages may accidentally get deleted, leading to the loss of important data. To prevent such incidents from happening, it is crucial to know how to lock text messages from being deleted on an iPhone.

Why You Need to Lock Text Messages

There are several reasons why you might want to lock your text messages on an iPhone. Here are a few:

  • To prevent accidental deletion: Text messages can be easily deleted with a simple swipe or tap, and if you accidentally remove an important message, it might be challenging to recover it.
  • Privacy and security: Locking your text messages ensures that only authorized individuals can access and read them. This is especially important if your iPhone is used by multiple people or if it’s lost or stolen.
  • Preserving important information: Text messages often contain crucial details like addresses, phone numbers, and other important data. By locking them, you can ensure that the information remains intact even if you accidentally delete other messages.
  • Saving meaningful conversations: Sometimes, text messages hold sentimental value, and you may want to keep them as a reminder of a special occasion or cherished memory. Locking these messages helps preserve the sentimental value they hold.

Now that we understand the importance of locking text messages, let’s explore different methods to achieve this.

Video Tutorial:

Part 1. Using the iPhone’s Screen Time Feature

The Screen Time feature on the iPhone allows you to set restrictions on various apps and features, including text messages. Here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on "Screen Time".

Step 2: If you haven’t set up Screen Time before, tap on "Turn On Screen Time" and follow the prompts to create a passcode.

Step 3: Once Screen Time is set up, scroll down and tap on "Content & Privacy Restrictions".

Step 4: Enable Content & Privacy Restrictions by tapping on the toggle switch.

Step 5: Scroll down and tap on "Allowed Apps".

Step 6: Find and tap on "Messages" to enter the Messages settings.

Step 7: Tap on "Don’t Allow" to restrict access to the Messages app.


1. Provides a built-in solution without the need for third-party apps.1. The Screen Time passcode can be forgotten, leading to difficulties in accessing locked text messages.
2. Allows you to restrict access to other apps and features as well, ensuring comprehensive privacy.2. Requires setting up Screen Time if it hasn’t been done before.
3. Easy to enable and disable as needed.3. Only restricts access to the Messages app, not individual text messages.

Part 2. Using Third-Party Apps

If you’re looking for more advanced features and customization options, third-party apps can provide additional functionality. Here’s an example of how to use the "iDiscrete" app to lock text messages:

Step 1: Search for "iDiscrete" on the App Store and install the app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Launch the app and follow the prompts to set up a passcode.

Step 3: Grant the app necessary permissions to access your messages.

Step 4: Once set up, open iDiscrete whenever you want to access your locked text messages.


1. Provides more advanced security options, including decoy passwords and self-destructing messages.1. Requires installing and setting up a separate app.
2. Offers enhanced privacy settings, such as hiding message notifications on the lock screen.2. Some third-party apps may require a subscription fee or have limited functionality without an upgrade.
3. Allows you to lock individual messages or conversations, providing more granular control.3. Compatibility and performance may vary depending on the app and iOS version.

Part 3. Archiving Messages

Although archiving messages doesn’t technically "lock" them, it can be an effective way to keep them safe and separate from your regular conversations. Here’s how to archive messages on iPhone:

Step 1: Open the Messages app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Swipe left on the conversation or message you want to archive.

Step 3: Tap on the "Archive" option.

Step 4: The conversation or message will be moved to the "Archived" folder, which can be accessed by scrolling to the top of the Messages app and tapping on the search bar.


1. Offers a simple way to hide messages from the main conversations list.1. Archived messages can still be accessed by going to the "Archived" folder.
2. Does not require any additional apps or settings.2. Messages are not protected by a passcode, making them accessible to anyone with access to your iPhone.
3. Archived messages can be easily un-archived if desired.3. Does not provide the same level of security as dedicated locking methods.

Part 4. Disabling Message Deletion

Another way to prevent text messages from being deleted on iPhone is by disabling the "Delete" option. This option removes the ability to delete individual text messages or entire conversations. Here’s how to disable message deletion:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on "Messages".

Step 3: Find and tap on "Keep Messages".

Step 4: Select the desired time frame to retain messages, such as "Forever".


1. Offers a straightforward method to prevent accidental deletion of text messages.1. Messages can still be accidentally deleted if the "Delete" option is enabled and selected mistakenly.
2. Messages are retained for a longer duration, ensuring important conversations are not lost.2. May consume more storage space on your iPhone, especially if you receive a large volume of text messages.
3. Does not require any additional apps or settings.3. Messages can still be deleted manually by enabling the "Delete" option.

What to Do If You Can’t Lock Text Messages

If you are unable to lock text messages using the methods mentioned above, don’t worry. There are alternative solutions you can try:

  • Use a notes app: Instead of relying on the Messages app, consider using a notes app to store and lock important information. Apps like Apple’s Notes provide the option to password-protect individual notes, ensuring your data remains secure.
  • Take screenshots: If there are specific text messages or conversations that you want to preserve, take screenshots as a way to save and lock the information. Screenshots can be accessed from your Photos app and are not prone to accidental deletion.
  • Email important messages: If possible, email important text messages to yourself or another trusted contact. This ensures that the messages are saved in your email account and can be accessed even if they are deleted from your iPhone.

Bonus Tips

  • Regularly back up your iPhone: Make sure to back up your iPhone frequently using iCloud or iTunes. This ensures that even if text messages are accidentally deleted, you can restore them from a previous backup.
  • Enable two-factor authentication: Enhance the security of your iPhone by enabling two-factor authentication. This adds an extra layer of protection to your device and helps prevent unauthorized access to your text messages.
  • Consider encrypted messaging apps: If privacy and security are of utmost importance to you, consider using encrypted messaging apps like Signal or WhatsApp. These apps encrypt your messages, ensuring they remain private and cannot be easily accessed or intercepted.

The Bottom Line

Locking text messages on your iPhone is essential to safeguard important conversations and preserve valuable information. Whether you choose to use the built-in Screen Time feature, third-party apps, or other methods like archiving or disabling deletion, make sure to select a solution that suits your needs and preferences.

5 FAQs about Locking Text Messages on iPhone

Q1: Can I lock individual text messages or conversations on the iPhone?

A: Yes, some third-party apps allow you to lock individual text messages or conversations, providing a higher level of privacy and security.

Q2: Is it possible to lock text messages without using any apps or additional settings?

A: While there isn’t a built-in feature on the iPhone to lock individual text messages without using apps or settings, you can use methods like archiving or disabling deletion to safeguard your messages to some extent.

Q3: Are there any free apps available to lock text messages on the iPhone?

A: Yes, there are free apps available on the App Store that can help you lock text messages. However, keep in mind that some apps may offer additional premium features or require in-app purchases for full functionality.

Q4: Can I unlock locked text messages on my iPhone if I forget the passcode or password?

A: If you use an app or setting that requires a passcode or password to lock text messages and you forget it, it may be challenging to unlock the messages. In such cases, you may need to contact the app developer or explore options to reset the passcode or password.

Q5: Will locking text messages on my iPhone affect my ability to send and receive new messages?

A: No, locking text messages on your iPhone should not affect your ability to send or receive new messages. The locking methods mentioned in this article are designed to only restrict access to existing messages, not hinder the overall functionality of the Messages app.