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How to Recover Deleted Messages from iPhone

by | Nov 1, 2023

Have you ever accidentally deleted important messages from your iPhone? It can be really upsetting, especially if those messages were important or meant a lot to you. But don’t worry! In this article, we’ll show you how to get those messages back. Whether you deleted them by mistake or they disappeared for some unknown reason, we’ve got you covered. So let’s get started and learn how to recover those valuable messages. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to retrieve them easily and feel at ease again.

How to Recover Deleted Messages from iPhone

Method 1: Check Recently Deleted Folder [iOS 16]

First, let’s start by checking the “Recently Deleted” folder on your iPhone. This folder acts as a safety net and keeps deleted messages for a limited period of time before permanently removing them. Here’s how to access it:

Check Recently Deleted Folder [iOS 16]
  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the “Back” arrow to go back to the main Messages screen.
  3. Scroll down and look for “Recently Deleted” at the bottom.
  4. Tap on “Recently Deleted” to view the deleted messages.

Method 2: Restore from iCloud Backup

If you don’t find the deleted messages in the “Recently Deleted” folder, you can try restoring them from an iCloud backup. Here’s what you need to do:

Restore from iCloud Backup
  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on your name at the top to access your Apple ID settings.
  3. Select “iCloud” and then “Manage Storage”.
  4. Tap on “Backups” and choose the most recent backup that may contain the deleted messages.
  5. Turn off the “Messages” toggle switch to disable syncing.
  6. A pop-up will appear asking if you want to keep or delete the messages on your iPhone. Select “Delete from My iPhone”.
  7. Wait for the restoration process to complete.
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Method 3: Use iTunes or Finder

If you don’t want to rely on iCloud backups or don’t have enough storage space, you can back up your iPhone to your Mac using Finder (or to your PC or Mac with an older version of macOS that has iTunes). Also read How to Delete Cookies on iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide.

To recover deleted text messages from an iTunes or Finder backup, you can follow these steps:

Use iTunes or Finder
  1. Make sure you have a backup from before you deleted the messages. If you do, connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC.
  2. On a Mac, open Finder. On a PC, open iTunes.
  3. In iTunes, you’ll see an iPhone icon in the top left corner. Select it. In Finder, choose your device from the menu on the left.
  4. Now, select the option to restore the backup. In Finder, you’ll find this option under the General tab.
  5. The data you previously backed up will replace the data on your iPhone. This process may take a few minutes.
  6. If you haven’t backed up since deleting the text messages, they should now reappear in the messaging list on your phone.

Remember to export and save any recent files you want to keep separately, as restoring the backup will remove everything you have on your iPhone after the backup was created.

By following these steps, you can retrieve your deleted text messages from an iTunes or Finder backup and have them back on your phone.

Method 4: Use a third-party app

There are several software tools available that claim to help you recover deleted data, including texts. Keep in mind that using these apps comes with some risks. Most of them are not free, and there’s no guarantee that they will work. However, if it’s really important to you and you’ve exhausted all other options, it might be worth giving them a try.

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Some well-known third-party software options that have a good reputation online are:

In many cases, when you delete a message on your iPhone, it’s still stored in the device’s memory until it’s overwritten by new data. If that’s the situation, one of these programs might be able to help you restore the deleted message.

Remember to proceed with caution and do thorough research before selecting and using any third-party app. Read reviews, check their reputation, and consider the potential risks involved.

Method 5: Request deleted messages from your carrier

If you have tried the previous methods and were unable to recover your deleted text messages, there is still one option you can consider: reaching out to your phone carrier for help. Phone carriers often keep records of your text messages, similar to how they keep records of your phone calls.

It’s important to note that this method applies only to SMS messages, not iMessages. iMessages are a type of message that is sent and received through Apple’s servers, whereas SMS messages are traditional text messages that are sent through your carrier’s network.

To request deleted messages from your carrier, you will need to either log in to your carrier account online or contact their customer service line. By doing so, you can explain the situation and ask if they have any stored records of your text messages. They may be able to retrieve and provide you with copies of those messages.

It’s worth mentioning once again that this is a last-resort option, as there is no guarantee that your carrier will have the deleted messages or be able to recover them. However, it’s still worth trying as a final effort to retrieve any important information or conversations that may have been lost.

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Remember, though, that this method is specific to SMS messages and will not apply to iMessages.


Losing important text messages on your iPhone doesn’t have to be a permanent situation. By following these methods, you can increase your chances of recovering those deleted iMessages or text messages. Whether you rely on iOS 16’s built-in recovery, utilize iCloud, iTunes, or Finder backups, or seek help from your mobile carrier, there are options available to retrieve your valuable messages. Remember to act promptly, as the recoverability of deleted messages may have time limitations. Good luck on your journey to restoring those cherished conversations!

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