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How to restore text messages on iPhone with iCloud (3 methods)

Rob Parsons Updated on Apr 25, 2022 2:05 PM

No doubt when your friend cried to you saying that she accidentally deleted an irreplaceable message from her iPhone, you will let her factory reset her iPhone and restore text messages from iCloud backup. As we know, Apple's iCloud is the mostly widely used backup service by iOS device users; it can automatically back up information on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, which is particularly convenient for busy guys. There's a good chance that your friend has backed up her messages to iCloud before the misfortune. But there're other ways to help your friend.

This article is here to explain how to restore messages from iCloud in three methods, and you can try them one by one or directly skip to Method 3 (this way allows selectively restore text messages).

This article applies to iPhone 12 (Pro, Pro Max), iPhone 11 (Pro, Pro Max), iPhone SE, iPhone XS (Max), iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8 (Plus), etc.

Method 1: How to Restore Text Messages from iCloud Backup

Have iCloud backup activated? If you've already enabled iCloud Backup in the Settings, good for you, iCloud backs up messages and you can restore text messages from previous iCloud backup files when texts lost from your iPhone.

However, you have to reset your Apple device to factory settings before the restoration. That said, all data will be erased from your iPhone and then you need to set up your phone again. It's so risky. We suggestion that you must be 100% sure the deleted iMessages are included in iCloud backup.

Quick tip: If you have "Messages" turned on in iCloud, the messages will be automatically uploaded to iCloud while they are not in the backup. When the messages were deleted, they are permanently gone and you can't restore texts from iCloud backup.

  • Firstly, check if you have the latest iCloud. Just navigate to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.
  • Then, you will see all iCloud backups under BACKUPS, and you can tap one of them to see the backup information. It would be better if the time of the latest backup is before the time of losing messages.

  • Once you're sure which backup that contains the deleted messages, get back Settings menu.
  • Tap on General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

  • Then, a pop-up window will ask you to confirm. Tap Erase Now.

  • Wait for a while. Your iPhone will automatically restart and you can see an Apple logo on the screen. Then, finish some steps to set up your iPhone.
  • After that, your device will prompt you to restore data. Here tap Restore form iCloud Backup.

  • Sign in your Apple ID, and choose the right backup files among the list and start restoring messages from iCloud.

"How to view text message on iCloud?" It sounds like that you want to see specific messages stored on iCloud. But the answer is there's no way. Even though you navigate to iCloud.com, you won't find the messages (they are invisible).

Method 2: Restore Messages from iCloud Messages

In reality, this method lets you download messages from iCloud, and it's easy to learn. You don't need to reset your iPhone, but the only thing you need is patience because it will take at least 48 hours to finish the download. Now check out how to restore text messages from iCloud Messages.

  • Navigate to Settings app on your iPhone, and tap your name or profile picture.
  • Tap on iCloud.
  • Swipe the button next to "Messages" to the right and then swipe the button to the left.
  • Tap Disable and Download Messages on the pop-up message to confirm.

If you're lucky, the deleted messages will be soon restored to your iPhone via iCloud. Please wait. Note that it's no guarantee that you can get back text in this way because you can't preview the deleted data in advance.

Method 3: Retrieve Text Messages from iCloud on the Computer: Step-by-Step Instructions

You should know that Apple's iCloud doesn't offer options for users to preview specific backup data and selectively restore data to your device. If you have no desire to fully restore the texts, there are plenty of message recovery programs that can help you do partial restore. One of these is iPhone Data Recovery.

It's the completely trustworthy message recovery application for your iOS devices. It not only grants you to recover messages from iCloud backup but also allows you to retrieve notes, contacts, call history, Safari, etc. from your iCloud backup file. The best thing about the software is that it displays all items in the backup and gives you freedom to choose certain items to recover.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

Just click the download link and setup the software by following the onscreen prompts. Here's how to retrieve messages from iCloud on the Mac or Windows PC with the help of this tool.

  • To get started, fire up the program. Click Recover from iCloud tab and then sign into iCloud with your Apple ID.
  • You'll be asked to type the two-factor authentication. Then, unlock your iPhone, tap Allow and you will receive the Apple ID verification code. Remember the code and enter it in the software.
  • From the interface, click on "iCloud Backup" option. Don't worry, it won't immediately start restoring messages, read on.
  • The next step is to select the iCloud backup file you want to restore. Once decided, click on Downloaded to scan the backup.
  • You're allowed to choose the file types to download. Here you just need to tick the checkmark of "Messages".
  • Then, click Next.
  • Afterwards, the screen will present you with the messages stored in iCloud backup file. By default, the boxes of all items are checked. To do partial restore, just enable the box of the items you wish to recover.
  • All that's left to do now is click on Recover. By the way, make sure the location of output folder and click Recover.

Once the progress bar is full, the application saves the recovered messages to your computer. You have now successfully recovered text messages from iCloud with computer!

Tips and More Information

When our text messages lost from our iPhone, we are often quick to check iCloud and pray that we can restore the deleted messages from iCloud backup. If you have no iCloud backups, things will get complicated but there're still methods to retrieve the texts back. For more information, see: How to Recover Deleted Messages from iPhone. Moreover, we provide additional tips that you would be interested in, just keep reading.

How to View iPhone Messages on Mac or PC

If you own a Mac and sign in the same Apple ID as your iPhone, you can view the messages on your Mac.

Firstly, you should turn on "Messages" on your iPhone: Tap Settings > Your profile picture > iCloud and toggle on the switch of "Messages".

Now launch Messages application on your Mac and sign into your Apple ID. Click "Preferences..." at the upper left corner of the screen, and hit "iMessages" tab. From there, check "Enable Messages in iCloud" box. Then, you will see the messages synced on your Mac.

But people who use Windows PC aren't so lucky, it's impossible to view the texts on PC hard drive. There's no native Messages application available for you to sync with the Messages on your iPhone. That said, iPhone messages are only saved in the Apple server.

Back up iPhone Messages to iCloud

It's straightforward to do and perhaps you've turned on iCloud Backup. Just navigate to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > iCloud Backup, and then swipe the button of "iCloud Backup" to the right. After that, your messages will be automatically saved in iCloud backup and you can restore lost messages from iCloud when necessary.

If you want to, you can back up iPhone messages manually, and just tap "Back Up Now".

However, you should make sure you've toggled off "Messages", otherwise, your text messages just sync in the iCloud; they won't be saved in the iCloud backup. Click here to learn how to keep messages in iCloud.

Manage iPhone Backups in iCloud

We all know that iCloud only offers 5GB storage space for free. If there're more and more data on your iPhone, its free space maybe is not enough to back up your messages and other data. Therefore, you should always check the remaining space on the iCloud. Just tap Settings > Your Name > iCloud. Under "STORAGE", you can see how much space is used. Should you need more space, you can upgrade your iCloud storage plan.

Alternatively, you can delete some unnecessary backup files in iCloud by tapping Manage Storage > Backups. And select the backup you don't need, and then tap Delete Backup.


Now you know how to retrieve text messages from iCloud. Whether you want to directly restore the deleted messages to your iOS device or recover the messages from iCloud using computer, it's easy to do the restoration. Just follow the detailed steps we've explained. Ah, don't forget to share this article with your friends.

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