How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone without/from Backup

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"I want to recover text messages accidentally deleted from my iPhone 6s running iOS 12. I tried the spotlight thing but nothing showed up. These messages are important for me! Please help to recover deleted text messages iPhone if it is possible."

—— Caroline

Such problem happens a lot. You can lose some very important text messages that you want to recover instantly. It is also very likely that you didn't have a backup of the messages before you accidentally deleted them. Whether you have a backup or not, this article shows you a few simple solutions to help you recover deleted text messages on iPhone X/8/7/6s/6/5s/5c/4s/4 without backup, or from backup.


  • The first thing you should do is to stop using the iPhone as soon as you discover you've missed some data. This is to avoid overwriting the missing data and hence rendering them unrecoverable.
  • The methods that will be introduced also work when you lost some text messages after upgrading to the iOS 12.

1. Recover Deleted iPhone Messages from iTunes Backup

To recover deleted iPhone text messages from iTunes backup by restoring the backup can be a little risky because new SMS messages since last sync will not be stored in iTunes backup. All text messages will be replaced by the text messages in the backup after you click Restore Backup. What's worse, the other apps will also be replaced by the data in your backup. If you are OK with this, then you can continue to recover deleted iPhone messages from iTunes backup.

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

recover from iTunes

If you don't want to lose all the other data on your device in order to recover the lost text messages, you can use the tool iTransor (iOS 12 supported) to restore individual app data including text messages from iTunes backup to your iPhone, and also merge the data in the backup with the current Messages app data on your iPhone. This also works for iCloud backup, which means you can also restore only Messages data from iCloud backup to iPhone.

2. Recover Deleted iPhone Text Messages from iCloud Backup

It's a pity that iCloud may not back up all the text messages for users who have only 5GB free iCloud space, so this method may not be useful for all. But if you have enough iCloud space and have uploaded your text messages to iCloud as backup, then probably you can succeed in performing the iCloud backup recovery.

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

reset your iPhone

Step 2: 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

You may get to know that Spotlight Search can show you deleted text messages possibly, but you still can't open or recover them. However, this function can help you to locate the deleted text messages faster so that you can recover deleted iPhone text messages from iCloud quicker. To make sure text messages is available for Spotlight Search, you need to check in Settings> General> Spotlight Search, and make sure Message is checked. If you can't remember the first sentence of the deleted text messages or the sender, you can use Spotlight Search with the keyword in the SMS.

3. Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone without Backup

Forgot to back up your text messages to iCloud or iTunes before they are accidentally deleted? No need to be frustrated anymore. iMyFone D-Back iPhone Data Recovery can help you retrieve deleted text messages from iPhone without backup or extract text messages from iTunes and iCloud backup in just three steps.

1,000,000+ Downloads

Key Features:

  • Not only textual content, but it can also recover photos, videos attached in conversations. Other 20+ types of data can be recovered by this tool.
  • Recommended by Cult of Mac, Make Use Of and other famous technology websites, iMyFone D-Back has been proved one of the best data recovery tools by 1 million + users.
  • 4 Recovery modes - Smart Recovery, Recover from iOS Device, iTunes Backup and iCloud Backup help to find the lost data with better rate.
  • Allows users to preview data from iPhone, iTunes backup and iCloud backup.
  • Supports almost all iOS versions on iOS devices, including iOS 12, iPhone X and iPhone 8.

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How to use iMyFone D-Back to recover accidentally deleted text messages? The following is the specific steps for your reference.

1 Launch the Program and Choose Recovery Mode

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

select message from ios

2 Connect Device to Computer and Choose Data Type

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

connect your device

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

select message from ios

3 Preview and Recover the Deleted Text Messages

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.

preview the messages

Besides text messages, iMyFone D-Back iPhone Data Recovery can also recover WhatsApp messages, Viber messages, Kik messages, contacts, notes and more for iPad and iPod touch running iOS 12. Why not give it a shot? Free trial version is available now.

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  • Gregory Gary

    Will this retrieve the text messages from the phone and any messages I’ve stored on the SIM card?

    • Hello Gregory, iMyfone D-Back can help you retrieve text messages, iMessages, Skype messages, WhatsApp messages, Kik messages and Wechat messages from your iPhone. Just download the free trail to scan and preview the messages :)

  • Oliver

    I don’t understand. If I restore the entire iTunes backup I would be asked to restore everything? but i only want to restore text messages in my iTunes backup. What should i do?

    • Hello Oliver, no worry. You could choose “Recover from iTunes backup” mode of our software. This recovery mode will help you extract text messages from iTunes backup selectively without overwriting data on your iPhone.

  • Gonzalez

    If I already have the program downloaded, do I still need internet to recover the old text messages without back-up?

    • Hello Gonzalez, you don’t need internet to recover the old text messages without backup by choosing recovery mode – “Recover from iOS Device”. Any further inquiry, please feel free to let us know.

  • George

    I have an apple iphone 4 and deleted all texts from one person by mistake. How can I get them back?I’ve never done any back up.

    • Hello George, you can download iMyfone D-Back and choose the recovery mode “Recover from iOS device” to check whether your deleted text messages can be detected and displayed by using trail version of our product. Good luck to you!