Can’t Search for Old Texts in Messages after iPhone Update to iOS 12? Here is the Fix

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In the recent times, a number of iPhone users have reported that they are no longer able to search for their old text messages after iPhone update to iOS 12. Have you ever experienced this with your iPhone after updating to iOS 12? For people who frequently use messages to communicate and they have a lot of stored text messages, the inability to search for messages on their devices can be a frustrating affair. Fortunately, we are going to show you how to fix can’t search messages in iPhone and be able to access your old messages again.

text-messages-iphone

What to Do before Fixing Can’t Search for Old Texts in Messages on iPhone after Update to iOS 12

In order not to lose any data on your device, we suggest you make a backup of your device. If you want to make a full backup, you can simply choose to depend on iTunes or iCloud. If you just want to backup some important data like contacts, messages, WhatsApp and WeChat, you can choose iMyFone iTransor which can make a partial backup and restore them to your device later.

Fix Can’t Search for Old Texts Messages on iPhone after Update to iOS 12

Here we will offer top 7 ways to fix can't search for old texts in messages fater iPhone update or restore.

1Change Languages

Sometimes, the Language settings could be the reason why you can’t search for old texts in messages after iPhone update. This happens quite often and the best way to fix this problem is to change the language settings. Use these steps to fix these issue.

Step 1: Open Settings and then General.

Step 2: Click on Language & Region.

Step 3: Change the current language to another language that you may know, then revert to English. Wait for a few minutes and then do the message search again. This should work but if it fails, repeat the same procedure several times until it works.

change-iphone-language

2Switch Spotlight Search off and on

Spotlight Search on iPhone is designed to help users to search their devices, the internet, the App Store and also the Maps app in just a few seconds. It makes your search process easy, fast and convenient. However, this app can sometimes be the reason why you can’t search for old texts in messages after iPhone update. To fix this, you have to switch Spotlight Search off and then back on.

Step 1: Click on the Settings app.

Step 2: Touch on General.

Step 3: Click on Spotlight Search. 

Step 4: You will see two options: Suggestions in Search and Suggestions in Look Up. Toggle off the Suggestions in Look Up. This will disable the Spotlight Search in suggesting web results, App Store results, map locations, iTunes, and movie showtimes.

Step 5: Toggle off the Suggestions in Search option.

Step 6: Wait for a few seconds then switch both the Suggestions in Search and Suggestions in Look Up back on. Do this by sliding the switches next to these options to green.

suggestions-in-look-up

3Reset iPhone to Factory Default

Resetting your device back to factory settings could also enable to access your old texts in messages. However, this method will only work if you have backed up your device. This is because this method will erase everything including your apps and settings.

Step 1: Launch the Settings app. 

Step 2: Go to General. 

Step 3: Tap on Reset, then click on Erase All Content and Settings. 

Step 4: Enter your Apple ID and password or passcode if asked to. 

Step 5: Wait for a few minutes for your device to completely erase everything.

Step 6: Your device will restart and you can set it up once again.  

erase-all-content-and-settings-iphone

4Rebuild the Search Index

The search index on your iPhone could also be the reason why you can’t search for old texts in messages in your iPhone. To fix this follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch the Settings app and go to Siri & Search. 

Step 2: Find the Message app and then switch off the Search & Siri Suggestions. 

Step 3: Restart your iPhone. 

Step 4: Open the Settings app and then go to Siri & Search. 

Step 5: Find the Message app and then switch on the Search & Siri Suggestions.

Step 6: Wait for a few minutes to enable the search index to rebuild itself. 

Step 7: Go to Message App and check whether you can now find the older text messages.   

search-siri-suggestion-in-messages

5 Find a Message Using Mac

If you own a Mac and you have been using iCloud and iMessage, you can recover all your older text messages. This will work if you have been syncing your device with your Mac. The messages app on your Mac keeps track of all the text messages history via iMessage and SMS.

Step 1: Click on Finder > Go to Folder. 

Step 2: Enter this path /Users/ your username/Library/Messages/Archive/.

Step 3: You will be able to find subfolders for each date according to year, month, and day.

Step 4: Click on the folder you are interested in according to the date and you will be able to find your older text messages.

Step 5: Double click the .ichat file open it in Messages. 

check-imessages-mac

6Check Recent Messages Using Siri

The Siri app on your iPhone can also help fix can’t search for old texts in messages after iPhone restore issues. However, it is essential to point out that Siri does not search through your entire messages history but will trace the latest text message threads.

Step 1:  Enable Siri by simply long pressing the Home button or the Side button. 

Step 2: Ask Siri “Do I have any new messages?” or “Check new messages”.

Step 3: Siri will read all your new messages and will let you know if you have the most recent text messages.

Step 4: You can ask Siri to repeat if you did not catch the previous messages by saying “Read Again”.

check-recent-messages-using-siri

7Fix with a third-party Tool

If you still cannot access your older texts in messages, you can fix using a third-party tool iMyFone iOS System Recovery is the best when it comes to fixing iOS issues.

Main Features of iMyFone iOS System Recovery Tool

  • Repairs various system issues with any data loss in standard mode
  • Repairs most iOS issues with advanced mode 

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Steps on how to fix this issue with the standard mode of iMyFone iOS System Recovery

Step 1: Choose standard mode to proceed.

interface of iMyFone iOS system recovery

Step 2: Set your iPhone to DFU/Recovery Mode. 

 enter DFU mode under Standard mode

Step 3: Download the right Firmware for your device. 

download firmware

Step 4: Click on Start to Fix for the program to commence the process of fixing your device. Check if your device can start once the process is complete.  

fixing ios issues

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You can try the above ways to fix can’t search for old texts in messages after iPhone update to iOS 12. However, it is highly advisable that you back up your iPhone on a regular basis to ensure that you can get back your older messages by using these methods. Otherwise, you will not get them back. Feel free to leave your comments.