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How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages from an iPhone

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages from an iPhone

Have you ever accidentally deleted an important text message from your iPhone and wished you could retrieve it? It’s a situation that can cause quite a bit of stress, especially if the message contained valuable information. Fortunately, there are several methods to attempt to recover those lost messages. Whether you’re using an iPhone 14, an older model, or iOS’s latest update, recovering deleted text messages can be a straightforward process—if you act quickly and follow the right steps. In this article, I will share my personal experience and guide you through various methods to recover deleted text messages from an iPhone and help ensure you’re prepared for such an event.


Common Scenarios:

Accidental Swipe 😱

  • Tap-and-hold gone wrong: Sometimes, while attempting to copy or forward a message, a misplaced tap can lead to unintentional deletion.
  • Overzealous cleaning: In the pursuit of decluttering, you may have deleted conversations that included messages you didn’t mean to lose.
  • Children on your phone: If you’ve ever handed your phone to a child for entertainment, you’ve likely experienced the surprise of missing apps or, in this case, deleted text messages.

Update Overload 🔄

  • Software glitches: Post-update, some users report missing data, including text messages, due to potential system errors.
  • iOS update failures: Sometimes, an update doesn’t go as planned, resulting in lost data during the process.
  • Mistaken restorations: Restoring your iPhone from an old backup can result in current messages being overwritten by older ones.

Technical Troubles 🛠

  • iPhone malfunction: Sudden crashes or hardware issues can lead to unexpected data loss, including your messages.
  • Failed jailbreak attempts: While jailbreaking can offer more control over your device, it comes with the risk of losing data if done improperly.
  • Water damage: iPhones are known for their resistance to water, but accidents happen, and liquid damage can be a cause for lost text messages.


Step-by-Step Guide. Retrieve Deleted Text Messages Iphone:

Method 1: iCloud Recovery 📲

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > tap on your Apple ID banner at the top > select iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.
  • Check to see if there is a backup that predates the deletion of your text messages.
  • If a suitable backup is available, go back to the main settings page, tap General > scroll down and select Reset > then choose Erase All Content and Settings to factory reset your iPhone.
  • You’ll need to set up your iPhone again as if it were new. When you reach the Apps & Data screen, select Restore from iCloud Backup, sign in to iCloud, and choose the backup which contains your deleted messages.

Note: This process will overwrite the data currently on your device with the data from the backup. Ensure you’ve backed up any recent data you want to keep before proceeding.

Conclusion: If the backup contains the text messages you’re looking for, they should now be restored to your iPhone.

Method 2: iTunes/Finder Recovery 💻

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes (on Windows or older macOS versions) or Finder (on macOS Catalina or later).
  • Select your iPhone when it appears in iTunes or Finder.
  • Click on Restore Backup and choose the most relevant backup based on the date and size.
  • Click Restore and wait for the process to finish before disconnecting your phone.

Note: Restoring from iTunes or Finder will overwrite the existing data on your iPhone, so make sure to backup any recent data you need to keep.

Conclusion: This method brings back the entire contents of the selected backup, including deleted text messages, if they were part of the backup.

Method 3: Using Third-Party Software 💾

  • Download and install a reputable third-party software application like PhoneRescue or Disk Drill.
  • Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch the software.
  • Select the option to Recover from iOS Device and let the software scan your iPhone.
  • After the scan is complete, review the recovered data for your deleted text messages and select them for recovery.
  • Choose to recover the messages to your iPhone or to your computer, depending on the software’s options.

Note: Third-party recovery tools may not always be successful, especially if the data has been overwritten. They can also be costly.

Conclusion: Using third-party recovery software offers a potential solution that does not require a prior backup but there is no guarantee of success.

Method 4: Contact Your Carrier 📞

  • Contact your mobile carrier to enquire if they store a copy of your text messages.
  • If available, follow their process to request access. This may involve logging into your online account portal or submitting a formal request.

Note: Most carriers do not keep contents of text messages and typically store metadata such as the date, time, and recipient phone numbers.

Conclusion: Although it’s a long shot, checking with your carrier could provide a way to retrieve your deleted messages, primarily if they pertain to legal or business matters.

Method 5: Check Other Devices 🖥

  • If you have other Apple devices signed in with the same iCloud account, open the Messages app on those devices to see if the deleted messages are still there.
  • If found, you can email the text or take screenshots as a way to preserve the information.

Note: This method only works if the messages have not been deleted from the other devices and that your messages are set to sync across your devices.

Conclusion: This hassle-free method might save your deleted messages if they are still present on other devices in the Apple ecosystem.


Youtube video to watch


Precautions and Tips:

Safeguarding Your Data 🛡

  • Regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud or your computer to preserve your messages and other data.
  • Enable the iMessage sync feature across your Apple devices to keep all messages updated and accessible from multiple devices.
  • Review your messaging habits and regularly save or archive important information outside of your text messages.

Cyber Security Measures 🔒

  • Be cautious when using third-party recovery tools. Always choose software with a strong reputation and read reviews from other users.
  • Consider using end-to-end encrypted messaging apps for sensitive communications to ensure better security and privacy.
  • Keep your iPhone’s operating system up-to-date to protect against vulnerabilities that could lead to data loss.


Retrieving Messages

In the digital age, our text messages often contain a treasure trove of essential communication, personal memories, and sometimes critical evidence for legal issues. Losing these messages can be troubling, but not all hope is lost. Besides the previously mentioned methods, it’s useful to keep in mind other measures and tools that can assist in data recovery. For example, checking for any existing message threads in email accounts where you might have forwarded important texts or utilizing cloud storage options like Dropbox or Google Drive, where you may have saved backups of your data.

You might wonder about the odds of successfully retrieving deleted text messages. The chances are best if the deletion occurred recently and you haven’t used your iPhone extensively since then. This is because as you use your phone, new data is constantly being written over the old, potentially making the deleted messages irrecoverable. The key is to act quickly once you notice a message is missing.

Remember to be proactive about your data.


In conclusion, accidentally deleting text messages from your iPhone doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. By following the right procedures and using the methods described above, you can often recover text messages that you thought were lost. However, the most critical step towards data recovery is preparedness: regularly backing up your iPhone and understanding the retrieval processes before you need to use them. And remember, when in doubt, consult with a professional or explore what your mobile carrier might offer. Lost messages might just be a hiccup in your digital life, not a full-stop.


Without a backup, it's more challenging to recover deleted text messages. However, they might still be recoverable with third-party software if they haven't been overwritten.

Yes, you can use iCloud Backup or iTunes to retrieve deleted messages if you had previously backed up your iPhone.

To restore texts from iCloud, reset your iPhone to factory settings, then during setup, choose 'Restore from iCloud Backup' and select the relevant backup.

Connect your iPhone to a computer, open iTunes, select your iPhone, click 'Restore Backup', and choose the backup that contains your deleted texts.

Yes, there are third-party tools designed to recover deleted data, including texts, from iPhones. Use them cautiously and ensure they are reputable.

The main factors include whether the data has been overwritten and if you have a recent backup available. Time since deletion also plays a crucial role.

Retrieving deleted messages from a carrier is unlikely, as they typically do not store text message content. However, you can always contact them and inquire.

Act swiftly to recover messages because once the space is overwritten by new data, the chances of successful recovery diminish significantly.

Yes, professional data recovery services can help in retrieving deleted messages, but they can be costly and are not always guaranteed to work.

First, check if you have an iCloud or iTunes backup. If not, consider using a third-party recovery tool or consulting a professional recovery service.