It's super common that you might delete your text messages and then have no clue what to do about it. If you have ever been in a situation like that, you can recover the deleted messages using the steps we show in the article.
Our smartphones have a limited storage capacity and on a daily basis, our Messages app starts filling up with texts, photos, videos, and other media attachments. So, it's a good idea to clear the storage and make space for future media content. I know this has nothing to do with the article but I'm just saying that keeping your storage in check can help you escape situations like this.
Steps to recover deleted messages on iPhone
But, even if you take good precautions, sometimes, things get out of hand and you end up losing important messages or even deleting them by accident. So, what can you do? With a little awareness and correctly followed steps, you can get it back probably.
I will be walking you through some easy steps to recover lost or accidentally deleted text messages on your iPhone.
How to restore deleted messages from an old iCloud backup
So, I'm explaining the steps in iOS 15. So, as of October 2021, we have a stable public release of iOS 15. You can download it free of cost and in case if you have an older version of iOS, the screenshots might look a little different for but you should be able to follow the steps without much difficulty.
- First things first, we need to check if you have a backup enabled for your iOS device. Open the Settings App.
- Tap on your name at the top.
- Under that Choose iCloud.
- Under iCloud, choose Manage Storage and then Backups. There you will see the list of all the available backups. Look for the one which has a date before the date and time of when you deleted the text message.
- When you find the proper backup that would help you get the deleted text message, you can start restoring to that back up. But the thing you need to remember is that, you will have to completely reset your iPhone to factory settings and then set up with the chosen backup. So, please create a backup of your current state so that you don't lose any of that.
- To restore you phone to initial factory settings, Open Settings, Choose General and then under Reset and select Erase All Content and Settings. Obviously you'l need to verify you identity by using FaceID because essentially you are deleting everything from the phone. Its natural to think they would want to be sure that its you who is doing it.
- After a few minutes of loading, all the data is erased and you will be taken to the setup part like how you would set up the phone when you bought it. Just go back to the Backup screen and with the selected backup and start backing up. Once its done, you will have the message that was deleted by mistake.
- Now, you can either go back and choose to restore the backup or even stay where you are now. Its up to your choice.
These steps work only if you have backup enabled. In case if you don't have a backup you might want to check out other options to recover deleted messages. But there is another way to get without having to overwrite with your backup.
How to restore deleted messages without overwriting your iPhone
Now, the same backup mechanism could be used via a web browser to retrieve your deleted text message. You don't need an Apple computer for this. You can log in via any browser.
- Open iCloud.com. Enter your Apple ID and password. You might have to enter a special code if you are logging on iCloud in this computer for the first time. Once you do that you will be logged in successfully.
- In the App window that appears, choose Text Messages. Please be aware that this appears only if you have Text messages backup enabled for your Apple ID.
- Under that you could search for the messages that you deleted by accident.
- Now, move on to your iPhone. Go to Settings. Choose your name and then select iCloud.
- Under iCloud, disable Text messages.
- Once done, you will see a popup with options. Enable Keep on My iPhone option.
- Now enable Text Messages under iCloud.
- Now you will see an option that asks you to merge the messages. Select on it.
After a few minutes, all the messages from previous backups will start merging with current messages and you should see the deleted text messages in there. Please be aware that the merge is permanent and cannot be reverted back. But you could always go back to another backup version of your iPhone data.
How to Recover Messages If you don't have a Backup
In case if you don't have a backup for your iPhone, then the only way is to contact your service provider. I don't have much hope that this might work because there is definitely a matter of privacy and security that the company would be worrying about.
There are certain companies that keep a record of your text messages because text messages are not 100% end-to-end encrypted. Even some providers give you the option to login into their account by a web browser and get your text messages.
If that isn't available for your service provider then you might want to check with the customer service and talk to them and explain the situation and importance of your request. Since they are mostly private companies, their rules and regulations vary and they might even be helpful to your request. What I mean is, it's free to just try even if it doesn't work.
These are some of the ways you could try and recover your deleted messages. I cannot assure you that this would work but it's definitely worth checking it out. I would say, keep your backups in place all the time even if you have to pay for an iCloud subscription, I think it will be worth it.