Messages Indexing on iPhone: A Complete Guide

The messages indexing feature on iPhone allows you to search through your message threads and find the message that you’re looking for.

For those of us who have a lot of messages, this can be a lifesaver! In this article, we’ll cover how to set up message indexing on your phone as well as some tips and tricks to make it work better.

What is Message Indexing on iPhone?

Message indexing is a feature that allows you to search through your messages on your iPhone. This means that you can type in a keyword or phrase and the iPhone will show you all of the messages that contain that word or phrase.

This can be really helpful if you have a lot of messages and need to find a specific one quickly.

How to Turn on Message Indexing on iPhone

Message indexing must be turned on for each Apple id that you have. Here are the steps:

Open your Settings and select your Apple id. Then click on iCloud and scroll down to messages. Now turn it on by clicking on it. After that Messages indexing is turned on and messages will start getting indexed whenever you send or receive them.

How Message Indexing Works

When message indexing is turned on, your iPhone will start indexing your messages. This process can take a while, so it’s best to leave your phone plugged in and charging while it’s doing this.

The indexing process will go through all of your messages and create a file that contains the keyword or phrase that you searched for. This file is then used to help your iPhone speed up message searches.

Messages Indexing Tips and Tricks

Message indexing is a good way to find messages quickly, but if you want to make it work better there are some tips that can help.

  • The first thing that you should do is restart your iPhone. If the message index file has been corrupted or for any reason isn’t working correctly, this will allow it to start over.
  • If you have a lot of messages, it might take a while for your iPhone to index them all. In this case, you can use the “Clear Message Index” option to speed things up. This will delete the message index file and force your iPhone to start from scratch.
  • You can also use the “Preview Messages” option when you search to find the message that you’re looking for.
  • If none of these tips work, it’s possible your iPhone is having problems indexing messages. If this happens, please contact Apple Support. They will be able to help!

How to Fix iPhone Messages Always Waiting to Index?

There are three methods for you to fix iPhone messages always waiting to index.

1. Reset Indexing

This method will reset the indexing on your iPhone .To reset indexxing

  • Open Settings and go to Apple id>iCloud.Then scroll down to Messages and turn it off.
  • Restart your iPhone and toggle the messages On again and wait for your messages to start getting indexed.

If it still doesn’t work, move on to Method Two.

2. Use Siri and Search

  • Go to Settings and select ‘Siri and Search’.
  • Scroll down and click on Messages.
  • Now turn off all the features that appear and if they are already on turn them off and then on again.

After you’ve done this, wait a few minutes and try to send or receive a message. If it still doesn’t work, contact Apple Support.

3. Factory Reset

If you’ve tried both methods and your iPhone messages are still always waiting to index, you can try a factory reset.

  • This will erase all of the data on your phone and reinstall iOS.
  • Back up your data before you begin. You can use iCloud or iTunes.
  • Open Settings and go to General > Reset. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings.” When prompted, enter your passcode.
  • Once this has been done, try to send or receive messages and they will start indexing again. If it still doesn’t work, contact Apple Support for more help.

How Can I Search Within Messages on iPhone?

There are a few ways that you can search within messages on your iPhone.

The first way is to use the Spotlight Search. This allows you to search for keywords or phrases across all of your data, including messages.

  • To use Spotlight Search, swipe down from the top of the screen and type in what you’re looking for. Your messages will appear at the top of the list.
  • If you use this method, make sure that your iPhone is set to send and receive messages in plain text format. If it’s not, any symbols or special characters within your message won’t show up in Spotlight Search results.
  • You can also search by opening Messages and typing out your search terms. You can also use the “Search” option in Messages to find a specific contact or phone number that someone’s messaged you about.

How to View Attachments in the Messages app?

If you receive a message with an attachment, such as a photo or document, you can view it by taking these steps:

  1. Open the Messages app and find the conversation that contains the attachment. Tap on the attachment to open it.
  2. You can also save attachments to your Camera Roll or iCloud Drive. To do this, take these steps:
  3. Tap on the attachment to open it. Tap “Save Image” or tap “+” at the top of your screen and select “Add Attachment.” You can also save attachments by tapping on them, long-pressing, then selecting Share > Save Image/Video. This will allow you to upload them to services like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Bottom Line

Message indexing is the process of writing keywords to a database so that they can be easily searched. If none of these tips work, it’s possible your iPhone is having problems indexing messages. If this happens, please contact Apple Support. They will be able to help!


Q: Can I search for messages on my computer?

A: No, you can only search for messages on your iPhone.

Q: How do I stop messages from always waiting to index?

A: To stop messages from always waiting to index, take these steps:

Go to Settings > Messages. Scroll down and select “Keep Messages.” Select either 30 days or one year. If you do not want any of your messages to be kept, tap on the slider next to Keep Deleted Items until it turns white (no green).

This will delete all messages when you empty the trash.

Q: How do I search for an item within a conversation?

A: To search for something in a specific conversation, tap on it to open it, then type your query in the search field above the keyboard. If you are using iOS 11 or later, this is where you will find the new instant search feature.

Q: What is the difference between “indexed” and “unindexed” messages?

A: Indexed messages are the ones that Message Search uses to build its search results. Unindexed messages are not included in those results.

If you delete an indexed message, it will be removed from your search history. Unindexed messages will not be removed from your search history until you delete them in the conversation or turn off Keep Messages for that specific chat.

Q: How do I make sure my iPhone is indexing all of my messages?

A: To check if your iPhone is indexing all of your messages, open the Message app and tap on “Search.” In the search field, type your query.

If any results appear with a gray magnifying glass icon next to them, that means those messages have not been indexed yet.

You can either wait for iPhone to index these conversations or force it to do so by opening the conversation and tapping on “Refresh” at the top of the screen.

Q: What is “smart indexing?”

A: Smart indexing is a new feature that was introduced in iOS 11. It indexes messages as they are being sent or received, which means you can search for them almost instantaneously.


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