Are you seeing your iCloud storage full and hoping for more space? The thought “What happens if I disable Messages in iCloud” may be pulling you in. Eventually, these SMS messages accumulate over time and destroy your valuable storage space before you turn that switch off. However, let's take a closer look at what happens when you disable Messages in iCloud.

What Happens If I Disable Messages in iCloud?

You can disable Messages in iCloud to effectively stop SMS chats and iMessages from syncing between Apple devices. It's stored only on the device you use and not in the cloud. This means:

  • No Longer Synced: iCloud messages on iPhone, iPad, or Mac will not sync between each device. To view message logs, you must log in separately on each device.
  • Storage Relief: If you have a large message log in iCloud, you can save a lot of storage space when you turn off Messages.

Impact of Turning off Messages iCloud - Pros & Cons

Disabling Messages in iCloud has its pros and cons, just like any other IT alternative. Here are some conclusions to help you make your decision:

What Happens If I Disable Messages in iCloud
What Happens If I Disable Messages in iCloud


1. Free up iCloud Space: The biggest advantage is making your iCloud storage space free on your iPhone or other devices. You can store photos, videos, and many other materials.

2. Faster performance: The Messages app may feel a bit springy on older devices, especially since fewer files are being transferred previously.

3. Offline Access: Any messages stored locally on your device will still be accessible to you even without an Internet connection.

4. Improved Privacy: You have more control by sending messages that aren't stored on Apple servers (though they might still be in iCloud backups).

5. Save Money: If you disable Messages in iCloud, you may not be able to upgrade to a higher tier if you're on a limited iCloud storage plan.


1. Inconvenient Messaging Experience: You must log in separately on each device to view your entire message history. If you frequently switch between your Mac, iPad, and iPhone, this might be a problem.

2. Losing Messages from Other Devices: If you disable Messages in iCloud and then delete messages from your current device, the messages you delete from your Apple device will be permanently lost.

3. No New Messages on a Removed Device: You won't be able to see any new messages you got if you disabled Messages until you re-enable Messages in iCloud when you switch to another device.

5. Limited Backups: Your messages may still be included in your iCloud Backups, but relying solely on them to get your message history can be risky. Consider regular local backups of your computer.

How to Disable Messages in iCloud for Beginners

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

Step 2: Click on your Apple ID at the top.

Step 3: Select iCloud from the list of alternatives. Then, scroll the listed apps using iCloud storage to search for "Messages".

Step 4: Place the "Messages" switch in the "Off" position. A pop-up window will appear asking you to "Disable and download messages". What you need to do is click on that button to disable Messages in iCloud.

Stop Syncing Messages iCloud
Stop Syncing Messages iCloud

Bonus Tip: How to Move iCloud Files to Another Cloud

If you decide to disable Messages in iCloud because you run out of iCloud storage space, you can also move some files or photos to another place to further release the space. Typically, there are 2 moving destinations - an external hard drive or another cloud drive. If you prefer convenient access, moving iCloud files to another cloud will be a better choice. In this case, you can take advantage of a free cloud file transfer service, MultCloud, to help you transfer files directly without downloading and uploading. Its "Cloud Transfer" function can create an automatic process between iCloud Drive/iCloud Photos and another cloud.

  • Offline Transfer: Don't rely on the network connection, but use the data traffic for backing up cloud files.
  • Direct Transfer: Don't go through the local storage, but directly transfer files across different clouds online.
  • Auto Transfer: Transfer data regularly without having to manually initiate each transfer task
  • Cross-Platform Access: Access your cloud files from devices or operating systems.

MultCloud supports 30+ cloud drives, such as Google Drive, Google Photos, Dropbox, Box, Amazon S3, MEGA, etc. You can choose the preferred one as the moving destination, or just move files from the current iCloud Drive/Photos account to another. There is an example of moving iCloud Photos to Google Photos by MultCloud Cloud Transfer.

Step 1: Open MultCloud and sign up for a free account.

Step 2: Click "Add Cloud" and the iCloud Photos icon. Then, enter your Apple ID and password and go through the two-factor authentication to log in to your iCloud Photos account. Also, repeat the operations to add Google Photos to MultCloud.

Add iCloud Photos and Google Photos to MultCloud
Add iCloud Photos and Google Photos to MultCloud

Step 3: Select "Cloud Transfer" in the left bar and choose the photos you want to move from iCloud Photos in the left box and a destination of Google Photos in the right box. Then, press "Transfer Now" to initiate the task.

Transfer iCloud Photos to Google Photos
Transfer iCloud Photos to Google Photos


  • If you want to delete the photos after they were moved to Google Photos, you can tick the option "Delete all source files after the task is completed" in "Options".
  • If you have a lot of photos to move, you can get a paid plan so that you can use more than 5 GB of free data traffic to transfer files.
Cloud Transfer Options
Cloud Transfer Options


You must find the answer to the question "What happens if I disable Messages in iCloud" from this post. The choice to turn off Messages from iCloud ultimately depends on your preferences and needs. Messages in iCloud is generally recommended if you appreciate a simplified communication experience across your devices and have ample local storage space.

However, turning off Messages from iCloud can be a good alternative if you frequently encounter iCloud storage limitation issues and prefer offline access. You should consider the disadvantages before switching, such as simply losing your communication history on another device. To choose the best alternative for you, consider your storage needs and technology habits.

Besides, if you have other needs like moving files from iCloud to another cloud, try MultCloud and transfer files automatically instead of the conventional download and upload method.

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