How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages On iPhone

If you accidentally deleted your text messages on your iPhone, no worries. All hope is not lost. In fact, there are several ways to recover iPhone text messages, but not all of them are straightforward to all folks. With that in mind, we will show you the steps on how to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone.

Before we get started, keep in mind that the below steps might not work with an older version of iOS. So, make sure you are now up-to-date (iOS 15 update). It’s also a good idea to disable Find My iPhone. Keeping Find My iPhone enabled prevents you from restoring your iPhone from a backup. To disable it,  Go to Settings > Your Apple ID > Find My. Tap Find My, then turn off Find My.

Method 1. iCloud Backup

iCloud has been an integral part of iOS since day one that allows you to back up everything across your iOS devices, including app data, iMessages, SMS, videos, and more. You can select what needs to be backed up or what does not.

iCloud backup is probably the easiest way to recover iPhone text messages as long as you have a recent iCloud backup. This is basically the process by which you take your phone back to the time before your messages were removed.

How to back up your device to iCloud

We recommend you turn on iCloud backup to prevent data corruption. It should be enabled by default, but it sometimes turns off. Here is how to back up your device to iCloud. To turn it on, head over to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup and turn on the switch next to iCloud Backup

If you want to iCloud backup your device manually, go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now. From here, you can check the last time your device was backed up to the cloud. 

How to recover deleted text messages using iCloud Backup

Step one: First off, open the Settings app from your home screen and then tap on your Apple ID at the top

Step two: Select iCloud from the list, then hit Manage Storage and then select Backups. From here, you should see a list of all your recent backups and select the one you wish to restore

Step three: This should reset your iPhone to that backup, meaning all of your current settings are reset back to their factory settings.

Step four: To factory reset your iPhone, head over to Settings > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Once your device finishes booting up, set it up and choose to restore from an iCloud backup.

Method 2. iTunes or Finder

In macOS Catalina, Apple removed the classic iTunes in favor of a comprehensive media center. If you are now running a newer version of macOS, you can use Finder to recover deleted messages on your iPhone. However, this requires having a backup from the time before you accidentally removed your text messages and you will lose everything after performing the backup.

The below guide works for Mac models running macOS Catalina or newer.

Step one: Connect your iOS device to a Mac and then launch Finder

Step two: Now select your iOS device from the left-sidebar in Finder and then select Restore Backup

Step three: Your iPhone will now restore from backup and it should take several minutes. This will recover all of your text messages.

Method 3. Contact your carrier

If your text messages won’t just show up again, then try calling your carrier and ask for support. In fact, your cell provider might keep a record of text messages you sent and you can contact them to retrieve them. However, you might be asked to provide some identification before proceeding.

Keep in mind that your cell provider does not store your messages from iMessage or any messaging apps, so this method only works for SMS text messages.

Method 4. Use a third-party app

If none of the above solutions works for you, then the best shot is to rely on a third-party app. The good news is that there are tons of apps out there that allow you to recover deleted text messages on your iPhone, but not all of them are treated equally as some may take your money.

Falling for a scam, you might end up losing your time and money. We recommend you go for trusted apps like PhoneRescue, Tenorshare UltData, or Wondershare Dr. Fone. There is no guarantee that those apps work for you, so proceed with caution.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

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About S. Santos

I am a tech columnist and blogger by trade, but I'm also an avid tennis player. In my spare time, I enjoy reviewing gadgets and gizmos from the world of tech.

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