FAQ: Why Are Messages I Delete from My iPhone Still on My Apple Watch?

Apple Watch Credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock
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The Apple Watch is the ultimate wearable tool to help keep you up-to-date on your messages, phone calls, activity, and more. When it works, the Apple Watch is fantastic, but when it fails, the Watch can test your patience.

One area that has plagued users for years is Messages.

For some people, text messages do not sync accurately across devices. As a result, text messages deleted on the iPhone may still show up on the Apple Watch.

Users have complained about a disconnect between Messages on the iPhone or iPad and Messages on the Watch for almost two years.

As far back as watchOS 5, people have reported that SMS messages deleted on their iPhone are not deleted on their Watches.

It’s not a problem with iCloud as these deleted messages do not show up on the iPad or the Mac. It’s a glitch that seems to be specific to the Apple Watch.

Some people claim this is how Apple designed Messages to work. That if you write an SMS message from your Watch first, then it won’t get deleted. If you composed the message on an iPhone, then it will be deleted across devices.

Other people claimed that even if you have Messages enabled in iCloud, the platform will only delete iMessages and not SMS messages.

Currently, the only way to eliminate these orphaned messages on the Apple Watch is to delete them manually.

Sadly, it appears there has been no progress over the intervening years to fix this problem. Even the Apple Watch Series 5 on watchOS 6 has this issue. Some have given up hope that Apple will fix the glitch.

Have you noticed this glitch? If so, have you found a way to fix it? Share your experiences — good or bad — in the comments.

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