How to Recover Deleted iMessages from an iPhone or iPad
This article explains three methods to recover deleted iMessages from an iPhone or iPad.
It’s good to have the occasional text clear-out to make space on your iPhone/iPad. There’s even an option in Messages to automatically delete messages after a specified time. However, what happens if you accidentally delete an important message? Well, you can probably get it back with a bit of luck.
There are different methods for recovering deleted iMessages. For example, you accidentally delete an important message in your iMessage app. This guide explains how to recover deleted iMessages from an iPhone or iPad.
Method 1: Restore Deleted iMessages via iCloud Backup
This method requires an iCloud backup of your iPhone/iPad. This method will work if you’ve done this backup before you deleted the texts you’re trying to recover. Here’s how:
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Note: For users that can’t find a suitable backup, bear in mind that you’ll need to completely reset your iPhone to factory settings before setting up your iPhone using the older backup. You will lose any data you’ve added since the backup, so be sure to separately save copies of any recent files you want to keep.
- Open Settings App.
- Tap on your name/picture at the top.
- Select iCloud.
- Choose Manage Storage.
- Then tap Backups.
- You’ll see a list of available backups; if you tap the one, you’ll see when it was saved. Look for one for the correct device saved before you delete the message(s). If you can’t find a suitable backup, restore the iPhone to factory settings as mentioned.
Here’s how to restore the iPhone to factory settings.
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General.
- Then tap Reset.
- Erase All Content and Settings.
Before the phone bursts into life, this will take a few minutes and takes you through the usual setup. When you’re given the option to recover from a backup, choose the right one.
If you’re one of the users that don’t have an old backup with the data you need – or you don’t want to overwrite the data added to your phone since the old backup – you’ll need to try something else. There is another option to recover deleted texts without overwriting your iPhone.
Also read: How to Fix iMessage Not Working Issue On iPhone and iPad
How to Recover Deleted Texts without Overwriting Your iPhone?
This method is very brilliant if it works for you. This doesn’t require a complete reset – but it doesn’t work for everyone. For unclear reasons, iCloud doesn’t back up SMS messages in all territories or for all phone operators. Here’s how:
Recover Deleted iMessages
- Log into iCloud.com using your Apple ID and password.
- Click on Text Messages.
- Search the messages to find the ones you need.
- Go to your iPhone and choose Settings.
- Turn off Text Messages.
- You’ll see a popup. Please select the option to Keep On My iPhone.
- Now turn text messages back on.
- Tap Merge, then wait. After a few minutes, the deleted text messages should reappear on your iPhone.
Method 2: Restore Deleted iMessages via iTunes Backup
This method only works for users that already backup using iTunes before deleting the text message. If yes, you can proceed to recover your deleted message. Here’s how:
- Open iTunes.
- Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer via a USB cable.
- Click the iPhone or iPad icon on the top-left side of iTunes. This opens the “Summary” page.
- Click Restore Backup. It’s on the right side of the “Backups” section near the top of the page.
- If prompted, turn off “Find My iPhone” before continuing.
- Click the box next to “iPhone/iPad Name” when prompted. A drop-down menu will appear.
- Click a backup date. Make sure you picked a date when the iMessages you deleted were still on the iPhone or iPad.
- Click Restore. Your iPhone or iPad will begin restoring. This process’ length will vary depending on your iOS device’s amount of data.
- Enter password when prompted.
Note: Wait for your restore to finish. Once the restore is complete, you should be able to view your deleted iMessages in the Messages app.
Also read: iMessages Not Syncing Between Mac and iPhone? Here’s The Fix
Method 3: Restore Your iMessages with iExplorer
This method is simple and requires payment. So, if you’re looking for a free method, we suggest you try the two highlighted ways above. On the other hand, if you’re willing to pay, you can restore messages from your backup archives without restoring the entire backup using an iPhone explorer app.
These will let you search a backup’s contents for data you might have deleted. You can then export that data back to your device if desired or export it to a file. This method lets you see if your iTunes backup has the missing data you seek rather than going through a full restore first.
Recover Deleted iMessages
Different apps offer the same service, but for Windows and Mac users, iExplorer is highly recommended. This costs $39.99 and allows you to browse your iTunes backups and then export iMessages, Notes, contacts, and more to your computer. Here’s how:
- Connect your device to your PC.
- Launch iExplorer.
- Click “Messages.”
- Finally, export your conversations to text, Comma Separated Values (CSV), or PDF.