If you use it often, your ChatGPT sidebar is probably filled with old and unnecessary conversations you barely use. There might even be some sensitive conversations you don’t want anyone to see. (What’s happens on ChatGPT stays on ChatGPT.) Until now, the only way to get rid of a conversation from the sidebar was to delete it, which meant you’d need to export the chat itself to another place if you had any interest in preservation. But now, ChatGPT has added an option to archive chats without actually deleting them. It’s currently available in the iPhone app, and on the web, while the Android update will roll out soon.
How to archive ChatGPT chats on iPhone
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First, update your ChatGPT iPhone app to the latest version, then go to the sidebar. Here, tap and hold a chat, choose the new Archive button from the context menu, and tap the Archive button from the popup to confirm. This will instantly remove the chat from the list.
You can find all your archived chats from Settings. Open the sidebar using the Menu button in the top-left corner, and tap the three-dotted Menu button next to your name. This will open the Settings screen. From here, choose Archived Chats, and voila! All your hidden chats are here. Tap on a chat to either view, unarchive, or delete it.
How to archive ChatGPT chats on the web
Credit: Khamosh Pathak
Archiving chats works slightly differently on the web: Open the ChatGPT website, and click the chat you want to archive. When you do this, you’ll see a three-dotted Menu appear next to the chat name. Click on it and press the Archive Chat button to archive the current chat.
Credit: Khamosh Pathak
To find your archived chats, click on your name from the bottom of the sidebar and choose Settings. Here, click Manage next to Archived Chats to see a list of all archived chats. You can click on a chat to open it, with options to unarchive or delete the chat as well.
Deleting chats and disabling chat history
If you want to keep things truly hidden in ChatGPT, you can remove the chat altogether. To delete a chat, use the three-dotted Menu button next to a chat, and then tap Delete.
OpenAI also has an option to disable chat history and training data. This needs to be enabled on a per-device basis, so you’ll need to do this separately for your iPhone and the web. On iPhone, go to Settings > Chat History and disable the Chat History & Training option. On the web, go to Settings > Data Control to disable the Chat History & Training option.
Once that’s done, new conversations won’t be used to train the ChatGPT model, and conversations won’t appear in the sidebar—OpenAI will still keep a copy of all data for 30 days, though, to monitor for abuse. After that, the data will be automatically and permanently deleted.