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How to Retrieve Deleted Messages on iPhone

Lost or accidentally deleted important SMS or IMessage on iPhone? You can use one of the following simple techniques to retrieve and recover it

For media that often disappear in a few seconds, SMS can be very valuable. Some of us have been storing text on our phones for decades or more – messages from the early stages of an established relationship, discussions with a deceased relative, or just funny jokes we don’t want to lose. I’m glad to know that these messages still exist and can be easily accessed through a quick search.

However, you don’t want to keep all the text, and given the size of the messages application, it’s a good idea to occasionally clean up to make room. In messages, you can even choose to automatically delete messages after a specified time. So what if you accidentally delete an important message? Well, if you’re lucky, you may be able to find it back. Here are five ways to retrieve deleted text on iPhone:

  • Restore from icloud backup
  • Recover from icloud website
  • Contact your phone provider
  • Restore from iTunes (or finder) backup
  • Use third-party apps for recovery

All of these methods are described in detail below. Please read on to learn more.

Recover deleted text from icloud backup

If you have icloud backups of your iPhone before deleting text, you can restore them.

Open the settings, click the name or picture at the top, and then select icloud > manage storage > backup. See if there are enough old iPhone backups to contain deleted messages. (click backup to see when to save.) If so, you need to restore the iPhone to its factory settings completely before setting up the iPhone with an earlier backup. Remember, you’ll lose all the data you’ve added since the backup, so make sure you save copies of photos and videos, as well as all the messages you don’t want to lose! To return iPhone to factory settings, go to general > Reset > remove all content and settings. This step will take a few minutes. Then, the phone will resume normal operation and take you through the usual setup. When you choose the option to restore the device from an old backup, make sure that the correct device is selected.

It’s useful to us. I hope it’s useful to you. If you don’t use the data you need for old backups – or don’t want to overwrite the data that has been added to your phone since the old backups, try one of the following solutions.

Retrieve deleted text from backup without overwriting your iPhone

Unfortunately, icloud does not back up SMS from all regions or all phone operators. As a result, the following actions may not work – as you can see in step 2. But for many, this is the easiest way to recover lost messages.

  1. Sign in to with your Apple ID and password.
  2. Click SMS. (without this option, your message has not been backed up here – so you might as well skip to the next method.)
  3. Search for the message to find the desired message.
  4. Now go to your iPhone and choose Settings > your name > icloud.
  5. Turn off SMS (or make sure SMS is turned off).
  6. You will see a pop-up window. Choose the keep on my iPhone option.
  7. Now reopen the SMS.
  8. Click merge and wait. In a few minutes, the deleted message should reappear on your iPhone.

Retrieve deleted text from an iTunes (or finder) backup

If you haven’t backed up to icloud, but you’ve backed up your phone to iTunes on your Mac or PC (or to finder if you’re running Mac OS Catalina), you can restore SMS from there. Even if you don’t think you have a backup message, it’s worth a few minutes to try. Keep in mind that this method will also overwrite data on the phone.

Connect iPhone to the computer used for synchronization. ITunes should open automatically – otherwise, open it manually. If you are on Catalina, open the Finder.

You should see an iPhone icon in the upper left corner. Select it. (in Catalina, select your device from the menu bar on the left.)

Now select restore backup. (in Catalina, you can find it under the General tab.)

All data you previously backed up will now replace the data on your phone. It will take a few minutes. As long as you haven’t backed up these messages after deleting them, they should now appear in the regular SMS list of your phone.

Retrieve deleted text by contacting your phone provider

If you’re not lucky enough to find the old text copy in the backup, the next call port should be your phone provider. Some (though not all) companies will keep your SMS records and you have access to them. It may even be as easy as logging into your account online. For some products, you need to contact customer service. The answer may be no, but there are no questions to ask.

Retrieving deleted text using a third-party application

If none of these options work, it’s time to take action and use third-party software tools. Keep in mind that this may take you a little time and there is no guarantee it will work – but if you are desperate, this is the next step.

There are some third-party applications with good reputation on the Internet (some of which are used by us personally): imobie’s phonerescue, enigma recovery, IOS version of Wondershare dr.fone and tenorshare iPhone data recovery are four possibilities for exploration. Even after you “delete” messages, they remain on the phone until they are overwritten, so you should be able to use these utilities to recover deleted messages – but, as we said, we can’t guarantee that. If you are using one of these applications, the best advice is to do so as soon as possible. The longer the retention time is, the more likely you are to have written to the relevant part of memory.

If everything is OK, you currently have several recovered SMS messages and want to know what to do next. For a broader overview of our phone suggestions, check out our iPhone tips feature, which links to many in-depth tutorials.

That’s all for today. Hope you enjoyed this article. However, if you have doubts or have any questions about this, you can contact me in the comments section below. I’ll be happy to help you as best I can. Let us know your feedback and suggestions at any time, they allow us to provide you with high-quality work that responds to your needs and expectations, and helps you continue to give back to our products. Thank you for reading this article.


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