iPhone Text Messages and iMessages Disappeared, How to Get Back?

iPhone text messages or iMessages disappeared after restart, update or sync? Read on to know why messages disappeared. And get some potential methods to retrieve them back to your iPhone.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Apr. 22, 2021
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I found my iPhone messages disappeared after update to iOS 14, lost some important text messages from my girlfriend, also missed some messages in group chats. I’ve tried some fixes but still cannot get back the missing messages and attached pictures. Is there any methods to fix this iPhone message issue?

Just as the above user updated to the new iOS 14 version, some new iPhone 12 users also faced the same issue. The people from Twitter said that “I can confirm this is true. I’m missing about 1/3 of the texts in a green bubble group chat and I have an iPhone 12 Pro Max.”

Usually, this may happen after an iOS update, device restart, or after an iCloud sync. So if you get into similar trouble, don’t worry, this post will tell you why your messages disappeared and give you some potential methods to get back your message conversations, whether the iMessages or just SMS Texts.

Why Did My Messages Disappear from iPhone iPad?

All the users who are stuck on the problem of messages that disappeared from iPhone claimed that they didn’t delete any iPhone message manually, and the text messages and iMessages disappeared accidentally after some operations, such as updating to iOS 14/14.2, restarting, or syncing to iTunes or iCloud. So why did the text messages disappear?

1. Messages being automatically erased by iPhone

If you set your iPhone to keep messages in 30 days or 1 year, your iPhone won’t keep the messages forever and will delete the messages by itself after the deadline. Therefore, some messages disappeared. In this situation, the erased messages will be gone forever from your iPhone, and the only way to get back your messages is to get some backup extracting apps to view whether there are some lost messages stored in your iPhone backup in iTunes or iCloud.

iPhone Erased Text Messages Automatically – Why Messages Disappeared?

iPhone Erased Text Messages Automatically – Why Messages Disappeared?

Read to know how to prevent your iPhone from auto erasing your messages >>

2. iCloud server issue

If you are turning on Cloud Sync for Messages app, your messages may not be loaded when the iCloud server goes down. Surely, iCloud server issue will also make you fail to restore messages from iCloud backup to your iPhone. And you can check the iCloud server status to know whether it’s the issue of server.

Why My Messages Disappeared from iPhone - iCloud Server

Why My Messages Disappeared from iPhone – iCloud Server

3. iOS Update Failed, Restore Failed

If you failed to restore messages from iPhone backup or failed to update your iPhone to iOS 13 or iOS 12.4/12, you may lose text messages accidentally. In this situation, you need to restore your iPhone again from backup to get back your lost data, including the disappeared messages. Go to check how to restore messages from iTunes backup or restore messages from iCloud >>

4. Restore from a wrong iPhone backup

If you restore a wrong backup to your iPhone, your Messages app will be filled with wrong conversations. So you need to choose the correct iPhone backup based on data, size and operating system, and then restore your iPhone again. You may like how to view contents on iPhone backups files >>

5. Someone deleted your text messages and iMessages

Your messages may be mistakenly or intentionally deleted by some people, like your kid or your competitor. And you don’t know, so you thought they were gone by accident. If you are in this situation, you may like to read our ultimate guide to recover deleted text messages on iPhone >>

How to Get Back Disappeared Messages from iCloud

Check if iCloud Backup is Enabled

If you found your messages disappeared from iPhone, you can check whether you have backed up your iPhone to iCloud via Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup. If you have backed up your device before, and the messages were disappeared after the last backup time, you are able to get back your missing messages from iCloud backup. But you should immediately disabled iCloud auto backup for preventing another backup from auto-replace the messages on your iCloud backup.

Check iCloud Backup

Check iCloud Backup

Next, follow us to use PhoneRescue for iOS to extract only the message conversations back to your iPhone. (PhoneRescue can be taken as one of the best iPhone backup extractors to access, preview, and extract text messages and iMessages on iCloud backup without restoring your iPhone).

How to Extract Disappeared Messages from iCloud to iPhone

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS to the computer, install and launch it.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Connect your iPhone to the computer > Select Recover from iCloud mode > Click Right Arrow to continue.

Step 3. Sign in iCloud with your Apple ID and password > Click button to access contents on iCloud and iCloud backup.

Step 4. Select the backup possible contains the messages you want to retrieve > Click Download button > Select Messages category > Click OK button.

Choose the Messages to Restore

Choose the Messages to Restore

Step 5. Preview the messages and message attachments backed up in iCloud backup. If you find the deleted, missing, or disappeared messages in iCloud backup, click the To iPhone button to get the selected messages back to iPhone’s Messages App directly, or the To Computer button to export them to PC or Mac computer.

Extract Messages from iPhone Backup to Computer

Extract Messages from iPhone Backup to Computer

If you didn’t find your disappeared messages in the first iCloud backup, you can do these steps again to scan another iCloud backup and find the missing messages. After trying these, if you still fail to find the deleted iPhone messages, you can try the next method below.

Get Back Disappeared Messages from iTunes Backup

For people who have ever backed up iPhone to iTunes. this could be another method to get back disappeared text messages or iMessages. (iPhone messages can be saved to the iTunes backup file. So you can restore iPhone to get lost data back.)

However, before restore, you can’t preview the message conversations on iTunes backup, so you may restore a wrong backup to your device, which is dangerous. Therefore, to help you preview whether there are some messages you can restore, here we will also use PhoneRescue for iOS to preview and recover messages to your iPhone.

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS to computer > Install and run it.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Connect your device to the computer > Choose Recover from iTunes Backup mode > Click Right Arrow to continue.

Step 3. Select the backup you plan to restore, click button to scan this backup.

Step 4. Select Messages and other types of iOS content you want to preview and click OK to scan your iTunes backup.

Choose Messages to Export

Choose Messages to Export

Step 5. Preview the messages and attachments in the iTunes backup, if you are sure the deleted or missing messages are included in this backup, you can click To iPhone button to restore selected messages back to iPhone’s Messages App directly, or click To Computer button to export selected messages to computer.

Preview and Choose to Recover Texts to Computer or iPhone

Preview and Choose to Recover Texts to Computer or iPhone

If you fail to find deleted messages in the first iTunes backup, you can repeat the steps above to scan another iTunes backup or try the methods followed.

Recover Disappeared Messages/iMessages without Backup

It’s hard to get back your lost messages if you haven’t created an iPhone backup. But it doesn’t mean there is no way to do that. In fact, you still have chance to get back lost data even if you no backup, but you have to use some professional iPhone data recovery apps like PhoneRescue for iOS, which can scan your iPhone to find all hidden data on your device (only if they have not overwritten), and allow you to preview the lost messages for recovering them back to your iPhone.

Follow us to get back disappeared or missing iPhone messages with PhoneRescue.

Step 1. Download Free Trial of PhoneRescue on computer > Launch it.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Connect your iPhone to the computer > Click Recover from iOS Device mode > Click on Right Arrow to proceed.

Recover from iOS without Backup

Recover from iOS without Backup

Step 3. Preview the deleted/missing messages or messages attachments on your iPhone > Select the messages you want to recover > Click To iPhone or To Computer button to restore them. To iPhone button will help you restore deleted messages directly back to iPhone’s Message App, and To Computer button will help you export disappeared messages to PC/Mac computer.

Find Old Deleted Messages on iPhone by Date or Name

Find Old Deleted Messages on iPhone by Date or Name

If you find your iPhone messages disappeared after iOS update, it means iOS update caused this problem, and you may also lose other iOS data during updating to new iOS, like photos, contacts, etc. Here are some related posts you may like:

How to Fix: iPhone Photos Disappeared After iOS Update >

How to Fix: iPhone Contacts Disappeared After iOS Update >

How to Fix: iPhone Calendar Disappeared After iOS Update >

How to Avoid iPhone Deleting Messages Problem

We’ve talked about why messages/iMessage disappeared and how to find back the missing messages from your iPhone. Then next, you are suggested to do something to avoid this happen again, preventing messages from automatic deletion or missing without reason.

1. Back Up Your iPhone or Messages Before Syncing, Restoring or Updating to New iOS

If you got your iPhone messages/iMessage disappeared or missing this time, due to you did update your iPhone to new iOS, like iOS 13/12.4/12/11, restore your iPhone, or make sync with iTunes. Without a doubt, next time when you plan to perform these on your iPhone, make a full backup of your iPhone firstly or regularly back up your iPhone messages to computer for backup. These backups will be a great helper when necessary.

2. Save Message History as Forever Instead of 1 Month or 1 Year

If your iPhone kept messages in 30 days or 1 year, this made your iPhone messages missing, check your iPhone’s setting and ensure the Messages History keeps forever. By the way, the messages won’t take up too much storage on your iPhone, normally, they only take up dozens of MBs. If you are working with a 16 GB or 32 GB iPhone, you can spare more storage by reading this guide: 10 Methods to Free Up Space on iPhone >

3. Back Up Your iPhone Regularly In Case Of Any Unexpected Data Loss

Except restoring, syncing or updating will make your iPhone messages disappeared, some other inexplicable reasons also can lead to this problem. For example, one of our users told us, he just restarted his iPhone, and then all his messages disappeared from his iPhone. He didn’t know why, we also can’t explain what makes it happen.

This situation is not rare, and other strange reasons that we haven’t seen may also make you lose iPhone messages. To prevent any unexpected data loss, we strongly suggest that you should back up your iPhone regularly, and back up your iPhone with iTunes and iCloud, instead of either of them. By the way, turn on iCloud Back Up, it will back up your iPhone automatically when it is connected to Wi-Fi and a power source.

The Bottom Line

It would be a disaster that messages disappearing from iPhone, no matter iPhone 12 or earlier, especially when the message conversations contain some important and valuable information, such as passwords and treasured family videos. So, act fast once you found your iPhone messages/iMessage disappeared. And as you can see from above.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.