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How to Find Old Messages on iPhone without Scrolling

iPhone saves all your old conversations in Messages unless you manually delete them, or have the setting enabled to delete them automatically after a certain period. So, any time you want to read an old text message or iMessage, you can read them from the Messages app. But even the thought of scrolling and scrolling until you find the message you were looking for might make you cringe as it definitely does to us. Thankfully, there are other ways to find old messages in the Messages app that are not so cringeworthy.

Get to the top of any Conversation

Open the Messages app from your iPhone home screen. Then from all your conversation threads, tap on the conversation of the person whose old messages you want to read.

Once the particular conversation is open, tap at the very top of your screen, i.e. the status bar that displays the current time, battery level, your carrier information, etc. Tapping anywhere on the bar would work just fine, but the easiest way would be to tap in the middle where the clock is.

Tap anywhere in the marked area to scroll to the top of the conversation quickly

If you have an iPhone X or above, the ones with a “notch” in the display, you can tap at the notch instead, or a tap on either side of the notch would work too.

Tap anywhere in the marked areas on your iPhone notch to scroll up

As soon as you tap at the top, the conversation will scroll to the very top to the point where it is loaded. You will also notice a progress indicator. Just wait for it to go away and as soon as it does, tap at the top again to scroll up even further. Repeat this process until you get where you want.

Wait for the progress indicator to go away before scrolling to top again

iPhone has had this trick since we can’t even remember, but it can get overlooked at times owing to its startling simplicity. And wanna know a secret? This trick works not just in Messages, but in every app on the iPhone. There’s no need to thank us!


Find Old Messages using the Search Option

The previous trick can be a little bit time consuming, especially if the message that you want to find is ancient. There is another way you can find that old message. Go to the Messages app. On the screen with all the conversation threads, there will be a Search Bar at the top. Tap on it.

Tap on the Search Bar to start a search in Messages.

Enter the search string / keywords from the message you want to find in the search box. You don’t have to type the complete message if you don’t remember it as the result list will start displaying all the messages containing the words you type in. The results will be displayed from newest to oldest going top to bottom. Scroll through the search results and you will find the message you were looking for.

All the messages from all contacts containing the keyword types in the search bar will be displayed.

But a word to the wise. This trick only works if you at least remember some part/word of the message you are looking for, even if not the whole message. If you don’t remember anything from the message you are trying to find, scrolling to the top of the conversation would be your safest bet.


🍻 Cheers!

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