How to Recover Deleted Messages on iPhone (iOS 15 Update)

I’m just going to assume you’re not doing that great since you’re on this page trying to see deleted messages on iPhone that “mysteriously” disappeared on your iPhone. Maybe you hit that delete button by mistake! Whatever the case, fear not friends! Your texts aren’t entirely gone.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

Hello everyone, it’s Frankie here. Take a breath. Try and get some of that stress out. Are you feeling better? Right, so you accidentally deleted all your text messages on your iPhone and suddenly felt freaked out.

You only just realized that you need some of those messages. Well, don’t fret. I’m here to help you retrieve deleted text messages on your iPhone.

As I was saying earlier, fear not my friend. This isn’t going to be one of those nightmarish “what’s done is done” kind of blogs.

Lucky you, there are a few ways you can get your text messages back on your iPhone. How are you feeling right about now having this information with you? I reckon ecstatic.

So, here’s the deal, and one fact that all iPhone users must accept. Having your text messages get deleted on your iPhone can be very frustrating. And there are many reasons as to why it would happen.

Sure, most of the time, you’re always the one at fault. Maybe you hit the delete button unknowingly or started a chain reaction on your iPhone that resulted in your messages being deleted.

But here’s the kicker, in some crazy situations, your iPhone screen crashes when you’re trying to read your text messages. It may even be an iOS update that deleted some of your text messages.

In any event, you don’t need to stress yourself.

I’ve got the solution and everything you need to recover your deleted texts.

5 Ways to Recover Deleted Messages on an iPhone (iMessage, SMS and MMS)

As a good housekeeper, you deleted your old text messages or accidentally marked them as spam. Then you realize, “oh, gosh! I still needed that.

Now, there’s a high chance that you might be able to recover your deleted text messages from your iPhone with and without a backup set up.

In fact, messages that you delete can be recovered using a few simple methods:

  • from other iOS devices like an iPad or Mac
  • via the iCloud on your iPhone
  • using iPhone backup saved to your computer
  • with third party applications
  • through a telephone operator

I will take a minute and walk you through each of these techniques in greater detail.

Let’s keep moving.

IMPORTANT: it will be vital to turn on airplane mode as soon as you can. If you recently delete a message, turning on airplane mode on your iPhone or other iOS or macOS device prevents more movement of this message. It reduces the possibility of the message being deleted through backups. If it was deleted sometime back, this guide will show you some of the options available to recover deleted chat components.

1. Recover Deleted Messages from iOS or macOS Devices

If you have recently deleted a message, chances are it is still available on an associated device also connected to your account. To confirm this, open the Messages app on another device that you also use, like a laptop or tablet, and see if that message is still there.

If they are, then you are in luck.

You could take a screenshot of the message or copy and paste the text into another app like Notes or Mail. This ensures that you can preserve the data you wish to before it is gone for good.

You should then backup your device that features these messages using iTunes or Finder. It is important not to turn off airplane mode until this process completes. If you still really appropriate device with the message still intact, it will then reappear on all connected devices.

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

Messages deleted on your iPhone can still be accessed using other connected devices like your iPad or Mac book. This can be the case for a few hours after the initial deletion.

2. Recover deleted messages on iPhone with iCloud

If you’ve ever backed up your iPhone to the iCloud, you should be able to restore the contents on the cloud with little to no stress. Much as I’d like to say it’s a relatively straightforward process, there are still a few steps to get it done right.

If you backed up your iPhone on iCloud the right way, you should be able to restore all the texts that were on your iPhone at the time of your Backup.

Thanks to Apple’s online discussion forums and continuously listening to customers, it changed things around and introduced texts in iCloud some time back.

Yes! You can now back up and restore all your text messages from your iCloud.

Even users who aren’t tech-savvy can use iCloud to restore their messages. That’s how simple this program is to use. You need to enable the message sync feature across all your devices that use your Apple ID., that’s just awesome!

One downside, though, is that the only way you can restore messages using an iCloud backup is by completely erasing your iPhone. Then try to fix the contents of the iCloud Backup.

Therefore, provided you have a backup from before the texts were deleted, then you should be good to go. Still, it can be incredibly frustrating to have to factory reset your device so that you get your text messages back from your iCloud Backup.

Steps to Retrieve Your Text Messages from an iCloud Backup

All right, here’s what you do.

  1. First, you need to confirm that you’ve recently backed up your iPhone. To do this, you will open up the Settings app on your phone and tap your name at the top of the screen.
  2. You can choose the iCloud option followed by iCloud Backup. Check to see if the time of your last successful backup was before or after you deleted the text on your phone. If the backup is before your deleted message, you are in luck.
  3. In this case, go back to the main settings menu and tap on General.
  4. Scroll down and click Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Contents and Settings > Continue. Recover deleted messages on iPhone with iCloud
  5. Enter your Apple ID password to turn off Find My and Activation Lock. Next, click on Erase iPhone. Retrieve Your Text Messages from an iCloud Backup
  6. Your iPhone will need a few minutes to reset itself to its factory default options. Next, you are greeted with the initial welcome screen for the iPhone. Navigate the first few steps, and on the Apps & Data screen, you can choose to Restore from iCloud Backup. You will then log in to your I cloud and access your most recent backup. You can choose from a list of available options. Choose the backup before the date you deleted your message to recover them.

Once you complete this process, check and see if you have recovered the deleted message you hoped to by viewing the Messages app in your iPhone.

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

If you backed up your phone to Apple’s iCloud before deleting the messages, then you have a good chance to get them back. Otherwise, keep on reading the article.

3. Restoring Texts from Your Computer

If your previous methods used were unsuccessful, you need not worry. There are other ways of getting your deleted messages back using your computer.

Much like recovering deleted messages from the cloud on your iPhone, you will be able to access saved messages via local backups. If you’ve been doing regular backups on your computer, this will be an easy transition.

Tip: I believe it’s important to periodically make a backup of your iPhone to your PC even if you have the cloud service enabled on your phone. If you have not done this yet, and need a guide to help you, you can check out the official guide from Apple to accomplish this task.

There are two possibilities for recovering deleted messages from your iPhone using your local backups on the PC or Mac. These include Finder and iTunes.

Let me describe these in a little more detail.

NOTE: Before you restore your iPhone from a computer backup, you must disable the Find My iPhone feature. You cannot restore a backup saved to your PC or Mac while this service is enabled. This prevents someone restoring a stolen iPhone with their own backup. Deactivating this function is easy to do, and you should follow these steps to achieve it: Settings > Apple ID Profile > Find My iPhone >Turn Off.

a. Backup Using Finder (macOS Catalina or later)

To achieve this, it only takes a few minutes. The technique works if your computer is a Mac. If you have a Windows PC instead, skip ahead to the next step to learn how to recover your files from an iTunes backup.

Let me walk you through the process.

  1. Connect your device to your Mac. Connect this device using a USB or USB-C cable. You can also connect via a Wi-Fi connection.
  2. Choose Finder on your Mac and select the device that now appears in the sidebar.
    Choose Finder
  3. In the toolbar, select General. Select general
  4. Choose to Restore Backup. Restore Backup
  5. Choose the backup from your device you wish to use from the menu that pops up. Then choose Restore.

b. iTunes Backup

Here is how you do it.

  1. Connect your iPhone with your PC to sync. With your iPhone connected, iTunes should open on its own. If not, you can open this application manually. With the window open, you can see the contents of your iPhone.
  2. At the main screen, choose Recover from iTunes Backup and then on Start to begin the recovery process.
  3. On the following window, choose Message to select the kind of data you are hoping to restore. The following pane shows the messages missing from your iPhone right now. It is important to note that you will only retrieve messages that existed at the time of your last PC sync.
  4. Once you complete the process, you can retrieve messages from the results displayed on the screen.
  5. When you select the messages you wish to restore to your iPhone, click on the Next option to officially start this recovery process.

As is the case with restoring from the iCloud, retrieved messages are saved to your computer.

  1. Connect a device to your computer with a USB or USB-C cable.
  2. Choose your iPhone when it appears in iTunes.
  3. Choose to Restore Backup.
  4. Check the date of each backup and select the option that includes deleted messages. Click to Restore and wait for completion. If prompted, enter your password to access this encrypted information.
  5. Keep the device connected after rebooting and wait for the syncing to complete with the PC. When this is done, you can disconnect.

4. How to recover deleted messages on iPhone without backup

Okay, so you know you’re in a lot more trouble if you’re looking to recover deleted text messages iPhone without Backup. By this stage, you probably already know your iCloud or iTunes won’t be of much help.

You feel stressed out of your wits! And your boss needs that CVC code you just deleted. So, your head is so light you think it’s floating off your shoulder. But wait just yet! It’s not the end of the world. At least not yet.

iMyFone, Tenorshare, and Dr.Fone top my list of the best third-party apps to recover deleted text messages on your iPhone. Here’s a quick rundown of how to use these apps.

a. iMyFone

iMyFone

I’ve tried recovering my deleted text messages using this application, and it worked like a charm. There’s no hassle to it.

Launch the iMyFone E-Back on your PC and click Recover from iOS Device. On the next window, click Start and let the application do its magic.

A new screen will appear and ask you to connect your iOS device to the PC. Connect your iPhone using a USB cable then click Next.

A new screen will appear with all the recoverable file types that you can retrieve. Select the Message and unselect everything else.

A new pop-up window should appear asking you for the location to save your messages. Select your desired location and initiate the recovery process.

The process itself is simple and straightforward; even a 2-year old could do it “accidentally”.

b. Tenorshare

Tenorshare

With the help of Tenorshare UltData, you can recover text messages directly from your iPhone’s iTunes and iCloud backups.

This app supports over 35 file types and is compatible with the latest iOS version. You’ll have nothing to worry about retrieving your text messages using this app.

It’s as if this app was made for those people who knew very little to nothing about computers. It’s as simple as plugging your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable and launching the Tenorshare app.

And like the iMyFone app, wait for it to identify your iOS device on its main interface.

From here, your only job is to choose the Messages & Attachments tab to recover all your texts. You can also select any other file type or everything on the list if you want. Click on the Start Scan option and let the app handle the rest.

After the scan has finished, you’ll see all your scanned files. Choose the Show All or the Only display deleted items to recover your deleted files and the press Recover.

c. Dr.Fone

Dr.Fone

Okay, so who doesn’t know Dr.Fone? Even I heard of this app before I knew what backups and recovery even meant.

Pants down, this is the world’s best iPhone & iPad data recovery tool you can find online. And I say this with no bias whatsoever. Cross my heart, people!!

And as with the other applications in this list, plus the ones not mentioned, recovering data from your iPhone using Dr.Fone is relatively easy.

Connect your iPhone to your computer using a suitable USB cable then launch the Dr.Fone app. By default, it should detect your iPhone and display it on your screen.

Once there, select the Recover from iOS Device option and choose the Messages & Attachments option. Click on Start Scan for the program to start scanning your device for any deleted data.

The scanning process usually lasts for a few minutes. But this can go for up to an hour, depending on the amount of data on your device. Dr.Fone also has a pause feature that you can use if, at any time, you find what you’re looking for.

After a successful scan, the results are displayed on the Dr.Fone screen. To see only deleted data, ensure that you turn on Only display the deleted items.

Click on the messages and other file types that you want to undelete. Once that’s done, click on the Recover tab to undelete your preferred tabs on your computer.

5. Recover Messages Through Your Service Provider

If you did not get the results you were hoping for from the previously described methods, you can always try to recover deleted messages from your iPhone by contacting the support of your service provider directly.

Be aware, that service providers do not always store all messages that you send and receive. It is not possible to access these backups in all cases. It will not hurt to try, however. Contact the customer support and see what your options are through your particular service provider.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article gave you some critical information on how to see deleted messages on iPhone.

If you don’t want to go for the hassle of downloading third-party apps, you better get into the habit of backing up your text messages. iCloud and iTunes are particularly excellent data recovery tools for deleted text messages.

If you have any other concerns or questions about how you can retrieve your text messages on your iPhone, drop a line or two in the comments section below. And trust me, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

You can follow me for more tips on becoming the master of iMessage and other messaging apps you might use. Start by subscribing to my YouTube channel.

A big hug,

Frankie Caruso

PS – did you know it’s possible to read someone else’s iMessage conversations even if they deleted them? Check it out by following this link.

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About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media and computer security. I help all those frustrated moms and dads who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world so their kids don't get in trouble.

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