This blog will help you to recover deleted text messages, SMS, MMS and attachments from your iPhone or iPad. If you’ve recently deleted a message, then immediately activate Airplane Mode on your iPhone and any paired iOS and macOS devices. Doing this will reduce the possibility of your deletion being synced to other devices or backups. If the iPhone messages or SMS were deleted some time ago, don’t worry, as this guide provides a variety of options to backup iPhone text messages
Lost iPhone text messages can be recovered with the following methods:
- Recover lost iPhone messages from your iOS devices or Mac
- Backup deleted text messages from iPhone backups
- iPhone data recovery software to export iPhone text messages
- How to prevent iPhone messages from being deleted in future
Recover lost iPhone messages from iOS devices or Mac
If you’ve deleted any messages recently, there’s a great chance of availability on any paired macOS or iOS device, such as your iPad or laptop. To check them, open the Messages app on your paired devices, and see if those messages are still available. If they are, you’re in luck. You can take a screenshot of the messages, or save lost iPhone messages into another location, to make sure you have a copy of the data. Once you’ve done with saving lost iPhone messages, you can take a backup iPhone text message of the device that has the messages using iTunes or Finder (don’t turn Airplane Mode off until this has completed), which you can then use to recover lost iPhone messages as a PDF.
Backup deleted text messages from iPhone backups
If you have Backup deleted text messages stored on your computer, you can search these backups for lost and deleted messages. If you don’t have a backup, you might still be able to restore lost iPhone messages by creating one and extracting the deleted messages from there. Let’s look at each option.
Recover deleted messages using an existing backup
You can do this manually, or automatically, using iPhone SMS Backup Tool. To do this manually, you’d require to find the backup files on your computer. We have a guide on how to restore lost iPhone messages. If your backup is not encrypted, look at this guide to help manually extract lost iPhone messages. However, it’s a complicated process, and your backup most possible is encrypted, in which case, extracting lost iPhone messages automatically is the best option. You can use the iPhone SMS Backup tool to access your backup lost messages automatically, even from encrypted backups. Here’s how to recover the lost messages.
- Download and install the free version of the iPhone SMS Backup tool to your PC or Mac.
- Open the iPhone SMS Backup tool, and select your backup from the left-hand menu of our iPhone sms backup software.
iPhone data recovery software to export iPhone text messages
If you are certain that you don’t have any backup with currently deleted messages, you can create a new SMS backup iPhone. We’ve got a guide on how to do this using iPhone data recovery software. Beware of performing a new backup if you already have an existing backup plan, however, as this will delete your existing backup. You might wonder how iPhone data recovery software will help you to recover messages which are no longer on your phone. Of course, it’d be more beneficial if your backup was done at the point your phone still had the messages on it. But we can still recover messages using iPhone data recovery software which is helpful in many cases. We’ve written more about how this works and have published a technical deep-dive into the forensic recovery of text messages here.
To recover deleted iPhone lost messages using an iPhone data recovery software:
- Create a new message backup using iPhone SMS Backup Software
- Go to Preferences and click on the tick Recover deleted data
- Open the iPhone sms backup software, and select your backup from the left-hand menu.
- Click →Preview → Messages. Deleted messages will appear under Unknown.
- Click on the Extract bottom left, to extract deleted iPhone messages. Deleted text messages will show up in red after extraction.
How to prevent iPhone messages from being deleted in future
At this stage, if you’ve done restore deleted messages, you still want to know how to prevent your iPhone messages from being deleted in the future.
If you didn’t delete these messages manually, it’s possible that your iPhone is set to auto-delete all of your messages that are older than one year.
If you enable it you could lose valuable messages
To turn off this function on your iPhone:
- Go to the Settings
- Scroll down to Messages
- Find the Messages History and then click on Keep Messages to change to Forever
If you do not have this function enabled on your iPhone device, the only way text messages can be deleted is if you, or another person with access to your phone, does so manually.