How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages from iPhone 11/XS/XR/X/8/7/6s/6/5/4

Even though social networking apps have become quite popular, text messages still remain a major part of the communication channel. Keeping text messages especially when they contain crucial information is of paramount importance. But it happens easily to us all that we can sometimes lose these messages. Accidental deletion or upgrading to the latest operation system (iOS 12/13) could be the causes.

recover delete messages from iphone

If you, unfortunately, happen to have lost some of your text messages and want them back, the first question you may ask yourself is whether it is possible to get messages back. This article will show you 3 easy ways to retrieve deleted text messages from iPhone 11/XS (Max)/XR/X/8/7/6s/6/5s/5/4 for your reference. Let’s find out.

Q: Can I Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone?

One common thing we have heard from iPhone users is “I just deleted text messages, can I retrieve them from my iPhone?”. The answer is yes. As long as the messages are not overwritten yet, you can always get them back. And if you have an iTunes/iCloud backup, the chance to recover is even greater.

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 “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.

If you had already used either iTunes or iCloud to backup your device, you can restore the data to your device. The biggest disadvantage is, however, you cannot view the backup file before the restore. And if the deleted messages are not included in the backup file, it's possible that you lose other data as well. To solve this problem, we will also show you how to extract and view messages from iTunes/iCloud backup and later restore to your device.


If you don't have any backups and want to recover messages directly from iPhone, it's important to stop using your iPhone as it may generate new data and overwrite the deleted data.

1. Retrieve iPhone Deleted Messages without Backup

Many users haven't realized the importance of backup, and when data loss occurs, there are often no backup files available. Also, some users don't want to take the risk of losing other data after restore. That's why we bring out iMyFone D-Back to solve your troubles.

As we've discussed above, when you delete messages from iPhone, they won't disappear right away. With the right tool like iMyFone D-Back, you can get access to the deleted data and bring them back.

1,000,000+ Downloads

Why Choose iMyFone D-Back

  • Retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone no matter you have backups or not.
  • Advanced technology with highest data recovery rate in the market.
  • No matter how you lost the messages, D-Back can recover them easily.
  • It's possible to recover messages deleted long time ago using iMyFone D-Back.
  • The preview and selective restore feature can help you recover messages that matter to you.
  • Third-party app messages like WhatsApp message, Viber message, WeChat Message can also be retrieved.
  • Supports almost all iOS devices running different iOS version, including iPhone 11/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8 and iOS 13/12/11/10/9.

Windows version    Mac version

The following part will walk you through the process of iPhone messages recovery. Make sure you have downloaded and installed iMyFone D-Back in advance.

Step 1. Select iPhone Text Message and How You Lost Them

Firstly, launch D-Back it will ask you to choose how you lost the file and select the file type you need to recover. By specifying these details, the scan and search time can be greatly reduced. If there is no available backup, choose "Recover from iOS Device" to move on.

select message from ios

Step 2. Connect Device and Start Scanning

Then, connect your device using the USB cable and on the next page, tick Message only and click on "Scan" button to search for the lost files.

scan messages from iphone

Step 3. Preview and Recover iPhone Text Message

Once scan is completed, your text messages will be clearly listed. You can enable the button "Only show the deleted" to view the deleted message. If you find the text message you need, click "Recover" and choose a location on your computer as the recovery path.

recover iphone messages

Windows version    Mac version


  • To retrieve messages directly from iPhone, please ensure that your iPhone can be recognized by the computer.
  • You can also use iMyFone D-Back to recover deleted text messages from your iTunes or iCloud backup file to the computer.
  • The free trial version is available for both Windows and Mac users. You can download it to scan your device and check whether your deleted text messages can be recovered.

2. Retrieve Deleted iPhone Text Messages from iCloud Backup

If you have turned on iCloud on your device, then it is likely that you could retrieve the messages by restoring the iCloud backup. Here's how to do it.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset,choose Erase All Content and Settings.
  2. Follow the instructions on the Setup assistant and then select "Restore from an iCloud Backup".
  3. Choose the iCloud backup including the deleted text messages and wait for the restoration process to complete.

 Restoring iCloud Backup

If you are not sure the lost/deleted messages are backed up with iCloud, you can use iiMyFone D-Back to extract and recover from iCloud Backup. Just select "Recover from iCloud Backup" from the left menu and login your iCloud account, you will be able to access iCloud backup file and recover them selectively.

 extract messages from icloud

3. Retrieve iPhone Deleted Text Messages from iTunes Backup

Before you restore an iTunes backup, remember that new data that was not included in the backup will be overwritten. Therefore, backup existing data before restoring the deleted messages. Here's how to restore an iTunes backup.

  1. After you connect your iPhone to the computer on which you perform the backup, iTunes will open, and click the iPhone icon in top left corner of the window.
  2. Click on Restore Backup... to choose the exact iTunes backup. After restoring, you will see the deleted messages back on your iPhone.

 Restoring iTunes Backup

But besides the disadvantage of overwriting the existing data, iTunes cannot read your text messages before restoration, which means you have to restore all the messages and data you don't need. And for people who don't back up their data often, or who delete their text messages after last backup, in this situation you can use "Recover from iTunes backup" of iMyFone D-Back to preview and extract messages from iTunes selectively.

 Restore messages from iTunes Backup

5. Restore from iTunes/iCloud Backup vs Recover with D-Back

When to useNo backups available;
Don't want full restoreMessages are backed up to iCloudMessages are backed up to iTunes

via D-Back via iCloud Restore via iTunes Restore
Success rate High Depends on how many messages are backed up Depends on how many messages are backed up Difficulty Easy Easy Complex Pros Selective restore;
No data loss or overwrite;
High recovery rate
No need of computer
Free Cons It costs Cannot preview;
Fully restore all files;
Data overwrite on the device
Cannot preview;
Fully restore all files;
Data overwrite on the device;
Unknown iTunes errors

After going through this article, you will know how to see deleted texts and also how to retrieve deleted texts on iPhone. We sincerely hope that you recover all your deleted/lost text messages using the above methods. iMyFone D-Back may not be 100% free. However, a free trial version is available and this trial version allows you to find and preview your deleted data. If the lost messages are there, it's a certain thing that the full version will have the ability to recover them. If you encounter any further problems, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Windows version    Mac version

  • PeterBrown


  • Harry L

    It can work! Very useful article, helped me a lot.

    • Thanks a lot for your comment. Glad that we could help:)

  • dinforehead

    such a life saver! I deleted all my texts without thinking but I don’t have to worry anymore!

    • Glad to hear that. You can back up your data regularly using iTunes or iCloud in case of need:)

  • radicalmaniacal

    uhhhhmayyyzing 😀

    • Thanks a lot for your support :)


    for anyone wondering,yes this really works

    • Thanks for your support and recommendation. Wish you a pleasant day:)

  • OliverH

    the best thing since sliced bread

    • Thanks for your comment. We will do more to improve our products :)

  • extraterrestrial

    helped me so much in getting important info I accidentally deleted

    • Very happy to see that you found your lost content. Thanks for your support!

  • RydeOrDye

    this is the only software that I’ve sucessfully revived my old texts!

    • Very glad that we could help! Wish you have a nice day:)


    I was able to recover my deleted texts easy with this

    • Thanks for your comment and glad to hear that you have found your deleted texts:) Have a nice day!

  • Sophia

    hey please help me, i just deleted some messages accidentally, but i haven’t made any backup before. Can i get them back?

    • Hello Sophia,

      You could choose recover from iOS device to recover messages directly from iOS device. Please don’t use messages app and don’t restart your iPhone at the very beginning to avoid overwriting.

  • Mechillen Hodge

    This is definitely worth a try! Does this work on all iPhone iOS versions/updates?

    • Hello Mechillen,

      thanks for your reading. iMyfone D-Back is compatible with iPhone 4/4S/5/5S/5C/6/6 Plus/6S/6S Plus/SE and supports iOS 7.0 system and later.

  • Kris

    I completed the scan but it didn’t recover the texts I wanted

    • Hello Kris, which recovery mode did you use? Have you tried all the 4 recovery modes? Please note that your iPhone should not be used once you lost/deleted the texts, otherwise a new data will be created, which may overwrite the deleted messages and make them unrecoverable.

  • Really sorry to hear that. Hope everything will be OK

  • Really sorry to hear that. Hope everything will be OK

  • Robert

    Can your software help me extract some text messages from iTunes backup? Since i don’t want to restore my iPhone from a whole iTunes backup file, which will overwrite other stuff on my iPhone.

    • Hello Robert, yes, to extract text messages from iTunes backup file without overwriting your current data on iPhone please choose “recover from iTunes backup” mode. Hope this helps:)

  • Hi, how do you extract the recovered file back to your phone? I can see them on PC but not on the phone

    • Hello KamilaRose, thanks for the question. We are sorry to say that our software doesn’t support extracting the recovered file back to iPhone at present. We will keep this needs in mind and try to work this out in the near future. Any inquiry, please feel free to let us know.

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