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How to restore deleted iMessages on iPhone with/ without backup

Alex Griffith Updated on Apr 10, 2023 10:14 AM

How do I recover old iMessages? I accidentally deleted a string of iMessages texts on my iPhone and needs them restored from a year ago. I did have a recent backup on iCloud. Please tell me how to get them. Thanks in advance.

It used to be a big pain when it comes to restoring deleted iMessages on iPhone, but it's now easier than ever to get them back, including important attachment files like inserted images and links. To round things off, we'll provide some tricks in this post to help you restore iPhone iMessages, SMS and MMS using a few quick and easy steps.

We'll even teach you a few different ways to perform iMessages recovery process. You can do this by scanning iPhone memory thoroughly to find deleted & old iMessages and recover them, or restoring from an iCloud & iTunes/ Finder backup file if you created it before the iMessages conversations were deleted on your iPhone.

Method 1: Using the iPhone iMessages Recovery Software

If you don't make regular backups of iPhone iMessages, you can always try out something called iOS Data Recovery. It recovers almost everything and it's extremely easy to use—just connect the iPhone to computer, scan it completely and then you're ready to restore iMessages and other files it found. It also includes a backup extracting feature that lets you retrieve iMessages from iCloud or iTunes backup without restoring your device to an earlier state and overwriting current data.

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Here's how to use the program to recover deleted iMessages from an iPhone without backup.

Step 1: Choose Recovery Mode

To restore messages with iOS Data Recovery, make sure your iPhone is connected to your computer, then fire up the software.

In the opening interface choose the "Recover from iOS Device" mode.

recover deleted iMessages without backup

Step 2: Scan your iPhone

Select "Messages" and any other data type you wish to restore. Make sure "Messages Attachment" is selected if you have important files in attachment.

The program will begin a direct and deep scan for the device - both deleted and existing iMessages, SMS and MMS texts will display in the results list.

Step 3: View deleted iMessages

When the scan is done, you can make a preview of the found texts, including the name, phone number, and chat date. You can turn "Only display the deleted item(s)" option (see upper left side) on to look through just the deleted iMessages texts. This can help speed up the process quite a bit.

Step 4: Restore iMessages and export to a file on computer

Now, select what iMessages you want to retrieve and click Recover button to save the files elsewhere on your computer. It's pretty simple!

Tip: The software will export iMessages and attachments quickly and store as HTML or CSV file that you can then view on the desktop or print it.

Video tutorial: How to recover deleted iMessages

Method 2: Restore iMessages from iCloud or iTunes Backup

Apple provides a great, free way to recover iMessages history — if you have synchronized iPhone with iCloud over the air or using Finder/ iTunes on computer before iMessages chats were deleted. If you do, then you are able to restore iPhone iMessages from that backup. When you do that, you will have to erase the contents on your iPhone, any new information since the date of the backup would be lost.

Option 1: Restore iMessages from iCloud Backup Free

If you had backed texts up on iCloud, things can be easy. Follow these steps below to restore lost iMessages.

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  • If asked, enter your passcode or Apple ID password.
  • Wait for your device to erase. Once done, your iPhone will reboot and set up as a new device.
  • recover deleted imessages from iCloud without computer

  • When arrive in the Apps & Data screen, tap Restore from iCloud Backup.
  • restore iPhone iMessages from iCloud

  • Sign in iCloud.
  • Choose a backup from a list of available backup archives.
  • Your iPhone will be restored from the chosen iCloud backup. Once done, iMessages conversation history and attachments should re-appear on the Messages app. Done!

The iOS Data Recovery also enables you to get back iMessages from iCloud backup. What sets it apart, however, is that it gives you ability to preview/ see iMessages history and select what texts you want to restore without losing current data on the device. Here's how to do.

Option 2: Recover Deleted iMessages from iTunes Backup for Free

Another option that thankfully lets you retrieve iPhone iMessages is use "Restore Backup" feature included in iTunes, or Finder. This method only works when you create backup before iMessages disappeared from iPhone, though.

  • Launch Finder. On a Mac with macOS 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes.
  • Connect your iPhone into the computer with USB cable. Tap "Trust This Computer" on home screen when prompts.
  • Select the iPhone icon when it appears in the Finder window or iTunes.
  • Select Restore Backup.
  • Choose the most relevant backup that contains your deleted iMessages from the list.
  • Click Restore.

Once the restore process is complete, your lost iMessages chats should appear on iPhone again.

Free restore iMessages on iPhone from iTunes

In case you just want to recover deleted iMessages from an iTunes backup, rather than an entire restoration, and don't touch anything in the device, you can use the "Recover from iTunes Backup File" option built in iOS Data Recovery application.

Method 3: Find Deleted & Old iMessages on Other Apple Devices

Messages syncing feature is now available in iCloud after a release of iOS 11.4 on iPhone. When you turn the feature on, it stores all your iMessages and SMS texts to iCloud and syncs across all your iOS and Mac devices that using the same Apple ID. If you deleted a iMessage on iPhone, you can turn the sync off to download iMessages and SMS texts to iPhone.

how to find old iMessages on iPhone

Should you find that this method doesn't work, you will have to try using Method 1 and 2.

What is iMessages

iMessages is part of Apple's instant messaging app that can be used on iPhone. Unlike the typical text messages for which you will be charged by the cellular data service provider, iMessages enable users to send unlimited messages to your friends if the device is connected to Wi-Fi network (iMessages will use cellular data if the device are not connect to Wi-Fi). For those who text a lot and want to cut down on SMS messages, iMessages can be a good application to keep in touch with your friends without worrying about the charges that are from phone carrier.

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