How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone 11/Xs/Xr/X/8/7/6s

Get 6 methods to recover all deleted text messages on your iPhone, no matter whether you have iPhone backup or not. ( Compatible with all iOS versions, include iOS 12/13. And apples to all iPhone )

Joy Taylor Posted on: Aug. 21, 2019, Last Updated: Nov. 20, 2019

As one of your frequently used iPhone apps, the Message app may contain some important text messages and iMessages that you would like to keep forever. But during cleaning the storage of your iPhone,  you mistakenly deleted the messages; Or you accidentally lost all message conversations after one iOS update, iPhone restores or device jailbreak; Or more similar situations where you have lost your precious iPhone messages.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

So you must be wondering “How can I recover deleted text messages on my iPhone”? Well, the answer is YES in most occasions. But the exact deleted-message-getting-back method would vary from your detailed situation.

Situation 1. If you have a nice habit of backing up iPhone data, no matter to iCloud or to iTunes, then there is a chance to find your deleted iPhone messages there. Why I am saying “there is a chance”? Because Apple does not enable us to preview what exactly is stored in the backup file, and we cannot 100% make sure of whether the deleted messages have been backed up in the file. But worth for a trial.

Situation 2. If you have not backed up your iPhone before, is there one way to find the deleted text messages on iPhone? Technically, YES. The scientific principle, which is gonna use, is when some data is stored on the iPhone, it is written in the form of code and saved on the internal memory; while when the data is deleted, we cannot see it on the iPhone, but it is still in the internal storage, unless some other new data take up its storage position, which is called data overwriting. And nowadays in the data recovery industry, developers have provided the practical solution to getting back deleted text messages on iPhone, as long as they have not been overwritten yet.

Situation 3. If there is no backup file and then deleted text messages have been overwritten, there is still the last chance and option you can try – asking help from your iPhone cellular provider or carrier, who may have stored your text messages on their servers.

And now, base on the possible situations where you may be stuck, we have collected 6 practical methods to help you get back deleted text messages on iPhone. And all methods support all iPhone models: iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/5s/SE, iPhone 6/6s (Plus), iPhone 7 (Plus), iPhone 8 (Plus), iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS (Max), iPhone 11/11 Pro (Max).

Here’re the 6 methods to retrieve iPhone deleted messages:

Which Method Should Go First to Make Sure of the Highest Recovering Possibility?

When we apply the methods, can we just take anyone to start? can we just go directly with the backup method if we have iTunes or iCloud backup? There is one order that we can follow so that we can get back the deleted iPhone text messages with the highest probability. Basically, if you have backed up your iPhone to iTunes or iCloud, we do not recommend you to directly restore your iPhone from iTunes/iCloud backup, and here are the reasons;

  • iTunes and iCloud do not enable users to preview what exactly information is stored in the backup files. So there will be some difficulties in making sure whether the deleted text messages are there or not.
  • Restoring iPhone from iTunes or iCloud backups, it will require you to reset your iPhone firstly, which means it first erases the data and files on your iPhone, and then use the backup files to cover the iPhone storage. There is a big problem that the deleted text message storage will be written by the backup files if the backup file does not contain what you want.

The correct way should be first to check if we can find the deleted text messages on iPhone storage directly; If there is no trace of them, then we can turn to the backup method; And the backup file does not provide you what you want, the last option is to ask help from your cellular carrier. So please try the methods one by one in the following order.

How to Recover Deleted Texts on iPhone without Backup?

When you lose the iPhone text messages, you’d better stop right away using your iPhone to prevent new data from overwriting the messages marked with the “Deleted” label. And you should take quick action to use some professional iPhone data recovery apps to analyze your iPhone to find the marked texts and recover them.

Normally it’s easy to recover messages using these apps. And below we give you the details on how to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone using PhoneRescue for iOS, one of the top data recovery apps, and got 5 million downloads.

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS to a computer, install and run it.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Connect iPhone to the computer using a USB cable, choose Recover from iOS Device and click Right Arrow to continue.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone without Backup – Step 2

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone without Backup – Step 2

Step 3. Select Messages and click Okay to scan only the deleted messages on iPhone.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone without Backup – Step 3

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone without Backup – Step 3

Step 4. Preview all deleted messages,  check the items that you want to recover, and click To Device buttons to retrieve them back to your iPhone or to you computer.

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone with Backup – Step 4

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone with Backup – Step 4

Except for recovering deleted text messages and getting them back to your iPhone, PhoneRescue for iOS also supports exporting the deleted iPhone messages to computers for backup by clicking To Computer button, and save them as a printable document like HTML and TEXT format.

This method is compatible with the iOS from iOS 5 to iOS 12/13 and supports all popular iPhone generation, including the newest iPhone 11/11 Pro(Max).

[Videos Tutorial] How to Recover Texts on iPhone without Backup

How to Recover Deleted iPhone Texts from iTunes Backup without Erasing

If the method above does not find what you want, now you can try the backup files. Before you head to the Apple official way, we sincerely recommend you still trying PhoneRescue for iOS. Because compared to the iTunes /iCloud, PhoneRescue enables you to preview the contents in the backup files, and restore only the deleted messages to your iPhone with no need to reset your iPhone. Besides it can also automatically compare the data between iPhone and it’s back up to accurately find what you’ve lost. And if your iPhone was lost or stolen, this app could also be helpful for you to preview the messages on your backup, and even save them as printable documents like HTML.

If you only have iCloud backups, please move to the method right behind this one.

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS to your computer, install and run it.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Select Recover from Backup, and click the right arrow to get all iPhone backups on your computer.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iTunes – Step 2

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iTunes – Step 2

Step 3. Select iTunes backup based on size, created time and iOS version, and click the Only Scan Backup to scan your deleted text messages on the backup.

How to Retrieve Text Messages from iTunes Backup to iPhone – Step 3

How to Retrieve Text Messages from iTunes Backup to iPhone – Step 3

Step 4. You can check Select All or only Messages and click Okay to get all text messages and iMessages on iTunes backup.

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iTunes Backup – Step 4

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iTunes Backup – Step 4

Step 5. Preview all messages conversations on your iTunes backup, select the messages you want to retrieve, and click To Device to restore the deleted messages to your iPhone or choose to recover to your computer.

How to Extract Deleted Messages from iTunes Backup – Step 5

How to Extract Deleted Messages from iTunes Backup – Step 5

How to Recover Deleted Messages from iCloud to iPhone without Erasing

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS to your PC or Mac, install and run it.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Select Recover from iCloud and click on right arrow to continue. (Connect your iPhone to computer if you want to recover messages from iCloud to your iPhone.)

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud – Step 2

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud – Step 2

Step 3. Sign in your iCloud account with your Apple ID and password.

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud – Step 3

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud – Step 3

Step 4. Click iCloud Backup to get your backups on the iCloud server.

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud - Step 4

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud – Step 4

Step 5. Download backup based on its created time, size and iOS version, and then select only Messages to get all message conversations on your iCloud backup.

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud – Step 5

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud – Step 5

Step 6. Preview the conversations on iCloud backup, check the items you want to recover and click To Device to recover them to your iPhone. Or click To Computer to save text messages and iMessages to the computer.

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud - Step 6

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud – Step 6

Restore iPhone from iTunes to Get Back Deleted Texts

If you are sure that the iTunes backup contains the messages that you’ve lost or deleted, this could be another way to retrieve deleted text messages on your iPhone, that you can erase the contents on your iPhone and then put all data from the backup to your device. Not only the messages but also the photos, contacts and everything will be restored from the iPhone backup to your device.

If you are not sure whether the iTunes backup contains the deleted SMS or iMessage, you can use some top best iPhone backup viewers to have a look at the content in the backup files. For details on how to recover only messages instead of all things from iCloud, you can jump to method 2.

Steps to Restore Messages from iTunes Backup

Please turn off Find My iPhone before restore.

Step 1. Connect iPhone to the computer, run iTunes and click iPhone icon.

Restore Deleted Text Messages from iTunes to iPhone

Restore Deleted Text Messages from iTunes to iPhone

Step 2. Click Summary and click Restore Backup.

Restore Deleted Text Messages from iTunes - Step 2

Restore Deleted Text Messages from iTunes – Step 2

Step 3. Choose backup based on the name and click Restore to start the process.

Select iPhone backups to restore your deleted messages

Select iPhone backups to restore your deleted messages

Step 4. It may notice you the restore will erase your media and other data.

Erase iPhone to Restore Messages from iTunes

Erase iPhone to Restore Messages from iTunes

Restore iPhone from iCloud to Get Back Deleted Texts

Similar to iTunes restore, this method will also erase your device, and then put all things from the iCloud backup to your iPhone. If you are sure there are deleted messages stored in the backup, you can now follow us to restore iPhone from iCloud here.

If you are not sure, you are suggested to use iPhone backup extractor to view and extract messages in the backup by following our method 3. Now let’s know how to do a restore from iPhone to retrieve messages. And before you get started, you’d better write down your Apple ID and passcode for future use.

  1. Run Settings app on iPhone, go to General > Reset, and tap Reset All Content and Settings.
  2. Input your passcode to continue the erase, and this will delete all media and data and reset all settings.
  3. Wait for some time until your iPhone finishes the erase. (The screen will show only the Apple icon.)
  4. After the erase finished, now you can start setting up your iPhone. (Language, country, and keyboard)
  5. Input password to connect to the WiFi and activate your iPhone. And setup passcode, Touch ID or Face ID.
  6. Input your Apple ID and password.  On the App & Data Screen, tap Restore from iCloud backup and then login your iCloud.
  7. Choose Backup and start to restore messages and everything to your iPhone.
Restore Deleted Messages and Everything from iCloud backup

Restore Deleted Messages and Everything from iCloud backup

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from Your Cellular Provider

To be honest, this way would probably be very hard since many carriers do not provide this service. Anyway, it is still worth trying. Figure out what your provider is, then make a call or email to them to ask if the recovery service is possible. Good luck.

Bonus Tips for Recovering Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

Getting back the deleted text messages on iPhone could be a headache and time-consuming, so we need to do something in case of its loss, or even again. And here are two tips recommended.

Bonus Tip 1. Back Up Your iPhone

Backing up your iPhone must be the most efficient way to rescue your deleted text messages when they are gone. So no matter what you are doing with your iPhone for upgrading, restoring, jailbreaking, or more, please back up your iPhone. And the best option that we sincerely recommend is backing iPhone up regularly. If you have no idea of how to back up your iPhone, here is a guide you can refer to How to Backup iPhone to iTunes/iCloud/PC/Mac >>

Bonus Tip 2. Keep Your Messages Forever

Have you ever encounter this weird thing: Your iPhone text messages are deleted or disappear suddenly, even if you have done nothing at all? Actually, if you are suffering from this, there is a high probability that you have changed the Message History option in Settings, where there are three choices for keeping messages: 30 days, 1 year, and forever. So if you have selected the 30-days or 1-year option, when the time is up, the messages will be deleted automatically. So why not check it now and set it to the forever?

Set Keep Messages Option to Forever

Set Keep Messages Option to Forever

Joy Taylor

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