If you’ve lost your phone and want to retrieve conversations to a new one or accidentally deleted text messages from your iPhone, you can retrieve them with a few steps. We’re going to show you how to do it.
How to recover deleted text messages on iPhone
The first step is to check if you have turned on Messages in iCloud for your iPhone. This feature that lets you save text messages to the cloud if your iPhone is stolen, lost or stops functioning.
To do this:
- Open Settings
- Tap the name at the upper section of the screen
- Now tap iCloud menu option
- Scroll down and check if you have enabled the Messages toggle. If it’s off, turn it on or toggle it to green
- If you bought a new iPhone or restored the current one, and you’re sure you turned Messages on in iCloud, the conversations will be displayed once the iPhone is set up and you log in with your Apple ID
If Messages is enabled in iCloud but you deleted a text message manually, then you won’t recover it. Messages acts as a syncing tool between devices such that any messages you manually delete from it are removed instantly from the cloud.
However, if you hadn’t enabled Messages in iCloud, your old deleted text messages may have been saved either in iTunes backup or iCloud backup.
If you use Messages in iCloud, you won’t be able to restore any messages via an iTunes or iCloud backup because these backups don’t include standard text messages or iMessages once you switch Messages on in iCloud.
Using iCloud backup
If your iPhone backs itself up automatically to iCloud, you could restore your whole phone to an earlier point in time. Start by checking the latest iCloud backup time period. If it was at a time when you still had your messages on your device, you could pull the iPhone back in time to recover the messages.
To do this:
- Go to iCloud menu via Settings
- Tap your name and tap iCloud
- If iCloud Backup toggle is green or on, check the bottom of the screen to see the date of the last backup
- If iCloud backup is off, you can’t restore the iPhone with this method
Don’t backup the iPhone to iCloud when you realize the most recent backup has your deleted texts, as this will only overwrite the older backup with a newer one that doesn’t have the texts.
If your most recent backup was before deleting the texts, restore the phone from the backup.
Using iTunes backup
Like iCloud, you can check the latest backup that happened on iTunes, so use these steps:
- Open iTunes and select Preferences in the menu bar
- Select Devices tab
- If the iPhone was backed up with iTunes, it’ll show all the current backups on your computer. Restore the iPhone from the backup if there’s one that has the messages you want
You can also use a third-party tool to recover lost data, but these don’t guarantee results as the rate of success depends on whether the iPhone already wrote new data over the old messages.
Elsie is a tech writer with 8+ years professional experience. For Tech News Watch, she brings rich experience contributing to topics such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS among others. In her spare time, she loves checking out the latest tech trends, gadgets, and news, listening to music and cars.