How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone: A Comprehensive Guide

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Written By Akash

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Your iPhone is a valuable tool for communication, and text messages often contain essential information and cherished memories. But what happens when those text messages are accidentally deleted? Is there a way to retrieve them? Fortunately, there are several methods you can try to recover deleted text messages on your iPhone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore these methods step by step, ensuring you have the best chance of getting those precious messages back.

Method 1: Check iCloud Backup

  1. Ensure Regular Backups: To use this method effectively, you need to have been regularly backing up your iPhone to iCloud. If you’re not sure, check your iCloud settings.
  2. Access iCloud Settings: On your iPhone, go to “Settings.”
  3. Navigate to iCloud: Tap on your name at the top of the Settings menu, then select “iCloud.”
  4. Manage Storage: Scroll down and tap on “Manage Storage.”
  5. View Backups: Choose “Backups” to see a list of your device backups.
  6. Check Backup Date: Look at the date of your last backup. If it was made before you deleted the text messages you want to recover, you’re in luck.
  7. Restore Your iPhone: To restore your iPhone from the backup, you’ll need to erase your device first. Make sure you have a backup that includes the deleted messages.
  8. Erase Your iPhone: In “Settings,” go to “General” > “Reset” > “Erase All Content and Settings.” Confirm the action, and your iPhone will reset.
  9. Restore from iCloud: When you set up your iPhone again, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup.” Select the relevant backup that includes your deleted text messages.
  10. Complete the Process: Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the restoration process. Your iPhone will be restored to the state it was in when that backup was made, including the recovered text messages.

Method 2: Restore from iTunes (or Finder) Backup

  1. Connect Your iPhone: Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to a computer that you’ve used to sync with iTunes (or Finder, if you’re on macOS Catalina or later).
  2. Open iTunes (or Finder): Launch iTunes (or Finder).
  3. Select Your Device: When your iPhone appears in iTunes (or Finder), select it.
  4. Choose “Restore Backup”: In the Summary tab, you’ll find the option to “Restore Backup.” Click on it.
  5. Select the Backup: Choose the most relevant backup based on its date and content. This should be the backup that contains the deleted text messages you want to recover.
  6. Confirm and Restore: Click “Restore” and wait for the process to complete. Your iPhone will be restored to the state it was in when that backup was made, including the recovered text messages.

Method 3: Use a Third-Party Data Recovery Tool

If you don’t have an iCloud or iTunes (or Finder) backup that includes your deleted text messages, you can still try using a third-party data recovery tool. One popular tool is Dr.Fone – Data Recovery. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download and Install Dr.Fone: Start by downloading and installing Dr.Fone – Data Recovery on your computer.
  2. Launch Dr.Fone: After installation, launch the program.
  3. Connect Your iPhone: Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer.
  4. Select “Data Recovery”: From the program’s main menu, choose the “Data Recovery” option.
  5. Choose Recovery Mode: Select “Recover from iOS Device.”
  6. Select Data Type: Choose “Messages & Attachments” as the data type to recover. Click “Start Scan.”
  7. Scan Your iPhone: Dr.Fone will scan your iPhone for deleted text messages.
  8. Preview and Select Messages: After the scan is complete, you can preview the recoverable text messages. Select the ones you want to retrieve.
  9. Recover to Computer: Click “Recover to Computer” to save the selected messages to your computer.

Please note that while third-party tools can be effective, success isn’t guaranteed, and some tools may come with limitations or require payment.

Method 4: Contact Your Phone Carrier

If none of the above methods work and you urgently need to recover specific text messages, it’s worth reaching out to your phone carrier. Some carriers store text messages for a limited time, and they may be able to provide you with copies. However, they often have strict policies regarding accessing such data and may require a legal request.

Method 5: Check Message Recovery Apps

There are several message recovery apps available on the App Store. While some may help recover deleted messages, be cautious when using them. They often come with limitations, require payment, or may not guarantee success. It’s essential to read user reviews and carefully consider the app’s terms and conditions.

Important Tips

Before attempting any text message recovery method, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Regular Backups: Always make sure you regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes/Finder to have a recent copy of your data.
  2. Use Official Cables: When connecting your iPhone to a computer, use an official or high-quality USB cable to prevent connectivity issues.
  3. Update Software: Ensure that you have the latest version of iTunes (or Finder) installed on your computer for a smoother recovery process.
  4. Charge Your iPhone: Make sure your iPhone has sufficient battery life or is connected to a power source during the recovery process to avoid interruptions.


Losing important text messages can be distressing, but with the right methods and precautions, you have a good chance of recovering them. Regularly backing up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes/Finder is the best way to ensure you can retrieve your data when needed. In case you don’t have backups, third-party data recovery tools and contacting your phone carrier are viable options. Just remember that time is of the essence, so act promptly to maximize your chances of success in recovering those deleted text messages on your iPhone.

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