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How Do You Recover Deleted Text Messages From An iPhone

If you use Messages in iCloud, recovering a message or conversation on your iPhone recovers it on all your devices where Messages in iCloud is on. See Keep your messages up to date with iCloud in the iCloud User Guide.

Deleting and recovering messages changes only your own Messages conversations, not those of your recipients.

Once you recover a blocked conversation whose participants haven’t all turned on iMessage, incoming messages will no longer be automatically deleted.

In the Messages app , you can recover deleted messages on your iPhone.

You can restore messages you deleted for up to 30 days.

  • Open the Messages app  on your iPhone.
  • In the Messages conversation list, do one of the following:
  • Tap Edit in the top-left corner, then tap Show Recently Deleted.
  • Tap Filters in the top-left corner, then tap Recently Deleted.
  • If you’re in a conversation, tap  to return to the conversation list.
  • Select the conversations whose messages you want to restore, then tap Recover.
  • Tap Recover Messages.


Ways to recover deleted iMessages or text messages on your iPhone

Whether you regularly delete your iPhone messages, or recently mass deleted them to free up storage space, you should always take care to save the texts you still need.

But if you’ve accidentally deleted some text messages that you meant to keep, don’t panic — there are a few different ways to recover lost text messages on your iPhone.

Here’s what you should know.

Recover your messages with iOS 16

With iOS 16, you can recover all text messages within one month of deletion.

You can do this by navigating to Messages > Edit or Filters > Show Recently Deleted.

Click “Edit” or “Filters” and then “Show Recently Deleted.

From there, you will see a list of any deleted messages that are available to recover. You can recover all messages or just certain ones that you select.

Quick tip: To make sure you’re updated to iOS 16, check out our guide on how to update your iPhone.

Use iCloud

If your iPhone is set to backup to iCloud, you might be able to recover deleted text messages using a recent backup.

This will revert your iPhone back to the point when you made that backup, meaning that while it can help you recover the text message, you might lose some other data.

To do this:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap your name at the top.
  2. Select iCloud, and make sure that Messages are turned on in the list of apps.
  3. Tap iCloud Backup. Check that your iPhone has been backed up recently.
  4. Go back to the main Settings app menu and select General, then scroll down and select either Reset or Transfer or Reset iPhone, depending on what iOS version you have.
  5. Tap Erase All Content and Settings, then confirm that it’s what you want to do. You’ll likely have to provide your iCloud password to turn off Find My.
  6. Your iPhone will take a few minutes to reset to factory conditions. After that, you’ll be greeted with the iPhone’s initial welcome screen. Go through the first few steps, and on the Apps & Data screen, choose Restore from iCloud Backup.
  7. Sign into iCloud to access your backups, then choose the last backup before you deleted the text messages you want to recover.

Try iTunes or Finder

If you backed up your iPhone onto a Mac or PC instead of iCloud, you can try restoring your iPhone with that backup instead. This means using iTunes if you have Windows, or Finder if you’re on a Mac.

To retrieve deleted iPhone messages with iTunes or Finder:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes or Finder, if they don’t pop up automatically.
  2. In iTunes, click on the phone icon at the top of the screen and choose Summary from the menu on the left. In Finder, click your phone’s name under Locations.
  3. Click Restore Backup and your old texts will hopefully reappear on your phone. If they don’t, your backup didn’t include these texts.

Quick tip: If the Restore Backup button is grayed out, click the bubble that says This Computer or Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac. You can change it back after you find the text you need.

Request deleted messages from your carrier 

If all else fails, consider reaching out to your phone carrier. Some service providers keep a record of your text messages like they keep a record of your calls.

Quick tip: You won’t be able to retrieve any of your iMessages from your carrier, since they only keep records of SMS messages.

You’ll either need to log in to your carrier account or use the service provider’s customer service line. Either way, it’s a good last-ditch effort to retrieve that deleted message from your iPhone.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

If you accidentally deleted the whole text conversation and no backup is found, free download PhoneRescue for iOS to recover those deleted messages without backup or with backup.

As one of your frequently used iPhone apps, the Message app may contain some important text messages and iMessages that you would like to keep forever. But what to do if you mistakenly deleted the messages during cleaning the storage of your iPhone; Or you accidentally lost all text conversations after iOS update, iPhone restores or device jailbreak, etc?

So you must be wondering “Can I recover deleted text messages on my iPhone?” Well, the answer is YES on most occasions. But how to retrieve deleted text conversations in an exact way? How to get back deleted texts with or without a backup? Here in this post, keep reading and you can find an answer.

Can You Recover Permanently Deleted Text Messages on iPhone?

If you have backed up your iPhone

Definitely, there is a chance to recover permanently deleted iPhone messages. By restoring iTunes and iCloud backup, you can undelete messages on your iPhone.

If you have no backup of your iPhone

There is still a chance to get back. When the data is deleted, we cannot see it on the iPhone, but it is still in the internal storage unless some other new data takes up its storage position, which is called data overwriting. Therefore, you can also get back deleted messages in this situation.

And now, based on the possible situations where you may be stuck, we have collected 6 practical methods to help you get back deleted text messages on your iPhone. All methods support all iPhone models, including the newest iPhone 15 series.

Recover Deleted Text Messages from iPhone/iPad without Backup

PhoneRescue for iOS is the easiest data recovery tool to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone. It offers you 3 recovery modes all in one place: Recover from iOS Device, Recover from Backup, and Recover from iCloud. These three Recovery Modes ensure you the highest rate of recovery. Recovering from the iOS Device enables you to directly get deleted/lost messages back from your iPhone or iPad. The steps are simple & quick, with no tech skill needed, iPhone messages, including WhatsApp messages, can be recovered in clicks. Besides, you can preview and choose messages to recover with more flexibility.

So, if you want to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone without backup, Phonerescue for iOS is the first and best way to preview the messages and get them back:

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS to your PC or Mac computer, and install and run it.

Step 2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable, choose Recover from iOS Device and click Right Arrow to continue.

Step 3. Check the Messages category and click Okay to scan only the deleted messages on iPhone.

Step 4. Preview and recover deleted text conversations. After scanning, you can see the text conversations as below. Check the items that you want to recover, and click the To Computer or To Device button to retrieve them back to your computer or your iPhone.

Check Recently Deleted Texts on iPhone without Backup

Check the Recently Deleted folder is the best free way to retrieve messages. From the iPhone 14 running with iOS 16, the Messages allows you to recover recently deleted messages and conversations within 30 – 40 days. Here are the steps:

  1. Open Messages and enter Recently Deleted.
  2. Check the messages and conversations that you want to recover, and click Recover (the Delete button will permanently delete the messages).
  3. Click Recover xxx Messages to confirm these messages will be recovered to your inbox.


How to Recover Permanently Deleted Messages on Computer

1. Recover from iTunes Backup with PhoneRescue for iOS

As we mentioned before, PhoneRescue for iOS also allows you to recover messages from iTunes backup or another backup on computer. And compared to iTunes /iCloud, PhoneRescue enables you to preview the contents in the backup files and restore only the deleted messages to your iPhone with no need to reset your iPhone. Besides, it can also automatically compare the data between iPhone and its backup to accurately find what you’ve lost. Even you can save them as printable documents like HTML.

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS to your computer, install and run it on your computer.

Step 2. Select Recover from Backup will help you get data back from iTunes or other backups on the computer, and then click the right arrow at the bottom right corner of this screen.

Step 3. Select iTunes backup based on size, created time and iOS version to find where the deleted texts are stored. If you click the “Only Scan Backup” button, PhoneRescue will scan and display all data in the backup. However, if you click the “Compare” button, PhoneRescue will compare data located in the backup with data in your device. And then it will only display data that don’t exist in your device.

Step 4. Check Messages to continue. You can check Select All or only Messages and click OK to get all text messages and iMessages on iTunes backup.

Step 5. Preview all messages conversations on your iTunes backup, select the messages you want to retrieve, and click To Device to restore the deleted messages to your iPhone or choose to recover to your computer.

2. Recover Deleted Messages from iTunes/Finder Backup

If you are sure that the iTunes backup contains the messages that you’ve lost or deleted, this could be another way to retrieve deleted text messages on your iPhone. But restore will erase the contents on your iPhone and then put all data from the backup to your device. Not only the messages but also the photos, contacts, and everything will be restored from the iPhone backup to your device. Please turn off Find My iPhone before the restoration.

1. On Windows PC and macOS Mojave and earlier

On the Windows PC or macOS Mojave and earlier you can use iTunes to restore iPhone messages:

Step 1. Run iTunes and connect the iPhone to the computer.

Step 2. Click Summary and click Restore Backup.

Step 3. Choose a backup and click Restore to start.

Step 4. Click Restore to restore iPhone messages.


2. On macOS Catalina and later

You can use Finder to restore your iPhone deleted messages on macOS Catalina and later:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac computer. Open Finder and find your iPhone under Locations.
  2. Click on your iPhone and choose Manage Backups to select a backup you think will contain the deleted iPhone messages, then click OK.
  3. Then click on Restore iPhone… to start to restore your iPhone backup.

How to Retrieve iPhone Texts from iCloud Backup

1. Recover from iCloud Backup Locally

Similar to iTunes restore, this method will also erase your iPhone, and then put all things from the iCloud backup to your iPhone. If you are sure there are deleted messages stored in the backup, you can now follow us to restore the iPhone from iCloud here.

Here is how to retrieve iPhone messages from iCloud backup:

  1. Run the Settings app on your iPhone, go to General > Reset, and tap Reset All Content and Settings.
  2. Input your passcode to continue the erase, and this will delete all media and data and reset all settings.
  3. Wait for some time until your iPhone finishes the erase. (The screen will show only the Apple icon.)
  4. After the erase is finished, now you can start setting up your iPhone. (Language, country, and keyboard)
  5. Input password to connect to the WiFi and activate your iPhone. And set up passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.
  6. Input your Apple ID and password.  On the App & Data Screen, tap Restore from iCloud backup and then log in to your iCloud.
  7. Choose Backup and start to restore messages and everything to your iPhone.

2. Recover from iCloud Backup with PhoneRescue for iOS

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS to your PC or Mac, install and run it.

Step 2. Select Recover from iCloud.

Step 3. Sign in to your iCloud account. Now you should Log in with your Apple ID and password, PhoneRescue will extract data from iCloud.

Step 4. Click iCloud Backup.

Step 5. Download backup based on its created time, size, and iOS version, and then select only Messages to get all message conversations on your iCloud backup.

Step 6. Preview the conversations on iCloud backup, check the items you want to recover, and click To Device to recover them to your iPhone. Or click To Computer to save text messages and iMessages to the computer.

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