Text Message Management on Your Android Phone

You don’t have to manage your messages on your Android phone. But the potential exists: If you ever want to destroy evidence of a conversation, or even do something as mild as change the text messaging ringtone, it’s possible.

Removing messages

Even if you’re a stickler for deleting e-mail after you read it, you might not bother deleting text message threads. If you have something to hide in your text messaging conversations, follow these steps to delete a conversation:

  1. Open the conversation you want to remove.

    Choose the conversation from the main screen in your phone’s text messaging app.

  2. Touch the Action Overflow or Menu icon and choose the Delete command.

  3. Touch the Delete icon to confirm.

    The conversation is gone.

If these steps don’t work, an alternative is to open the main screen in the text messaging app and long-press the conversation you want to zap. Choose the Delete command from the pop-up menu, and then touch the OK button to confirm.

Setting the text message ringtone

The sound you hear when a new text message floats in is the text message ringtone. It might be the same sound you hear for all notifications, though on some Android phones it can be changed to something unique. If so, follow these steps to set your Android phone’s text message ringtone:

  1. Open the texting app.

  2. Ensure that you’re viewing the main screen, which lists all your conversations.

    If you’re not viewing that screen, touch the app icon in the upper-left corner of the screen until you see the main screen.

  3. Touch the Action Overflow or Menu icon.

  4. Choose the Settings or Messaging Settings command.

  5. Choose Select Ringtone.

    If you’re using the Hangouts app, choose your Gmail address (your Google account) from the list, and then choose the Sound command to view ringtone options.

    If you’re prompted to choose an app, pick Media Storage, and touch Just This Once.

  6. Pluck a ringtone from the list.

  7. Touch the OK button.

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