How to Recover Deleted Messages on iPhone?

messages app for iOSYou may need to clear data on your iPhone if it has been cluttered up. For instance, you can delete some old media files, apps or messages like text messages, iMessage, WhatsApp messages, especially audio messages or multimedia messages. The out dated files, especially those unwanted, commercial or spam messages, on iPhone makes it more and more difficult to find the information we need. So clear up our phone from time to time is necessary. Did you accidentally delete text messages or iMessages that you can’t afford to lose? When deleting a specific message, you deleted attached photos, videos as well. When deleting all messages from one person, you deleted all messages and files he or she sent to you.  Unfortunately there is no undo option to cancel the deletion and recover deleted iPhone messages. To get back deleted content on iPhone, you can either restore iPhone from an iTunes or iCloud backup file which you have created before. This is really annoying even when you have already made backups. First of all, we are out of luck if no backups on computer or iCloud server. Secondly, iPhone restore via iTunes or iCloud can be a pain. As this will overwrite all existing files on our phone. How about those newly generated data not included in the backup? They will be erased if you restore iPhone. It is a pity to lose new files for the sake of old files. It would be great if Apple allow us to selectively restore only certain iPhone text messages we want to retrieve while leaving all other content intact. We are excited to recommend you this better iPhone data recovery solution which fills the gap. Firstly, it can recover any specific text messages from iTunes or iCloud backups. What’s more, you will not only be able to recover deleted messages on iPhone, but also many other files types, like contacts, call history, photos, videos, calendars, reminders, and so on. Best of all, this data recovery software can recover deleted iPhone messages or other content from iPhone directly where there is no backup at all.

#1. How to Recover Deleted Messages on iPhone (SMS and iMessages)?

This is a feature most Apple users do not know. It is similar to put back files from the trash or recyle bin on a PC or Mac. You can actually get back deleted iPhone data from iPhone without any backups. Download this iPhone data recovery program below, then follow below steps to recover deleted iPhone messages and photos or other files received through SMS or iMessages.

Run the iOS recovery application on your PC or Mac computer. Connect your iPhone to computer via the USB cord. The iPhone recovery tool will automatically detect iPhone connection via USB. You will get a screen like this:

ios data recovery tool to scan iphone

From top of the main interface of this iPhone recovery tool, you will find three options: 1. Recover from iOS Device, 2. Recover from iTunes Backup Files, 3. Recover from iCloud Backup Files. They are the three recovery modes you can use to retrieve lost iPhone files, including text messages, contacts & phone numbers, call history, photos, videos, notes and many more from iPhone, iTunes or iCloud. In this tutorial, we will only focus on the lost text messages recovery. Continue with steps below to recover deleted iPhone messages.

Now click Start Scan to allow the data recovery application to scan iPhone storage. The scan process takes several minutes, depending on your iPhone capacity and its usage. Once iPhone recovery software finishes scanning the iPhone, you will get a screen like this:

recover deleted text messages from iphone

From above screen capture, you can find three columns, the left column lists all support file types you can recover, click on each file type, you will open the files and data entries in the middle column, if you click on a specific file in the middle, you can preview the selected file in the right column. Obviously, you can recover a host of different files, like contacts, photos & videos, notes, call history, reminders, Safari Bookmarks, from iPhone. Check out this tutorial to recover deleted contacts from iPhone. Other than the messages sent and received via the stock messaging app or the iMessages, it can also retrieve deleted WhatsApp messages from iPhone.

To recover deleted messages iPhone, click on the Messages from the left category, you can browse through all your contacts and text messages, preview the text messages, select and recover text messages you need. You can recover all text messages from iPhone at once or recover highlighted or selected iPhone text messages only. Deleted messages will be highlighted in red, you can select to recover deleted iPhone messages only. Pick up a target folder on your computer to export iPhone text messages to.

recover ios data to computer

Once you found and exported text messages from iPhone to computer, you will find the messages are saved as CSV and HTML files on your PC or Mac.

iphone text messages saved to computer

You can use Excel or a text editor to open the CSV file and view iPhone text messages. Alternatively you can also open the HTML file with your web browser to view iPhone text messages, such as IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. Now you know how to recover deleted messages on iPhone without backups. If you can’t find the text messages using this method, what to do? This iPhone data recovery tool has two more alternate recovery modes you can try. That’s what are going to discuss below.

#2. Recover deleted iPhone messages (SMS & iMessages) from iTunes backup

Many iPhone users would sync their device to computer. This creates different backup files on your computer. In case you lost your mobile phone, or accidentally delete wrong files from iPhone, you can get them back from iTunes backup files. To recover deleted iPhone text messages from iTunes backup files, switch to the ‘Recover from iTunes Backup Files’ mode from the top of the iOS recovery tool. It will then automatically search any iTunes backup files on your computer, including all iPhone backups, iPad backups and iPod backups.

recover iphone data from itunes backup

Choose the iTunes backup file for iPhone, the iPhone recovery program will then scan this backup file for the files and data in it. You will be taken to a screen like this.

recover deleted iphone text messages from itunes backup

To recover deleted messages iPhone, click on the Messages & Logs >> Messages, you will find all text messages in the iTunes backup file. You can select and recover any iPhone text messages to computer or iPhone. Choose the recovery option you prefer, then you will be prompted to select between recovery to computer or iPhone. It is highly recommended to save a copy of all deleted messages to your computer at first. It is because restoring data or save new data to iPhone may overwrite those deleted messages.

recover data to computer or iphone ipad

From here, it is quite easy to follow. You can refer to this guide for specific instructions: how to export data from iTunes backup to iPhone. The instructions are almost the same as we have illustrated above. Simply refer to the first part of this guide where we have showed you how to recover deleted messages on iPhone.

#3. Recover deleted iPhone messages (SMS and iMessages) from iCloud

If you have enabled iCloud backup on iPhone, you have another option to recover deleted iPhone messages. Normally a lot of data backed up in iCloud can’t be downloaded computer directly. By using this iPhone data recovery however you can easily download any data from iCloud backup to computer. To do that, click Recover from iCloud Backup File tab from the top of this data recovery software main interface.

recover iphone ipad data from icloud backup

You will be prompted to sign in iCloud account using your Apple username and its password. Once you are logged in, a list of available iPhone iPad or iPod touch backups in your iCloud account will be displayed. See below screenshot.

download iphone backup from icloud to computer

Now it is time to choose. Generally speaking you should choose the latest iPhone backup from your iCloud account. After that you will get a pop-up window asking you to choose file types you like to download from iCloud backup to computer. This option in place so you can selectively download any data you like to recover, in this case we can only select to download Messages from iCloud to computer while disable other data types or recovery, such as Camera Roll recovery, Contacts recovery, Voicemail recovery, reminders recovery, WhatsApp chats recovery or anything else. It will be extremely easy to follow from there. Just like you extract data from iTunes or export data from iPhone to computer above, you will get another screen where you can preview the SMS before finally recover deleted iPhone messages to your PC or Mac.

10 thoughts on “How to Recover Deleted Messages on iPhone?”

  1. Hi! I’m trying to search for and download my what’s app messages on my iPhone4s. The messages are on my phone; I can read them. Dr fone can’t seem to find them. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    1. Do you use the software on a PC or Mac? the Mac version of this software should work well with iPhone 4S. However the current version of this software for Windows does not work well with some iPhone 4S. We have also received the same issue report from other iPhone 4s users. Hopefully our development team will improve its performance in next upgrade.

  2. I’ve deleted all wats app history it says nothing to download from iCloud 🙁 I’m heart broken as dad died and I’ve lost all conversations! I’ve done the delete and reinstall

    1. The uninstall/reinstall of WhatsApp can only help you restore chat history from last 7 days. What’s worse, this method will overwrite those deleted data on iPhone. Once the deleted data has been overwritten by new data, it becomes even more difficult to recover, you can barely get back those deleted data when they have been overwritten.
      Have you tried to use the above iPhone recovery software to scan iPhone directly for deleted WhatsApp messages? Try this solution as soon as possible and avoid using your phone for new data storage before that, so you can get more lost files back.

      if you have iTunes backup, you can also use this software to scan backups on computer.

      As to the iCloud backup, can you see three different iCloud backups? If so, you can use the software to scan the other two backups see if any WhatsApp messages saved.

      1. Matt I’ve paid for the Dr.fone and I can see the conversation I paid so I could print it and it just froze wouldn’t print the thing kept spinning! I shut it down and now I can’t find it!
        I went and got a new phone today and I got most of my what’s app back but not from April 2015 yet I could see it when I did the free scan of the program

        1. Hi, you can try these tips see if any help:
          1. instead of printing messages from the recovery software directly, you can export the chat history to your computer first, then print it using your web browser, Excel or other compatible apps. It will save your chat history in different files formats on computer.
          2. avoid using your phone for any data storage, as this will overwrite those deleted data. Once the data has been overwritten, you will not be able to get them back. many activities on iPhone could lead to data overwriting, like installing apps, checking emails, browsing websites, watch online movies, etc.
          3. Sometimes you can try to scan the phone another time to find more lost data. we are trying hard to improve and ensure consistency in its performance.

    1. Do you mean no WhatsApp messages can be found in the scanning process?
      if so, the Whatsapp chat history should have been overwritten by new data on the phone and you will no long be able to recover them from the phone’s internal storage.

  3. I just switched phones to an iPhone 6s Plus from an iPhone 6 Plus. I had saved the voice messages my Mom left before she passed on my iPhone.

    I did a complete backup on iCloud for both my old phone and my iPad. Now, all the voice messages were not transferred to the new phone, and the old phone was cleared, reset and turned back to Sprint. Is there a way to recover those voice messages?

    Someone please help, as this is really causing me so much pain right now. Thank you for all your help.

    Best Regards,


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