Top 5 Ways to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

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

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

1. Recover Deleted Text Messages Within 30 Days

iOS lets you retrieve deleted text messages within 30 days. You need to enable ‘Filters’ 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 & Spam’ from the Message Filtering menu. Enable SMS Filter from the following menu and turn on the toggle next to ‘Filter Unknown Senders.’


Next, 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 in the top-left corner. Tap on it.

Step 2: Select ‘Recently Deleted.’

Step 3: Tap the radio icon beside the messages you want to recover.

Step 4: Hit Recover in the bottom-right corner and check your messages in the main inbox.

The trick above works within 30 days of deleting that message. After a month, iOS deletes those text messages permanently.

If you have taken messages backup 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 you restore a backup file on iPhone. It will reset your iPhone to factory settings and restore a backup file with old data. That means, it’ll delete all your recent data. The steps to restore a backup from Mac and Windows vary. Let’s start with Mac.


Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your Mac using the lightning cable.

Step 2: Open Finder.

Step 3: Select your iPhone under ‘Locations.’

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

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


Windows users need to 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 your iPhone to the PC using the lightning cable.

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

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

Your iPhone will reset to factory settings and restore the selected backup file on it. Once the process completes, 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.

3. Use a Data Recovery App

A third-party data recovery app is your last resort to recover deleted messages on your iPhone. The web is packed with such apps with tall claims to restore deleted content on your iPhone. However, you need to be careful while selecting any software to retrieve deleted text messages.

Not every software work as advertised and may fail to recover deleted text messages on iPhone. We suggest using a data recovery software that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can always claim a refund if the recovery functions aren’t up to the mark.

4. Enable Messages Backup on iCloud

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

Step 1: Open Settings on your iPhone.

Step 2: Select your profile.

Step 3: Tap iCloud.

Step 4: Select Show all.

Step 5: Enable the Messages backup from the following menu.

iCloud device backup may require more storage than the 5GB free space. You need to subscribe to one of the iCloud+, or Apple One plans to unlock more storage for your Apple account.

5. Check Your Deleted Text Messages on Other Apple Devices

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

Get Back Your Deleted Messages 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.

Last updated on 12 January, 2023

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