3 Methods to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone 11/XR/XS (Max)/X/8/7/6s/6 (Plus)

Although it may be a good idea to delete some of your text messages to free up some space on your iPhone 11/X or iPhone 8 so that you can update iPhone to iOS 13/12, you can accidentally delete really important messages in the process. Problems come up when you don't have a backup of these messages.

In this article, we will be looking at the different ways you can get your accidentally deleted text messages back whether you have a backup or not.

Before starting to introduce the three methods, we can have an overview of all of them. If you also wonder why you need an iPhone recovery tool instead of using the official restore, you will find more details within this article.

via D-Back via iTunes Restore via iCloud Restore
Success rate High Medium Medium
When to choose No Backup;unable to recover from iTunes backup;

don't want to restore whole iTunes backup

Text messages have been backed up to the computer via iTunes Text messages have been backed up to the computer via iCloud
Time Short A little bit long A little bit long
Difficulty Easy Complex Complex
Recovery Options Selectively or fully Fully restore only Fully restore only
Computer Connection Yes Yes No

1. Retrieve Deleted Messages on iPhone without Backup

If you hadn't backed up the text messages before deleting them, or wouldn't like to restore an iTunes or iCloud backup file, which will overwrite the current data on iPhone, we have an easy way to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone. iMyFone D-Back is a powerful data recovery software that helps you get your messages back with or without a backup. The following are some of its main features.

  • It has been recommended by CNETtechradarPCWorld, and other professional websites.
  • Deeply scan your iPhone and retrieve text messages even when you have no backup.
  • Allows you to recover SMS selectively or fully as you want.
  • Compatible with iPhone 11/XR, XS (Max), X, 8 and earlier iPhone and iPad, as well as all iOS versions, including the latest iOS 13/12.
  • Allows you to view the text messages it finds and confirm whether they are what you need from iTunes/iCloud backup.

Windows version    Mac version

Download this program and run it on your computer and launch it. The following tips instruct how you can retrieve deleted text messages from iPhone XR/XS /Max/XS/X/8/7/6s/6/5 using iMyFone D-Back.

Step 1.Choose "Smart Recovery" and Select How You Lost Text Messages

You can choose "Smart Recovery" after you launch the software and click "Start". You need to choose the situation of how you lost your messages. For example, if you delete or lost them recently by accident, simply choose "Lost or deleted data by accident".

Select the Situation How You Lost the Data

Step 2. Connect Device and Select the Text Messages Data Type

You will need to connect your iPhone to the computer. Now select Message as the file type you want to retrieve. You can also recover photos, videos, notes, bookmarks and messages from 3rd-party IM App such as WhatsApp, Kik, WeChat, and Line.

Choose the Note File Type

Step 3.View and Retrieve Your Deleted Text Messages

When scanning is complete, you can view your messages list and select the text messages you want to retrieve. Then tap "Recover". The messages will be saved to the folder you have chosen as the storage path.

preview the messages

2. Retrieve Deleted iPhone Texts via iTunes Backup

It may be the most effective way to get your messages back, but it is not always a guarantee that you will restore them. You also can't selectively restore just the messages you need. But it is still worth a try if you have a backup. Here's how to do it.

Step 1. Connect the iPhone with the PC you have synchronized your data on.

Step 2. Open iTunes and you can see your iPhone appear. Select your iPhone and choose "Restore Backup...".

Step 3. Now you can check if the deleted text messages are on your iPhone messages app now.

Retrieve  iphone 6s text messages from iTunes

Disadvantages of using iTunes to restore backup

  1. Can’t view all the content of a backup which may cause you to choose the incorrect one which does not contain what you need.
  2. You cannot recover data selectively which means you have to restore everything including some unnecessary data.
  3. Once you complete a full restore, all of your current data and settings on your device will be replaced.
  4. This method is only workable if you’ve already made a backup, so if you haven’t done it already you cannot use this way.

Retrieve Deleted iPhone Text Messages from iTunes Backup without Restoring

In order to prevent all these disadvantages, you can simply follow this method via D-Back.

Step 1. From the main screen, choose "Recover from iTunes Backup" and then click "Start". Select the iTunes backup file that likely contains the deleted text messages and click "Next".

Step 2. In the next screen, select the file type you wish to retrieve (in this case Message).

select file types

Step 3. When the scanning process is complete, select the deleted text messages from the results displayed and click "Recover".

recover the data

3. Retrieve Deleted iPhone Texts via iCloud Backup

If you have an iCloud backup of the messages, you can restore the backup to get them back. The main problem with this method is that you have to reset the device to factory setting first which will lead to data loss on the device. Here's how to do it.

Step 1. Turn on Wi-Fi and tap Settings > iCloud > Backup. Make sure iCloud Backup option is on.

Step 2. Tap Back Up Now and wait for the backup process. Make sure that your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi during the process.

Step 3. Then go to Settings > General > Reset, then tap Erase All Content and Settings.

Step 4. From the home screen, choose the Restore from iCloud Backup option, then sign in to iCloud. Choose a backup file from a list of available backups in iCloud.

Step 5. Your new iPhone now displays all your messages from the old iPhone, along with all your other apps, photos, emails and other app data from last iCloud backup.

 Retrieve Text messages from iCloud

Disadvantages of using iCloud to restore backup

  • You’re only provided with 5GB of free storage which is a very small amount. You’ll need to pay for extra or delete data frequently.
  • Factors such as poor internet stability make it difficult to complete a backup, so you must make sure you have available backups.
  • Can’t view all the content of a backup which may cause you to choose the incorrect one which does not contain what you need.
  • You cannot recover data selectively which means you have to restore everything with something you do not want.
  • You have to erase all content and settings before restore and your device will be like a new one.

Retrieve Deleted iPhone Text Messages from iCloud Backup without Restoring

If you just want to avoid the above disadvantages, feel free to recover text messages from iCloud backup via D-Back.

Step 1. Select "Recover from iCloud Backup" tab and click on "Start". Sign in to your iCloud account and then select the iCloud backup file that contains your missing messages. Click "Next" the next window will allow you to select the type of file you wish to recover.

Step 2. Choose "Message" and click "Next" to download and scan the iCloud backup.

Select the files you wish to recover

Step 3. Preview and select the text messages on the next window and then click "Recover" to get back the deleted iPhone messages.

recover the data

The trial version is free for download. Why not try the iMyFone iPhone Data Recovery to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone 11/XR/XS Max/XS/X/8/7/6s/6 (Plus) now? If you want to retrieve only text message files instead of the full backup from iTunes or iCloud to computer, simply have a try of the easy-to-use software iMyFone D-Back iPhone data recovery (compatible with iOS 13/12). It also supports to recover 20+ types of data such as photos, contacts, notes, Safari history, calendar, voice memos, etc. and many users have sent their feedback to us and here is only one of them.


Windows version    Mac version

  • Julian Polston

    So even i lost my iphone 6+, the imyfone data recovery tool can find back my messages?

    • If you have backed up the lost messages onto your iTunes or iCloud, iMyfone D-Back could find it in your backup. And I suggest you to try the free trial version to detect the messages in your backup, Julian. :)

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