So, you know all the pictures and video clips sitting in the various text-message threads on your iPhone and/or iPad? Well, for one thing, they’re probably (and quietly) gobbling up a lot of precious storage space.

And here’s another thing: The snapshots and videos in iOS 7’s Message app aren’t automatically saved to your iPhone/iPad Camera Roll, a fact worth keeping in mind before you delete an entire message thread.

Now, saving a single picture message or video isn’t a big deal; just tap the photo/video in a Message thread, tap the little “share” icon in the bottom-left (on iPhone) or top-right (for iPad) corner of the screen, then tap the “Save Image” button.

iOS 7 Messages app photo list button

Tap the little “list” button to see all the photos and videos in a message thread

But what if we’re dealing with a lengthy message thread laced with dozens of images and clips? Isn’t there an easier way to hunt them all down?

Well, turns out there is.

Here’s what you do…

  • Launch the Messages app, open a message thread with photos and/or videos inside, then tap one of the them.
  • Look in the bottom-right (iPhone) or top-left corner of the screen; you should see a little “list” icon (it’s the one with three horizontal lines). Go ahead and tap it. Don’t see the icon? Tap the image again and the icon should appear.
  • You should now see a list of all the photos and even videos sitting in the message thread, complete with file names (like “IMG_2602”) and thumbnail images for each picture. Tap a thumbnail to jump to the specific picture or video.
  • Unfortunately, there’s no way to save every photo and video in a message thread all at once; instead, you’ll have to save them one at a time. Just tap the photo or video, tap the “Share” button (bottom-left corner of the screen on iPhone, top right on iPad), then tap “Save Image” (or “Save Video”).
  • Remember, you can always swipe between images and videos rather than going back to the list view.

Bonus tips

  • Want to delete a photo or video in a message thread? Tap and hold the image/video until the black bubble appears, tap “More,” then tap the Trash icon. You can also select additional messages, photos and videos before tapping Trash.
  • Didn’t find as many photos and videos in a message thread as you were expecting? Try this: tap the top of the screen to jump to the very beginning of the thread, then tap the “Load Earlier Messages” link.

Looking for more iOS 7 tips? Click here!