What to Know
- To retrieve deleted texts in iOS 16:Messages >Edit (or Filter) > Show Recently Deleted >select the texts > Recover.
- You can also recover recently deleted messages via iCloud, by restoring a previous computer backup, or contacting your carrier.
Did you accidentally delete a text message and now you need to get it back? Fortunately, there are severalmethods to get backdeleted textmessages,so no need to worry!We'll go over how to retrieve deleted messages using the new iOS 16 method, plus a few other tips and tricks torecover deleted text messageson an iPhone if you have older software.
Which MethodIs Best for You?
- Recover Deleted Textsin the Messages App (iOS 16)
- Use if: You have iOS 16 and deleted the texts less than 30 days ago. Easiest method, useif possible.
- Recover Deleted Messages on iPhone withiCloud Recovery
- Use if:You don't haveiOS 16 and deleted the messages since your last iCloud backup.
- Restore from Your Computer to RetrieveDeleted Texts
- Use if: You have iOS 16 but deleted your messages more than30 days ago, or you don't have iOS 16 andyour texts were deleted before your most recent iCloud backup.
- Other Options: Contact Your Carrier or Use Third-Party Apps
With iOS 16,Apple gave us an ultra-simple way to recover our recently deleted messages! The catch is that you will need to have updated to iOS 16 prior to deleting the text messages you want to recover. With iOS 16, you can recover yourdeleted text messages 30 days after youerased them (up to 40 days max, depending on the whim of the Apple algorithms). Here's how to find deleted messages on your iPhoneand easily recover them in the Messages app:
- Open the Messages app and tap Edit in the top left corner. (If you have Filter Unknown Senders enabled in Settings, tap Filters in the top corner instead.)
- From the menu that appears, tap Show Recently Deleted. (If you tapped Filters in the step above, tap the Recently Deleted folder.)
- You'll see a list of conversations deleted within the last 30 days, with the number of days remaining listed on the left. Select at least oneconversation you want to recover.
- Tap Recover to retrieve the deleted conversations. You cannot recover individual texts, so this will restore all texts within the conversation.
- Tap Recover Messages to restore your deleted messages.
- Tap Done in the top rightcorner to return to your main messages screen.(If you have Filter Unknown Senders enabled, tap Filters to return to the folders view.)
Now you shouldsee the deleted messages on your iPhone Messages app main screen!
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If you don't have iOS 16 software, iCloud backups area great way to recover deleted text messages from an iPhone. While it is not as simple as the iOS 16 method, if you regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud, you should be able to use this method to get deleted messages back. If you're not already, you should definitely be doing regulariCloud backupsto ensure you're saving yourimportant data!
In order to recover deleted texts on the iPhone, you'll need to ensure that the most recent successful backup occurred prior to the deletion of the messages. If this is the case, you can use the last successful backup to restore deleted text messages.Here's how to check your recent iCloud backup so you know the best way to recover your iPhone deleted messages:
- Open theSettings app and tap your Apple ID profile at the top.
- Tap iCloud to navigate to your recent iCloud backups.
- Scroll down if needed and tap on iCloud Backup.
- Now check to see if the time of your last successful backup was before or after you deleted the texts on your iPhone.
If the iCloud backuppredates the time that you deleted messages on the iPhone, you're in luck! Continue to the steps belowto restore the deleted messages using the iCloud backup.
If the date of the last successful backup is after the messages were deleted from your iPhone, try using thecomputer backup method next.I don't recommend using theiCloud Recovery option if you're trying to restore an earlier iCloud backup than the most recent. Because the focus of this feature is for people with new iPhones, you may only see the option to restore your most recent iCloud backupwhen you're setting your iPhone back up.
Nowyou'll need to erase your iPhone and restore it with thebackup that occurred before the deletion to get back the deleted messages. Here's how to recover deleted text messages on your iPhone:
- Open theSettings app, then scroll down and tap on General.
- Scroll all the way down and select Transfer orReset iPhone.
- Select Erase All Content and Settings. Most of your settings will be safe when you restore your iCloud backup, but youmay have to log back in on some of your apps.
- In the confirmation menu that pops up, tapErase Now.If you have older software, it's important that you do not choose Backup Then Erase, or you will lose the previous backup and won't be able to recover the deleted text messages.
- Now your iPhone has been totally erased and will begin as though it’s a new device.Follow the on-screen instructions until you come to the Apps & Data page.
- On the Apps & Datapage,choose Restore from iCloud Backup.Enter any passwordsaskedfor from iCloud Backup, then sign in to iCloud.
- Proceed to Choose backup,then choose from a list of available backups in iCloud. There may be older backups to choose from other than the one you verified before starting (this is not guaranteed). Choose the most recent one that predates the deletion of the text messages. Keep in mind that the older the backup, the more likely it is that it will not contain other important data that you've added to your iPhone since that backup was made.
You may have to sign back in to all of your accounts after the iPhone is restored.Once this process is complete, check to see if you have recovered the deleted text messages on your iPhone. If not, give the next section a try!
If you don't have iOS 16 and the previous iCloud method forrecovering deleted text messages didn’t work, there's another way to get back deleted messages using your computer. You should be able to access any saved messages via iTunes, as long as you have been doing regular backups to your computer. If you have, follow thesteps below torecover deleted texts on an iPhone.
If you do have iOS 16 installed, but are trying to restore messages after they were erased from the Recently Deleted folder, the answer is a bit trickier. The first requirement is that you'll need to have been doing regular backups to your computer. Then, whether you accidentally erased your deletedtextsfrom the Recently Deleted folderor it was automatically deleted from the Recently Deleted folder after 30 days, you can recover the deleted texts by restoring an older backup that happened before you initially deleted the messages the first time.
Note:It's possible that you have disabled this feature of the PC / Mac syncing process, so if you don’t have access to your text messages here, that could be why. You may want to update these settingsso that going forwardit's easier to recover deleted text messages on an iPhone.
First, Disable Find My iPhone
The first thing you need to do is disable theFind My iPhonefeature.You cannot restore a Finder or iTunes backup while Find My iPhoneis enabled, since this is meant to prevent someone from restoring a stolen iPhone with their own backup.To disable this iPhone setting: Open the Settings app on your iPhoneand tap on your name at the top. Then tap Find My, select Find My iPhone, and tap the Find My iPhone toggle to turn it off. You'll need to enter your Apple ID and password.
Next, connect your iPhone with thecomputer you usually sync it with. If you have macOS Catalina or later installed, you will restore from Finder using the steps below. If you are running an older version of macOSor have a PC, skip to the next sectionrestore from iTunes.
Restore Your iPhone from Finder (macOS Catalina or later) to Recover Deleted Messages
Here's how to retrieve deleted text messages by restoring an iPhone backup from Finder:
- If prompted, tapTrustto allow your iPhone to trust and connect with this computer.
- When your iPhone isconnected to your Mac, it should appear inFinder under Locations. Click on it.
- Click Manage Backupsand a list of backups on yourcomputer will appear.If you do not see any available backups, unfortunately you won't be able to restore your iPhone from your computer, but keep reading for more ideas.
- If you do see previous backups, check the list to make sure the most recent backup was madebefore you deleted those text messages, but after you sent them. If so, clickOK.
- Now you're ready to restore. Click Restore iPhone.
This process takes some time, especially if the backup is large.As long as your backup was madeafter the text messages were sent and before they were deleted, this should recover themfor you. Just follow the prompts, and the iPhone will restore to its backed-up state.
If you have a PC or are using macOS Mojave or earlier on your Mac, you can try this method to get back deleted text messages on your iPhone. However, if you have synced with this PC or Mac since deleting your text messages, this process will not work, asiTunes only saves your most recent backup data for a restore. Assuming you have not synced with iTunes since you deleted your text messages, this method should restore your missingmessages back to your Messages app!
- Connect your iPhone with thecomputer you usually sync it with andiTunes will open automatically. If not, just click the program and open it up.
- Click the phone icon next to thedrop-down menu in the top-left part of the screen. If it's not there, then your iPhone probably isn't connected to your computer.
- Make sure you're on theSummary page.
- To get back the data backed upfromyour iPhone, including your deleted text messages, you will need to click Restore Backup.
- If this option is grayed out, you may need to change your backup preferences (on the left-hand side of this screen) from iCloud to This Computer. You can always change this back after you have restored your iPhone.
This process can take a while if you have a lot of data stored on your phone or Mac.Hopefully, you now have access to the deleted messages, but if not, continue reading for more tips to troubleshoot deleted text messages.
Contact Your Carrier to Recover Deleted Texts
In some instances, you can recover deleted text messages by contacting your cellular service provider.They will occasionally have access to a backup if it has not yet been overwritten or updated.When you call,you will need to ask for technical support and then ask to speak to a representative, as there probably won’t be accurate menu prompts to take you to the right department. While the representative may or may not be able to help, they may offer suggestions that you have not yet tried. For example, Verizon may be able togive you access to their retrieval software so you can recover your deleted texts.In some cases, carriers are limited in how they can help due to specific state laws. Because of this, I recommend trying the methods above before resorting to contacting your carrier.
Use Third-Party Apps to Recover Deleted Text Messages
We recommend this only as a last resortfor retrieving deleted messages on your iPhone. There are some third-party apps out there that will help you recover deleted files and text messages from your iPhone, but they can be sketchy. Make sure you read the reviews carefully to help you evaluate the legitimacy of any app you are thinking of using.If you really are in a bind, there are a few that have some good reviews and are popularonline. PhoneRescue by iMobie has a platform for both iPhone and Android devices and WonderShare Dr.Fone for iOS also has a free trial and a paid version available online. Again, there are no guarantees that your privacy will be protected, so even trusted sources online should be carefully considered before you jump right in out of desperation.
- Can Iretrieve deleted text messages?
Yes! You can easily retrieve deleted text messages on your iPhone for free, it just depends which method is the best for you. If you have iOS 16, you can recover deleted text messages by accessing a secret Recently Deleted messages folder in the Messages app. If you don't have iOS 16 installed, you can still use iCloud Recovery or restore your deleted texts from one of your computer backups.
- How do Irecover deleted text messages on my iPhone for free?
If you have iOS 16 installed, the easiest method is to open the Messages app, tap Edit, select Show Recently Deleted, select the conversations you want to restore, and tap Recover.
- How can I recover deleted messages on iPhone without backup?
If you have iOS 16 installed, you can recover deleted texts from a folder in the Messages app, even without an iCloud or computer backup. You can also try calling your carrier to see if they can help.
- How do Ifind deleted messages on my iPhone without iCloud?
Without iCloud, you can still recover recently deleted text messages from a computer backup. If you have iOS 16 installed, you can also recover deleted texts from the Recently Deleted folder in the Messages app. Another option is to try calling your carrier to see if they can help recover your deleted iMessages.
- Can I undelete a text message?
Yes! If iOS 16 is installed, open the Messages app, tap Edit, tap Show Recently Deleted, select the conversationyou want to restore, and tap Recover. However, using this method, you can onlyrecover conversations, not individual texts within a conversation.
Now that you've learned how to recover deleted messages on iPhone in a number of ways, let us know which one works for you! If you've tried an app for recovering deleted text messages, we'd love to hear about your experience with that, as well.
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Tap the triple-dot menu icon, visible in the upper-right corner of the messages screen. Select the trash bin icon. Choose the conversation you want to recover and select “Restore.”Can I get deleted messages back? ›
Tap the triple-dot menu icon, visible in the upper-right corner of the messages screen. Select the trash bin icon. Choose the conversation you want to recover and select “Restore.”Can you find deleted text messages? ›
Tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner and open the Recycle bin. Check your deleted text messages. Long tap the message you want to retrieve. Select Restore at the bottom and check the same in your primary inbox.Can you recover deleted texts on iPhone without backup? ›
How to recover deleted text messages from iPhone without backup: Download FoneLab iPhone Data Recovery on your Mac or Windows. Use USB cable to connect your iPhone to your Mac or Windows and launch FoneLab iPhone Recovery. Choose "Recover from iOS Device" option, this iPhone data recovery will detect your device.Are deleted text messages gone forever? ›
Clearing or deleting your messages on your devices doesn't mean the data is permanently gone, it's just been filed away differently.Can I find deleted texts on iPhone? ›
You can restore messages you deleted for up to 30 days. 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.Can you see deleted messages on iPhone without iCloud? ›
1. Retrieve Deleted Text Messages With iPhone Data Recovery Tool. The easiest and most effective way to restore deleted messages on an iPhone is to use a professional iOS data recovery tool iFindit. It can help you retrieve deleted messages directly from your iOS devices without iTunes or iCloud backup.How can I retrieve deleted text messages without backup? ›
- Run the Software and Connect Your Android Device. Download FoneDog Android Data Recovery and install it. ...
- Enable USB Debugging on Your Computer. ...
- Choose Text Messages Files to Scan. ...
- Selectively Restore Text Messages.
On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, Open “Settings” > [your name] > “iCloud”, and then turn on Messages. The messages on your iPhone will be uploaded to iCloud. Step 2. To view text messages on iCloud, you could log in with your Apple ID on another iPhone, iPad, or iPod.Where is the recycle bin on my phone? ›
Is There A Recycle Bin/Trash on Android? No – unlike a Windows or Mac system, there is no Recycle Bin or Trash folder in an Android device. This is because most smartphones have a limited storage capacity that might range from as little as 8 GB to 256 GB.
Restore Messages from iCloud to iPhone/Android. Dr. Fone - Backup & Restore by Wondershare provides a one-click solution to restore text messages from iCloud to any iOS and Android device. It is an extremely reliable way to restore your iCloud backup to any other device of your choice.Where are text messages stored on iPhone? ›
Apple saves your text messages in its iPhone backups—whether they're saved locally on your PC or they're part of an iCloud backup—which you should have. That's good! Unfortunately, the file containing your messages doesn't appear separately within the backup. However, you can access them through the filesystem.Where are old text messages stored on iPhone? ›
- Open Messages app and go to All Messages.
- Swipe down from the screen to access the Search bar.
- Enter the phone number, the name or the keyword about the messages you are looking for.
- It will list all relevant results and you will find certain messages.
It is possible to retrieve deleted Messenger texts on iPhones if they are upgraded to iOS 16 or later. Also, if you back up social media data on iCloud or iTunes with third–party data recovery toolkits, you can restore the messages.How can I retrieve deleted messages from messenger? ›
You can recover deleted messages from Facebook Messenger by downloading them or checking old email notifications. You can also recover them by looking in the cache of the Messenger app, if you use Android. You can also check your archived messages or ask the person you were messaging with for a copy.