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How to save audio messages on your iPhone, and change your settings to keep them from expiring after 2 minutes

It’s easy to save audio messages on your iPhone, no matter whether you sent or received them.

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  • To save audio messages in your iPhone Messages app, tap the Keep button underneath. 
  • You can also change the Messages app’s settings so that audio messages don’t automatically expire after two minutes. 
  • You can save audio messages to your Mac using the Messages app on your computer.

One of the perks of using iMessage to chat with another iPhone user is that you can send audio messages in addition to texts, emojis, and photos. 

Apple treats these audio messages like top secret communications — by default, they expire and are permanently deleted after two minutes once you have listened to them, with no option to get them back. 

If you want to keep those audio messages around for longer, there are a few ways to do that. Here’s what you need to know:

How to save audio messages on iPhone

When you receive an audio iMessage and play it for the first time, a clock starts counting down from two minutes. When the timer runs out, the audio clip is unceremoniously deleted without warning. 

But you can save it — after you listen to it, tap Keep under the message. When you keep it, it will always be available in Messages to playback.

Messages thread with Keep button under audio message highlighted with a box and arrow.Tap the Keep button before the audio message expires so that you can listen to it again later.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest

How to stop audio messages from expiring on iPhone

Rather than using the Keep button to save audio messages, you can change the Messages app’s settings so audio messages no longer expire after two minutes.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap Messages.

3. In the Audio Messages section, tap Expire.

Messages menu in Settings with Expire option highlighted with a box and arrow.By default, audio messages are set to expire after two minutes.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest

4. Tap Never.

Expire menu in Messages Settings with Never option highlighted with a box and arrow.Your selection is marked with a check on the right side.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest

How to save audio messages to your Mac computer

If you don’t trust your phone to keep the audio messages for as long as you’d like, you can import them onto your computer. 

1. Set up your iCloud account so your iMessages show up on both your iPhone and Mac.

2. Open the Messages app on your Mac, and go to the conversation that has the voice message you want to save.

3. Find the voice message and right-click on it. 

4. In the right-click menu that opens, click Copy.

Text thread in Messages app for Mac with Copy option highlighted with a box and arrow.This method also works for images in Messages threads.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest

5. Right-click on your Desktop. 

6. In the right-click menu that opens, click Paste Item.

Right-click Desktop menu with Paste Item option highlighted with a box and arrow.Once saved on your Desktop, you can move the audio file to a folder, send it as an email attachment, and more.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest

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