How to save files, photos and attachments in Messages on your device

The great thing about Messages is that you can send more than text messages. You can share photos or images and files or documents. And while you may be getting one just for a quick glance, it might be something you want to save.

It could be a photo of a distant relative, a contract, a work estimate, an invoice, a receipt, or something similar. These types of attachments are worth saving and may even be necessary.

Here, we will show you how to save files, photos, and other attachments in Messages on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

How to save attachments from Messages

Save message attachments on iPhone and iPad

Saving photos and files in Messages on your iOS device is quite easy. You can quickly save images directly to the Photos app, but you can also save them to Files as documents. Let’s go over the options.

Save an image to Photos

Open the conversation in Messages and press and hold the Photo. Please select Save and the image will be saved in the Photos app. You can then open Photos and find it in your Recents.

If you prefer to save the photo to files, you can do that as well. This is also where you will save documents by following the next set of steps.

Save a document or photo to files

With the conversation open, tap your contact’s name and then Info on top. When you scroll down past your contact details, you will see Photos and Documents.

1) Long press the item you want to save and choose Share.

2) Choose Save to files.

3) Select the location within the Files app for the saved item and tap Save.

By saving files this way, you can choose exactly where they go, be it in iCloud Drive or on your device.

Related: How to Delete Photos, Links and Attachments in Messages on iOS

Save attachments from Messages on Mac

Similar to iOS, you have a couple of ways to save an attachment in Messages on Mac. If the conversation is recent, you can save the item from your text thread. If it’s a bit older, it’s easier to see all the attachments from that conversation, rather than scrolling to find the file.

Save from a conversation

Open the conversation in Messages and right-click the item. If the attachment is a photo or image, you will see an option to Add to photo library. When you select this option, you can find the photo under Recent in the Photos app.

Other options for photos are to open and save them from the default app. You can open it in Quick look, click on the Share and then Add to photos, notes, reminders or other in the share menu.

Alternatively, click Opened to view the photo in Preview, and then click File> Save to save it anywhere you want on your Mac.

For documents and other types of files, you can use the same action to Quick look or select Opened which opens the file in the default application for the file type. So a spreadsheet, for example, will open in Numbers. Click File> Save to save it wherever you want. Also, you can choose Save to downloads and grab the item from your Downloads folder.

One more way to save an attachment from a Messages conversation is to drag it. For example, you can drag the element directly to your desktop.

Save contact details

If the photo or file was sent to you a while ago, there is no reason to scroll through Messages to find it. With the conversation open, click the Info icon (lowercase letter “i”) at the top right. Lower the pop-up window displaying your contact details and you will see all the photos and documents for that contact. Then use any of the above right-click or drag methods to save it.

If you want to save more than one photo or document, press and hold I send and select each one. Then use one of the above methods to save the items.

Related: How to delete attachments in bulk from Messages app on Mac


It’s great that we can share more than conversations in Messages. So if a friend, coworker, or client sends you an image or file that you need to save, you have a few ways to do it across all of your devices.

Do you receive articles like this through Messages? If so, what tips do you have for saving the article on your device?