iPhones have become a ubiquitous part of our lives, serving as both a communication tool and a repository of important information. We rely on our iPhones to store valuable data, including text messages, which can be used for everything from arranging meetings to keeping track of critical information. Losing these messages, whether by accidental deletion or through a software glitch, can be a frustrating experience. Fortunately, there are several ways to recover deleted messages on an iPhone, and in this article, we will explore some of these methods in detail. Whether you have a backup or not, there are ways to retrieve your deleted messages and ensure that you don’t lose important information. So, let’s dive in and explore how you can recover deleted messages on your iPhone.

recover deleted messages on iphone

Download recovery tool

Tenorshare UltData is a great software tool that can help you recover deleted messages from your iPhone. Using Tenorshare UltData to recover deleted messages on your iPhone is a simple and effective process. It’s essential to note that the success of the recovery process may vary depending on how long it has been since the messages were deleted and whether they have been overwritten by new data. If UltData is unable to recover your deleted messages, you can try other methods, such as restoring from a backup or contacting Apple Support for assistance. Here’s how you can use it:

Download Recovery Tool
  1. Download and install UltData on your computer from the Tenorshare website. Once installed, launch the program.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable. If prompted, enter your passcode and trust the computer.
  3. Once your iPhone is detected, click on “Recover from iOS Device” from the main interface, and then click on “Start Scan.”
  4. The program will start scanning your iPhone for deleted messages. Once the scan is complete, you will be presented with a list of recoverable files, including messages.
  5. From the list of files, select the messages you want to recover and click on “Recover.” You can choose to recover the messages directly to your iPhone or to your computer.
  6. Wait for the program to complete the recovery process. Once done, you should be able to see the recovered messages in the location you selected.

1. Retrieve deleted messages on iOS 16 (or later version)

If your iPhone is working on iOS 16, iOS 16.1, or a later version, then you can easily recover messages and conversations that were deleted within the last 30 or 40 days. Note that you cannot recover messages that were deleted before your iPhone got updated to iOS 16 or a later version. So if the message was deleted while being on iOS 16 (or later) within the mentioned time range, here are the steps to recover it back:

  1. Go to the Messages app and tap Edit in the top left corner.
  2. Choose Show Recently Deleted.
  3. Then select conversations/messages that you want to restore, and tap Recover at the bottom.
  4. Confirm the action and enjoy your messages being back again.

2. Download messages from iCloud

If your iCloud was set to automatically back up your messages, then you can do a couple of simple steps right on your iPhone to download them back. Follow them here below:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone and tap on your account name on top.
  2. Go to iCloud and find Messages among the list.
  3. Turn it off and select Disable and Download Messages on the pop-up window.
  4. Now you can wait a bit of time and see if the messages came back from your latest backup. If they don’t, you can try to perform the same steps again. Sometimes you need more than one attempt to get it done.
  5. After doing this, make sure you enable backup for Messages again so that iCloud could save future copies as well.

3. Restore messages from iCloud Backup

Another way to restore messages from iCloud is after performing a full reset of the iPhone. Doing so will reset your iPhone to factory settings and erase all content stored on it. After this, you can use your older iCloud backup to recover the erased content and deleted messages as well. Before doing so, make sure the backup that should contain your deleted messages also contains everything else that is important for you – to not lose it while recovering from an older backup. If you think some new things might not be present in your older backup, it may be a good idea to make a copy of it.

To see what iCloud backups are available:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone and tap on your account name on top.
  2. Go to iCloud and tap on Manage Storage.
  3. Then go to Backups, choose your iPhone backup, and check the date of this backup.

If you think this is the backup that could potentially contain the deleted messages, then we will use it after resetting your iPhone.

To reset your iPhone and recover from iCloud Backup

  1. Open Settings, go to General and select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  2. Choose Erase All Content and Settings, enter your Apple ID password and tap Erase iPhone.
  3. Wait until your iPhone gets fully reset and loads on the Hello screen.
  4. While setting up your phone, you will be offered to Restore from iCloud Backup and other backup options.
  5. Choose Restore from iCloud Backup, log in with Apple ID, and select the backup that might contain your messages.

If you are lucky enough, the messages that you were looking for will get back to your iPhone.

4. Restore messages using iTunes

Some users back up their iPhones using iTunes on their computers instead of iCloud. If you are one of those people who have an available backup on a computer and think it may contain deleted messages, you can use iTunes to restore from this backup. Note that this method will also erase your iPhone, just like it was in the previous method above. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Connect your iPhone to Mac or Windows PC where the backup was made.
  2. iTunes should recognize your iPhone and display a number of sections on the left pane. Go to the one called Summary.
  3. On the right side under Manually Back Up and Restore click Restore Backup.
  4. Choose your iPhone name and click on Restore.
  5. Now wait until your phone finishes the restore process. Once done, check if the necessary messages have been restored.


We hope one of these four methods eventually helped you recover the messages you needed. Unfortunately, sometimes it is impossible to recover something when there is no backup containing a copy of it. Thus, we encourage you to always make regular backups of data, be it on iPhone or desktop, to be able to recover it back in case of an unforeseen loss or accidental deletion.

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