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How to recover deleted iMessages from iCloud, iTunes, or iPhone

Is your iMessage missing on your iPhone? Maybe it's still backed up in your computer or in a recent iCloud backup version, or in iPhone memory without being overwrote. All is not lost; here's how to recover your accidentally deleted iMessages.

face Alex Griffith Updated on Apr 15, 2022 3:55 PM

You attempt to check a phone number in an iMessage conversation only to discover that the thread is gone. Oops. It is truly not a good feeling if you find an important iMessage chat is deleted from your iPhone. 

Have backup in iCloud or computer handy should you ever need to undelete iMessages from iPhone.

Yes, your iMessages can go missing for many reasons. You could have deleted the iMessage accidentally when you're cleaning your iPhone Messages app that is stuffed up with texts, images, documents, and other attachments. You may be experiencing a problem with iOS upgrade and result in data being corrupted, including your iMessage. There's even a chance that the option in Messages has been enabled to delete old texts and iMessages automatically on iPhone.

So how do you recover deleted iMessages from your iPhone? Here're some quick tricks you can use to revert the situation and get the deleted iMessage that you still need back.

What can you do when an iMessage is deleted?

Thankfully, recovering deleted iPhone iMessages is something you can do on your own at home. Here are tips to follow.

  • You can take a few time to retrieve your deleted iMessages with a recent iCloud backup or your iTunes backup version in computer by restoring your iPhone.
  • Some territories offer services for backing up SMS and iMessages in iCloud account. They may recover those deleted iMessages.
  • If these places above don't contain your iMessages, you can also use a 3rd party utility like iOS Data Recovery to try retrieving deleted iMessages from your iPhone memory before they are overwrote.
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Recover deleted iMessages on iPhone from an iCloud backup

If the option in iCloud settings (Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup) is turned on when you still had the iMessage conversations you needed, your iMessages should be archived in the backup by iCloud and you may be able to restore them.

It's worth pointing out that the way of restoring from a recent iCloud backup to recover a deleted iMessage will wipe the iPhone completely and lose any newer saved data. You will need to set up your phone again and sign back into your account for your apps.

To restore deleted iMessages on an iPhone using iCloud, use these steps:

1. Ensure you have a suitable backup before the iMessages were deleted. You can check it by navigating to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups. View the date of backup files one by one until you find the one where the iMessages exist.

Ensure that you have backup to restore.

2. Factory reset your iPhone. Go back to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone, and then tap Erase All Content and Settings. Wait a few minutes for the phone to reset itself to factory settings.

3. Do a full restore from iCloud. When you're presented with a Hello screen after it restarts, you'll want to go through the usual setup. As soon as you get the Apps & Data page, choose "Restore iCloud Backup."

4. Enter your Apple ID and password to sign into your iCloud account.

5. Now, you have access to all your iPhone backups with time stamp. Select an appropriate backup from the list to restore your iMessages.

If you're not sure which backup is the right one that has iMessages you deleted, you may need to repeat the process above to restore your iPhone from iCloud.

Also see: What to do when you forgot iPad passcode.

Retrieve accidentally deleted iMessages with iTunes or Finder

Couldn't find your deleted iMessages from recent iCloud backup? It's possible to recover your iMessages from iPhone with iTunes through a complete restore as long as your iPhone is set to back up to your computer — data restore is now handled entirely by Finder in all Mac computers that has a Catalina 10.15 or newer version.

Here's how you can restore deleted iMessages from iTunes & Finder backup.

1. Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac with a cable and launch iTunes or Finder (newer macOS version).

2. You should see a device icon appear in the top of the screen when connecting successfully, click it. You may select your iPhone from the Device menu on the left in Finder instead.

3. Select Restore Backup. If the option is grayed out, you may have enabled iCloud backup for your phone. Simply switch the option to This Computer. You can switch it back to iCloud once iTunes gets your deleted iMessages back.

Restore backup with iTunes on computer.

4. Wait until iTunes erases all your data on iPhone and finishes restoring from computer backup. Your deleted iPhone iMessages should reappear in your Messages app.

Recover deleted texts and iMessages from iPhone internal storage

Still coming up empty? You might don't back up your iPhone to either computer or iCloud when you still had the deleted iMessages. Don't despair. Third party texts recovery tools always help you out.

The tool we use to retrieve deleted iMessages on iPhone is iOS Data Recovery. You can download the tool on your Windows and Mac computer.

Often it can be hard to know if an iMessage you deleted is still in your phone storage. But with iOS Data Recovery, you're allowed to do a deep scan on the device with its sophisticated algorithms for hunting iMessages, SMS texts and MMS that are visible and recoverable. Better still, It allows recovering just the deleted iMessages without overwriting your iPhone —the way iCloud and iTunes need.

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  • Connect your phone to the computer, and open this iMessages recovery software.
  • Click "Start Scan" to initial a whole and complete scan on the device.
  • Click Messages and Messages Attachments from the menu on the left for a preview of your found iMessages and SMS texts.
  • Select your iMessages to recover.
  • Related: How to transfer music from computer to iPhone without iTunes.

As long as you don't save much data in your iPhone that might overwrite the relevant section of memory where retains your deleted iMessages, there's a good chance you can use this utility to recover them.

The utility also enables you recover deleted photos, text messages, contacts, notes, documents, and includes options to access and extract just the data you need from your iCloud backup as well as iTunes backup.

Restore iMessages from iCloud account

It's worth knowing that this method relies on territory and cellular carrier heavily. If Apple offers iCloud service to back up iMessages in your territory or your phone carrier, you can easily recover your deleted iMessages from iPhone without carrying a factory data reset.

However, not everyone has this iCloud service available. If you're lucky enough, go ahead and learn how to do.

1. On your computer, sign in to iCloud.com with your credentials.

2. Once logged in, you will see a list of iCloud apps. Click on Messages icon. If it doesn't show in the list, iCloud service doesn't back up text messages and iMessages for you. You need to skip to other ways outlined in this article.

3. Search the iMessages you deleted before.

4. Now unlock your iPhone and navigate to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud.

5. Turn on the toggle for "Messages," if it isn't already. 

6. When you get a pop-up notification, tap Keep On My iPhone.

7. Turn "Messages" back on, and select Merge when prompted.

Enable iCloud Messages one more time.

The deleted iMessages should get back to your iPhone after the merge process is complete.

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