Top 5 Ways to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

Top 5 Ways to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

Text messaging is still for businesses, banks and advertisers. It is quite popular to keep in touch with friends and family. Among the multitude of messages you receive, it’s natural to accidentally delete an important text from your iPhone while spring cleaning your inbox. Fortunately, there are ways to recover deleted text messages on iPhone.

iPhone comes with a built-in feature to retrieve deleted messages. If you have taken an iCloud or iTunes backup, you can also recover lost messages from it. When none of the tricks work, you need to use a third-party data recovery software.

1. Recover deleted text messages within 30 days

iOS allows you to retrieve deleted text messages within 30 days. You need to enable ‘Filter’ from the Settings menu first. Let’s check it in action.

Step 1: Open Settings on your iPhone.

Step 2: Scroll to Messages.

Step 3: Select “Unknown and Spam” from the message filtering menu. Enable SMS filter from the following menu and turn on the switch next to “Filter unknown senders”.

Then follow the steps below to retrieve deleted texts using the Messages app.

Step 1: Launch the Messages app on your iPhone. You will see filters at the top left. Press it.

Step 2: Select “Recently Deleted”.

Step 3: Tap the radio icon next to the messages you want to restore.

Step 4: Press Restore at the bottom right and check your messages in the main inbox.

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The above trick works within 30 days of deleting the message. After one month, iOS permanently deletes these text messages.

If you have backed up messages in iTunes for Windows or Finder for Mac, use the steps below to restore the backup and recover deleted text messages.

2. Restore a backup file on iPhone

Be careful when restoring a backup file on iPhone. It will reset your iPhone to factory settings and restore a backup file with old data. That means it will delete all your recent data. The steps to restore a Mac and Windows backup differ. Let’s start with Mac.


Step 1: Connect iPhone to Mac with lightning cable.

Step 2: Open Finder.

Step 3: Select your iPhone under ‘Stations’.

Step 4: Check your iPhone details in the right pane and select “Restore Backup” under the Backups section.

Step 5: If you have multiple backup files, restore a recent file on iPhone.


Windows users must restore an iOS backup file using iTunes. The app is readily available in the Microsoft Store.

Step 1: Launch iTunes on Windows.

Step 2: Connect the iPhone to the PC with the lightning cable.

Step 3: Open iTunes and check your phone under the Summary menu.

Step 4: Select Restore Backup and select a relevant backup file from the following menu.

iPhone will factory reset and restore the selected backup file on it. Once the process is complete, you should see your deleted texts in the Messages app.

Use a third-party data recovery app if you still don’t see your deleted messages in the backup file.

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3. Use a data recovery app

A third-party data recovery app is your last resort to recover deleted messages on iPhone. The internet is packed with such apps with high demands to recover deleted content on your iPhone. However, you need to be careful when choosing any software to retrieve deleted text messages.

Not all programs work as advertised and cannot recover deleted text messages on iPhone. We suggest using a data recovery software that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can always request a refund if the recovery features are not up to the mark.

4. Enable backup of messages on iCloud

If you don’t want to lose messages in the future, you need to enable message backup in iCloud. Even if you lose your iPhone, you can always restore iCloud backup on your new phone and get all your messages back.

Step 1: Open Settings on your iPhone.

Step 2: Select your profile.

Step 3: Tap on iCloud.

Step 4: Select Show All.

Step 5: Enable message backup from the following menu.

Backing up iCloud devices may require more storage space than 5 GB of free space. You must subscribe to one of the iCloud+ or Apple One plans to unlock more storage space for your Apple account.

5. Check your deleted text messages on other Apple devices

If you have enabled iCloud sync on other Apple devices such as iPad or Mac, the system syncs your messages across all hardware. When you delete a text message on iPhone, you may be able to retrieve the same one from your iPad or Mac as well (if they are not connected to the internet and have not deleted the messages). You can open Messages on your iPad or Mac and recover the deleted message.

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Get your deleted messages back in no time

The default Messages app is the best way to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone. Which trick worked for you? Share your findings in the comments below.

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