Is there a way to retrieve the text messages you accidentally deleted from your iPhone? Users of Apple devices have three options to restore deleted texts from an iPhone: using iTunes or iCloud backup, or with the help of third-party applications.
Restore text messages from iCloud backup
Users can retrieve the deleted text messages in case they made iPhone backups to iCloud or iTunes.
Note: iCloud backup has limitations depending on geography and service provider. To learn if any restrictions apply to your device, do the following:
- Use your Apple ID and password to login to https://icloud.com.
- Click ‘Text ‘ If this option is inactive, message back up is unavailable.
- If the option is active, look up the messages to locate the needed ones.
- On your iPhone, go to Settings ->iCloud.
- To restore the deleted messages, turn the ‘Text Messages’ option off and on again.
- Once you turn ‘Text Messages’ off, choose ‘Keep on My iPhone’ in a pop-up that shows up.
- When done, turn ‘Text Messages’ on again.
- Tap ‘Merge’ to bring the deleted text messages back on your iPhone.
Retrieve text messages from iTunes backup
If the automatic iTunes sync is on, chances are a text messages backup was created each time your iPhone synced to a Mac or PC. To restore text messages from iTunes, do the following:
- Connect your iPhone to a Mac or PC.
- Open iTunes (if it doesn’t open automatically) and wait until your iPhone appears.
- Select the iPhone, then choose ‘Restore ‘
- The previously backed up data will restore on your phone. The process can take up to several minutes.
Note: Do not make any data backups after deleting text messages or other important data you may need to retrieve later on. Otherwise, the files may be impossible to restore.
Recover deleted text messages using third-party applications
In the event neither of the above has worked, there is one last option to use. There are many free and paid third-party apps claiming they can help restore all kinds of user data. Alien data recovery apps have a few drawbacks users should know about:
- No possibility to regain message attachments back into the original dialog.
- Message attachments are saved
- It is unclear which attachments are retrieved and which are lost.
- High pricing policy.
After the text messages get purged, they stay on your device until overwritten. There is a chance to retrieve the deleted messages using third-party apps, but no 100% guarantee.