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Message Settings

iPhone & iPad Settings for optimal messaging

These notes were prepared using an iPhone 13 Pro running iOS 16.1. iPad Messages settings are similar but not identical.

Messages on Apple devices offer unique features from Apple for communicating between your iPhone and other Apple devices using iMessaging - a custom messaging network run by Apple. iMessages are end-to-end encrypted, indicated by your blue bubbles in the text thread, and can handle more attachment types than other messagin services.

Apple's Messages app also has a fall-back to send texts and photos to non-Apple devices, but these messages do not use the Apple network. They use your cell carrier's text messaging service, and are not encrypted. In fact, many cell carriers archive texts on their own servers for law enforcement or their own data uses.

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Properly adjusted Settings can optimize compatibility among the various messaging systems currently in use.

Now let's move in Settings from Messages to your Apple ID. Go to:
Settings > Apple ID (your name, very top) > iCloud > Apps Using iCloud > Show All (right under the 4 default apps)

That's it! You've now prepared your Settings for messaging via the Messages app with Apple's iMessaging network while maintaining basic compatibility with non-Apple systems which use your cell carrier's text messaging for contacts who don't have an iPhone or Apple ID.

* Recovering a Recently Deleted Message thread is also now available in iPadOS 16.1 in the Messages sidebar, and on macOS 13 Ventura in the Messages main pull-down menus under the View menu.

October 2022

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