How to Auto-Delete Verification Code Texts and Emails on Apple Devices

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security feature that adds protection to your accounts. However, these verification messages accumulate over time in Messages and emails, making it hard to access necessary messages. Thankfully, Apple has made it easy to auto-delete verification code texts and emails on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Auto delete verification code texts and emails

This guide will help you delete all verification codes in Messages and Mail apps without interrupting the service. Note that you need to install iOS 17 beta on your iPhone or iPadOS 17 on iPad to auto-delete verification codes. Additionally, your Mac must be on macOS Sonoma as well. If not, you must wait until the full release in September.

How to Clean Up Verification Codes in iOS 17

When you receive an SMS verification code on iOS 17-enabled iPhone or iPad for the first time, there will be a prompt asking to enable ‘Automatic Deletion of Verification Codes After Use?’ You can enable the feature at that time or follow the below steps to do it later.

Step 1: Open Settings and select Passwords. Now, verify your device using Passcode or Face ID (or Touch ID).

Step 2: Choose Passwords Options.

Step 3: Toggle on ‘Clean Up Automatically.’

toggle on Clean up Automatically

By toggling this option, you will enable this feature for the Messages and Mail app.

How to Remove OTPs and 2FA Codes on Mac

Besides the option to auto-delete verification code texts and emails on iPhone and iPad, you can also do so on your Mac. As mentioned earlier, you must be on the latest MacOS 14 Sonoma to use this feature.

Step 1: Click the Apple icon at the top right corner and choose System Settings.

choose apple icon and choose System settings

Step 2: Choose Passwords and verify using Password or Touch ID, if your Mac supports it.

choose Passwords and verify your device

Step 3: Select Password Options.

choose password options 2

Step 3: Toggle on ‘Clean Up Automatically.’

choose clean up automatically

This will delete all verification codes from Messages and Mail apps on Macs running macOS Sonoma and above.

Why Is Auto-Delete Verification Code (OTP) On Messages Not Working

Interestingly, when you enable clean-up verification codes on a Mac, the feature might not work as intended on the Messages app. To solve this, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Messages app and choose Messages from the top menu bar.

Step 2: Choose Settings from the drop-down menu.

choose Messages and then choose Settings 2

Step 3: Click iMessage.

Step 4: Check ‘Enable Messages in iCloud.’

Step 5: Hit Sync Now to make the changes take effect.

choose imessage and then enable messages in icloud and then hit Sync now

How to Recover Removed OTPs and 2FA Codes on iPhone and Mac

Sometimes some of these codes might be hidden by your device mistakenly, or you may need to view them again. So, can you recover these auto-deleted verification code texts and emails? Yes, you can. Follow the below steps:

On iPhone

We have already prepared a guide on recovering deleted messages on iPhone. You can follow the same steps to retrieve the auto-deleted verification code texts. As for the emails:

Step 1: Open the Mail app and tap Trash or Bin.

Step 2: Tap the Edit button at the top-right corner and choose the email you want to recover.

Step 3: Choose Move at the bottom.

Step 4: Select the folder you want to move to.

choose where you want to move the emails on iPhone

On Mac

If you have enabled sync on your iPhone and have recovered the deleted messages and emails, it will be reflected on your Mac. If you want to recover it directly on Mac, here are the steps:

On Messages

Step 1: Open the Messages and choose View.

Step 2: Select Recently Deleted.

choose view and then tap recently deleted

Step 3: Choose the conversation and click Recover.

choose conversation and then click Recover

On Mail App

Step 1: Open the Mail app and choose Trash or Bin from the sidebar.

open Bin from the mail app

Step 2: Right-click the mail you want to recover and choose Move to.

Step 3: From here, choose which folder you want to move the mail to.

choose the mail click Move to and then select the folder to move

FAQs on Auto-Deleting Verification Code Texts and Emails

1. How long does iPhone keep messages?

Apple provides the option to delete messages on iPhone after a specific time automatically. This can range from 30 days to a year.

2. Where do deleted iPhone messages go?

Upon deleting a message, it will be moved to the Trash section and remain there for 30 days before being permanently removed.

Don’t Let Those Codes Annoy You

With iOS 17, Apple now offers the option to auto-delete verification code texts and emails. Apart from that, Apple has ensured to add many other hidden features with iOS 17 along with privacy and security features. What are your thoughts about this feature? Let us know in the comments below.

Last updated on 22 August, 2023

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