With iOS 17, Apple has introduced a useful new feature that allows your iPhone or iPad to automatically delete one-time verification codes from Messages and Mail after you use them. This cleans up the clutter and wipes out expired codes you no longer need.
How Verification Code Auto-Deletion Works
Many apps and services send short verification codes via text message or email when you sign up, log in, or enable two-factor authentication. These codes are usually only valid for a few minutes.
Previously, these messages would remain in your Mail and Messages apps unless you manually deleted them. But iOS 17 can now automatically clean up these single-use codes after they’ve been used.
Here’s how it works:
- You receive a verification code text or email.
- The autofill feature inputs the code automatically when prompted.
- Once submitted, the original message or email with the code is deleted.
This keeps your inboxes tidy and removes expired codes you no longer need.
How to Enable Verification Code Auto-Deletion on iOS 17
Enabling this feature is simple:
- Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 17.
- Scroll down and tap on Passwords.
- Enter your device passcode or use Face ID when prompted.
- Now tap on “Password Options.”
- Under Verification Codes, turn on the toggle for “Clean Up Automatically”.
That’s all there is to it. The feature is now enabled.
What Messages Are Deleted?
Once enabled, verification codes from the Messages app and Mail app will be automatically deleted shortly after you use them via autofill.
- SMS text messages containing one-time codes
- Emails with verification codes in the subject or body
The feature cleans up single-use codes while keeping other messages intact.
When Are Codes Deleted?
Verification codes are deleted after you successfully submit them via autofill.
These codes expire after a few minutes. Once they have expired, iOS 17 will automatically delete these code messages and emails from your iPhone.
The Messages or Mail app must remain open in the background briefly after submission for the deletion to trigger.
If you force quit the app before that, the message may not get deleted.
Improved Privacy and Security
This auto-deletion feature provides a couple of key benefits:
- It removes sensitive verification codes from your message history after use, improving privacy.
- Expired one-time codes can no longer be accessed, enhancing security.
- Your inboxes stay clutter-free and on-topic.
So, in iOS 17, take advantage of automatic verification code cleanup to keep your conversations tidy while increasing privacy and security.