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How to Automatically Delete OTPs in Google Messages on Android

OTP on phone with laptop.
KT Stock photos/Shutterstock.com

If you use two-factor authentication—and you should—you probably get plenty of one-time password (OTP) text messages. It’s a little annoying to have to delete these manually, so why not let Google’s Messages app do it for you?

OTPs via SMS may not be the most secure, but it’s a very common choice for 2FA. Since an OTP is by definition only for one-time use, there’s not much danger in keeping them around. That also means there’s no reason to save them. So let’s make it easy to keep your messaging app clean.

RELATED: What Is Two-Factor Authentication, and Why Do I Need It?

We’ll be using Google’s Messaging app for this. It’s pre-installed on many Android devices already, but you can download it from the Play Store if you don’t have it. Upon opening the app, you’ll be walked through setting it as the default.

tap set default sms app

Next, tap your profile icon in the top right.

Select “Messages Settings” from the menu.

Select "Messages Settings."

Go to “Message Organization” in the settings.

Go to "Message Organization."

Now simply toggle on “Auto-Delete OTPs After 24 Hrs.”

Note: In order to use this feature, you must also have “View Messages by Category”—found on this same screen—enabled.

Toggle on "Auto-Delete OTPs After 24 Hrs."

As explained on the settings screen, this will permanently delete any current OTPs you have and those in the future. That’s perfect because OTPs are only valid for a very short time, usually around 10 minutes. 24 hours is more than enough time to use the OTP, though you may want to consider switching from getting them via SMS.

RELATED: Why You Shouldn’t Use SMS for Two-Factor Authentication (and What to Use Instead)

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