Quick Look: How to recover deleted text messages on iPhone? - In this post, we'll tell you 5 practical methods and 1 quick solution to recover deleted text messages on iPhone.

Data loss happens a lot, so does text message. You may incautiously delete some very important text messages that you want to restore instantly. It is also very likely that you didn't have a backup before you accidentally deleted them. Whether you have a backup or not, take a look at this guide and pick a suitable method to recover your deleted text messages from iPhone.

Part 1. Can You Retrieve Deleted Texts from iPhone?

The answer can be a Yes or a No - it depends on the situation. Check them below.

Case 1. When You Have A Backup of Them

If you had already used either iTunes or iCloud to back up your device, you can go through part 2 and restore texts to your device for free. The biggest disadvantage is, however, you cannot view the backup file before the restoration. It's not a good solution if the deleted messages are not included in the backup file.

Case 2. When You Have No Backup of Them

Supposing that you deleted some text messages from iPhone and have no backup files available to restore, is it possible to recover those deleted text messages? Generally, Yes. As long as the messages are not overwritten yet, you can always get them back.

Why? First, let's figure out where do iPhone messages go after deletion.

What most users don't know is, the iPhone saves all data in an SQLite database. When you delete your text messages, they are just moved from the “Allocated” category to the “Unallocated” category, and the actual data is still available. However, if you create new data, the “Unallocated” category will get occupied first and this will overwrite the deleted information. If the deleted messages are yet to be overwritten, you can use a third-party tool to access the SQLite database and retrieve this data even without backup. If this is the case, then the solution in part 3 will be an ideal way out of this.

Case 3. When You Have No Backup and the Deleted Text Messages Are Replaced

In this case, you can only ask help from your cellular carrier. There are chances that your deleted text messages are stored on their server.

To prevent this kind of dilemma, you need to:

  1. Stop using your iPhone there and then.
  2. Turn off the network of your iPhone, and try to retrieve them from iCloud messages: go to Settings > your name > iCloud > toggle "Messages" off and then on again > choose "Downloading Messages from iCloud" from the pop-up notification.

download text messages from iCloud

This quick solution may fail because the deletion maybe have been sycned to iCloud already. Then you can choose from the following solutions according to your situation.

Part 2. Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone from iCloud/iTunes Backup for Free

This solution is applicable to case 1: you can restore your device from iCloud or iTunes backup in order to get back the deleted text messages.

1. Restore Deleted iPhone Messages from iTunes Backup

  1. Simply connect your phone to the computer and then launch iTunes.
  2. Click on the device icon once it shows up in iTunes.
  3. In the Backups option, click "Restore Backup" to choose the most relevant backup and then click "Restore".

recover from iTunes


  • All iMessages will be replaced by the text messages in the backup after you click Restore Backup. What's worse, you may lose the current data on your device.
  • If you're not sure whether the iTunes backup file you choose contains the deleted text messages, you can use option 2 from Part 3 which allows you to view your iTunes backup first to prevent you from choosing a wrong backup.

2. Restore Deleted iPhone Text Messages without Computer - from iCloud Backup

How can I retrieve deleted text messages from my iPhone without computer? Here is the guide.

Step 1: Go to Settings > General > Reset on your iPhone, then choose "Erase All Content and Settings".

reset your iPhone

Step 2: Then your iPhone will reboot. From the Apps & Data screen, choose to Recover from iCloud Backup, then sign in to iCloud and select "Choose backup", then choose from a list of available backups in iCloud.

choose Restore from iCloud Backup


  • All settings and contents will be erased from your iPhone, so it's better to back up your device first.
  • As iCloud only provides 5GB of free storage, it may fail to back up the deleted text messages when your iCloud storage is full.
  • The same as restore from iTunes backup, you can't view the content in the iCloud backup file.

Part 3. Retrieve Deleted Texts from iPhone with D-Back [Video Guide]

On condition that you're getting stuck in the scenario described in case 2, or simply don't want to restore a whole backup to your device, then iMyFone D-Back is undoubtly an ideal solution. It can help you retrieve deleted text messages from iPhone without backup in a few simple steps. Both Windows and Mac versions are available.

Windows version Mac version

Option 1. Recover Deleted Messages Directly from iPhone without Backup

How to use iMyFone D-Back to scan your device and look for/recover the deleted text messages? The following are the specific steps for your reference.

Step 1. Download and install D-Back on your computer. Run the program on your computer and then choose "Recover from iOS Device".

select message from ios

Step 2. Connect the iPhone to the computer and then click "Next" as soon as the program recognizes the device.

connect your device

Step 3. Choose "Message" from the next window and click "Scan" to start scanning your phone for the deleted text messages.

select message from ios

Step 4. After a few minutes, you should see all the recoverable messages on the next screen. Choose the ones you want to recover and then click "Recover", the program will let you choose one folder to store the text messages you need.

choose to recover

Option 2. Selectively Extract Deleted iPhone Messages from iTunes Backup

This option only works when you have made an available iTunes backup before. Official iTunes does not allow you to view its content, so you will not know whether it contains the messages you need unless you perform the restore.

Now iMyFone D-Back can completely overcome this because it allows you to want to view and check whether an iTunes backup includes the needed messages. Here's how.

Step 1. Choose "Recover from iTunes backup" and click "Start". Then you will see all iTunes backups on the computer. Choose one from those listed and then click "Next".

Step 2. Select "Message" as the type of data to recover. Click "Scan" to allow the program to scan the selected backup file.

Step 3. When the scan completes, all messages will be displayed. Select the ones you want and click "Recover" to save them.

recover the data

Windows version Mac version

Option 3. Selectively Extract Deleted iPhone Messages from iCloud Backup

Before restoring your device from iCloud backup, you must erase all data and settings on your device which means you will lose all current data. Luckily D-Back will help you because it allows you to view and get back your iCloud contents without restoring it.

Step 1. Select "Recover from iCloud" and click the Start button. Sign in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID information.

Step 2. Click "iCloud Backup" and tap on the "Scan" button.

Step 3. All the backup will be displayed on the next screen, choose one and click "Next".

Step 4. Choose the "Messages" data type as you want to recover it, and click "Scan" to get in the scan process.

Step 5. Then all the recoverable text messages will be displayed, choose the text messages you want to recover, then they will be stored on your computer.

preview and recover


Using the mode "Recover from iCloud" can't obtain iCloud backups currently due to Apple server restrictions. Our technicians are working on it, please expect.

Reviews of All Methods

From all the above methods, you can choose one that's suitable for yourself. And we can see that D-Back is more simple and practical to use than any other methods:

via D-Back via Official iTunes via Official iCloud
Success rate High Medium Medium
Recover deleted messages without backup Yes No No
Preview before recovery Yes No No
Recovery Options Selectively or fully Fully restore only Fully restore only
Recover deleted text messages without computer No No Yes
Difficulty Easy Complex Complex

From the above analysis, you may understand the pros and cons of all the methods. All you need to do is to choose one suitable for you. In addition, some users have sent their feedback to us and here we can have a look at one of them:


Video Guide: Recover Deleted Text Messages iPhone

YouTube Video

FAQs about iPhone Messages Recovery

1. Are deleted text messages gone forever?

Deleted text messages are not lost forever. Generally, the operating system of your iPhone allocates space known as units or clusters. They are used to hold new files as soon as they are created. But when a file is deleted, the OS unallocates that space that was previously occupied by that file. It simply removes pointers and makes the space available for reuse. So, if no data is saved in that space, the deleted file remains recoverable. But you will need a recovery tool to get your files in case you save more data and overwrites the unallocated space. So, don’t save further data when trying to retrieve deleted data.

2. How far back can text message be recovered?

The recovery chance is not much related to the time when you delete them, but whether they are overwritten. So stop using your device after losing data. Another thing you need to pay attention to is the messages you deleted just now might probably not be defined as abandoned data by the device. So if you use a data recovery tool to get back those deleted text messages, sometimes the software cannot scan them out immediately. But it will be fine with later trying.

3. Can I recover the deleted text messages on iPhone without computer?

Except for restoring from iCloud or iTunes, there's another way to retrieve text messages on iPhone without computer). If you do not have backups, then the only way to recover deleted messages is to rely on third-party software. For now, there is no totally free iPhone data recovery software, but most of them have free trial versions. Maybe you can try one of them to see if it works for your situation.

4. Can I only recover the deleted text messages from iCloud backup?

You can't selectively retrieve the deleted text messages by restoring from iCloud backup. To recover from iCloud backup, you have to restore the whole backup, including other data. But you can recover the specific text messages through some data recovery tools.


There are methods to recover deleted text messages whether your have backups or not. After going through this article, you may have found a workable solution for yourself. It's best to back up your device regularly since it can increase the chances to recover your deleted texts.