How to recover deleted text messages on iPhone

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Alejandra Rangel
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Wondering how to recover deleted text messages on iPhone? Losing valuable data is the kind of thing you don't really think about until it happens. Go find a photo or old message on your iPhone and be horrified when you notice it's gone.

It is surprisingly easy to delete text messages or iMessages on your iPhone. One wrong touch and the damage is done. Fortunately, it is possible to recover deleted text messages on iPhone. In this article, we will take a look at how to recover deleted messages on iPhone.

How to recover deleted text messages on iPhone

Before you start trying to recover deleted text messages on your iPhone, try scrolling through old messages first. The message you are looking for may be higher on the screen in an old conversation.

You can also try to search for the message by typing a keyword in the search bar at the top of the Conversations page. Of course, this will only work if you remember some of the original message.

If the search for a message proves unsuccessful, the recovery attempt begins.

If you have turned on iCloud Backup, you can recover deleted texts on your iPhone, but it's not easy. You have to restore it completely, then restore your iPhone from a backup. This is obviously not ideal.

Reset iCloud

If you decide to do so, by visiting Settings> General> Reset, remember that you will need to restore a backup you created before deleting messages, which may cause you to lose more data if you haven't backed up for some time.

Fortunately, you can check when your last backup was done before resorting to drastic measures. Go to Settings, then tap your name at the top of the screen. From here, tap iCloud, then scroll down to iCloud Backup.

Hopefully, the slider is set to On. If so, tap the iCloud Backup label. Here, under the button that says Back up now, you will see the last time the phone backed up to the cloud. Unfortunately, you can't see the complete backup history.

Find iTunes backup

Backups from Finder or iTunes are much easier to restore. That said, not many people now manually back up to Finder or iTunes.

However, this option is simple if you took the last backup before deleting the messages. If you have synced after the messages have been deleted, you are out of luck.

To restore from iTunes Finder, connect your iPhone to computer. Open Finder or iTunes and select your iPhone from the sidebar.

Then click Summary. If you have backups enabled, you should see the Restore Backup option in the Backup section of the main screen.

For the most part, restoring the backup is the most feasible course of action to recover deleted messages on iPhone. Police and forensic analysts also usually depend on this method to recover deleted data from phones.

Contact your operator

This is a long attempt, but sometimes your mobile provider will have a backup of recently sent and received messages. This won't work for iMessage, but it might work for MMS or SMS. This should be one of your last assets, as it is far from something you can rely on.

If it's just key information, you can always try to contact the person you spoke to. Even if you missed the conversation, they may not have. Again, this is not something you can rely on. But if you're looking for a specific appointment address or similar information, it might be worth a try.

Recover deleted text messages on iPhone using third party apps

If you're looking to restore deleted messages on your iPhone and haven't made a backup, your choices start to thin out. There are many apps that promise to recover deleted text messages on iPhone and other data, but they don't do magic.

Many third-party message recovery apps are free, or at least they seem like that at first. By installing them you will find that to do anything, you will have to pay. The price is usually not cheap.

Once you have paid, there is no guarantee that these apps will actually recover the deleted text messages. There's a small chance they won't do the job well. Not all of these apps are shady, but many come from companies looking to cash in on people desperately looking for their deleted messages.

If you've run out of options and aren't sure how to recover deleted text messages any other way, one of these apps may be your only option. If so, be careful to research some apps before you decide to use one.

If you can, look for reviews from people who have actually used the products. Don't trust the reviews on the software website. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Using a third party app to recover deleted text messages on iPhone

In the past it was a little easier to recover deleted text messages on Android phones using apps like Recuva, as they could access the phone as a USB mass storage device. But new Android devices don't work that way and neither do iPhones.

Instead, apps need to access a database on the phone to retrieve text messages. This narrows down your options considerably. If you don't want to spend the money, the options are few.

Apps like Gihosoft iPhone Data Recovery will allow you to view some information about your texts using the free version, but you will need to upgrade to the pro version to recover them. Remember, this assumes your messages haven't been deleted forever, which is entirely possible.

Make frequent backups to prevent data loss

If you are reading this, it is likely that it is too late to recover your deleted messages. However, backup is your best bet for keeping your data safe. There are several ways to do this, but the simplest is to use the built-in iCloud backup in iOS. If you haven't already activated it, you should do it as soon as possible.

As an even safer option, you can opt for redundant backups. This means using a second backup method in addition to iCloud backup. The simplest option here is to occasionally connect your phone to your computer and use Finder or iTunes to back up your phone.

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