How to delete history that appears in spotlight search (specifically iMessages)

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by SpartyLover, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. SpartyLover
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    SpartyLover iPF Noob

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    How do I delete the iMessage history that appears when using spotlight search on my iPad 2? I know it can be clicked off in Settings>General>Spotlight Search>Messages, but how do I delete it permanently?

    Thanks.
  2. SpartyLover
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    SpartyLover iPF Noob

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    Does anybody know how to do this??? :-/
  3. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Spotlight searches for what is there. If you want it on, but not to find older messages you'll have to go into Messages and delete the older conversations you don't want to see.

    You can either delete the entire conversation, by swiping it in the left pane, then tapping the Delete button that appears, or you can tap the Edit button above the left pane then select and delete the conversation.

    If you only want to delete older parts of the conversation you can tap the box/arrow icon at the top left, tap the circle that appears to the left of each item to select it, then tap the Delete button below.
  4. SpartyLover
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    SpartyLover iPF Noob

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    Thanks. But the conversations have been deleted in iMesage. But they still show up in spotlight search. I'd like to know how to permanently get rid of them so that they stop showing up in spotlight search. It's like a bad penny...keeps turning up even though its been deleted. Any ideas??
  5. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Sounds like a glitch. Have you tried restarting and/or reseting the device? You might also try Reset All Settings, though you'll be in for some tweaking afterwards if you do.

    Another possibility is the PhoneClean app on a computer. I've never used it, but others are claiming it works. While not for your specific problem, if the issue is lingering caches it might do the trick.

    I'd recommend a solid backup before you try it, just in case.


    ----------------------------
    The usual fixes:

    When you have problems with an app it's a good idea to clear it from RAM.

    Close/Clear the app: With the problem app closed, double tap on the Home button to get the multitask bar. Tap and hold on any icon in the bar until they jiggle, then tap the minus sign on the problem app. This will remove it from RAM and insure a clean start the next time you launch the app.

    If that does not work try a restart,

    Restart: Hold down the power button until the power off slider appears. Slide it off. When the iPad finishes shutting down, hold down the power button again until the Apple logo appears. Apple recommends you restart the iPad at least once a month.

    and then a reset if that does not work.

    Reset: Hold down the power and home buttons until the Apple logo appears. The iPad will reboot. This usually takes a bit longer than a restart. takes a bit longer than a restart.

    Reset All Settings: Another, somewhat more drastic thing you can do is Reset All Settings. You'll find this under Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. It won't erase any of your content, apps, or accounts; but you will have to go through most of your other settings and re-tweak them back to your liking.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  6. SpartyLover
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    SpartyLover iPF Noob

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    Thank you so much. I tried powering off. Tried rebooting. Neither of those worked. If I remove the app (iMessage), how do I get it back? It was already on there when I bought it. :-/. If that doesn't work, and I have to reset settings, or reset by removing content and settings, how do insure I have all my pics, music, contacts, etc backed up! Will it prompt me to do that?
  7. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    You can't remove the Messages app. It's one of the built in ones. My The Usual Fixes list is a generic note I keep around, because I got tired of retyping it. The first fix did not apply to you.

    None of the methods I listed will delete your data, accounts, or apps; including Reset All Settings. Though that last may require a lot of tweaking, if you've strayed far from the defaults in Settings.

    I did not list the Erase all Content and Settings. This is basically a Restore, and leaves your iPad in pretty much the same condition it was when coming out of the box. I don't recommend it for your problem. Unless there is something unbearably obnoxious about the search results it's not worth the trouble. If you do decide you need to Restore the iPad (clean or from a backup) there are several threads on the subject. Basically it involves making a good backup, then, just for good measure, copying any important files and pictures off the iPad to a computer or cloud service (not iCloud).

    Since restoring from a backup has a good chance of just putting a problem back on the iPad, you don't want to do this unless you're willing to start with a clean iPad and put all your apps and files back manually; thus the reason for making sure you have a copy of important files independent of the backup.

    All reasons why I doubt you want to go this far for this problem. But it's up to you.


    If the Reset All Settings does not work you can try going to Settings > Messages, to to Send & Receive, clear out all your emails and tap your Apple ID to sign out. Then turn iMessages off. Clear any old conversations. Restart the iPad. Go back into iMessages and turn it on, sign back into your account, and otherwise re-tweak to your liking.

    No idea if this will work, but it shouldn't hurt anything, and it's got at least a chance of cleaning out any old buffers or catches.
  8. SpartyLover
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    SpartyLover iPF Noob

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    Thank you for all of your help. Ended up backing up and erasing all content. Worked great! :)
  9. JT2002TJ
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    JT2002TJ iPF Noob

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    All you have to do is sync with iTunes and then those imessages will not show anymore. The other thing is you can turn imessage search off from the spotlight search.

    General/spotlight search/ uncheck whatever you do not want the spotlight search to look in.

    But when you sync those imessages in the spotlight search will no longer exist.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    A bit extreme, but I'm glad it worked for you.
  11. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Thanks. Hopefully the OP can give it a try if the problem ever crops up again.
  12. arptn
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    arptn iPF Noob

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    Deleting iMessage history

    The sync DOES NOT and WILL NOT work per Apple Support personnel. The only way to erase the SPOTLIGHT issue with iMessaging is to restore the iPad to it's initial status and use a NEW appleID. This means you lose everything. Also, if you wanted to delete the history from time to time you would constantly be creating new IDs and starting from scratch. :mad: That is unless it's a one time history erase, and you did a backup prior to the iMessage or content you are trying to remove and restored it back to that point. For most people this is NOT a good or viable option because you lose every app, document, data you had prior to the restore point and definitely everything if you start fresh with a new ID.

    As for turning the SPOTLIGHT off, that works until it's turned on. Not a really secure or good way to remove private info. I am upset that I wasn't made aware of this and now info related to banking and personal info sent via iMessage can be seen. While you can't see the entire message, if you are sending info to someone (spouse for example) and it is an account number or something the SPOTLIGHT shows enough info to breach any security I thought I might have.

    If anyone has a way or if one becomes available please post it here. Thanks!
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  13. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    It still seems like unusual behavior.

    As an experiment I turned off all my Spotlight searches except Messages, to make it easier to see what was going on. Then I searched until I found some messages turing up in conversations that I did not mind deleting. I went to Messages and deleted that conversation.

    I still got the same results in Spotlight, so I decided to restart the iPad, to see if it would clear any buffers or caches.

    After the restart, all the results for the deleted conversations were gone.

    I do not know where you got the information about having to get a new Apple ID from, but I find it very hard to believe that it is true. Even if Apple were for some reason keeping a perpetual list of every message you ever sent (and I highly doubt this), once those messages are off the iPad it should not be possible to search for them. That means that at the very worst you would have to do a clean restore on the iPad (not from a backup). The conversations will not be restored to your iPad when signing back into your Apple ID. At least not the ones that were deleted.
  14. dubmood
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    dubmood iPF Noob

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    1. Download iPhoneBrowser (Windows)

    2. Connect iDevice via USB

    3. Start iPhoneBrowser & Delete all files in following 2 folders:

    /private/var/mobile/Library/Spotlight/com.apple.MobileSMS/

    /private/var/mobile/Library/Spotlight/com.apple.SpotlightTopHits/

    4. Restart ur iDevice

    - This can also be done directly on your iDevice with iFile (if you're jailbroken).
  15. Cherry46
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    Cherry46 iPF Noob

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    Hi - I have this same problem. I have two iPads and an iPhone. One of the iPads is for work and the other home. Sync's do not do it and I don't really want to restore and lose data. I am wondering if the problem is that I delete the old messages from one device but because they are still lurking in the cache on another device they keep coming back? Or maybe its because I'm not deleting them on the device I created them on in the first place. Whatever it is- its a problem for me as the work device could go back at anytime. :-/

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