A lot of iPhone users have reported that their text messages are randomly disappearing after update to iOS 13/12/11.3 or other reasons. When messages are gone, they are unable to get the messages back on their devices. While it is still unknown why this is happening, a lot of troubleshooting procedures have been fruitless.
If you have noticed that your messages on iPhone disappeared, don't worry. Data which disappeared from your iPhone may not vanish forever. Sometimes, they are just marked as deleted and still hidden on your devices. Therefore it is possible to recover them. In this article, we will give you some suggestions on how to get disappeared iPhone messages back, even iOS 13/12/11.3 is running on your iPhone. Keep reading to find out how.
Part 1. Try Basic Troubleshooting Steps
Follow the steps below to troubleshoot the problem:
Step 1: Try hard reboot your iPhone:
- On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus device: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and Volume Down button at the same time for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears.
- On an iPhone 6s and earlier device: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and Home button for at least ten seconds continuously until you see the Apple logo.
- On iPhone 8 and iPhone X, press Volume Down button and then Volume Up button. Then keep holding the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
Step 2: If the issue still exists, go to Settings > iMessage to turn it off. Turn it on a few minutes later to see whether the messages you need will appear.
Step 3: Then check Message History which helps you set an expiry date for messages.
- Open “Settings” on your iPhone and select “Messages” app.
- Scroll down, find “Message History” and tap on it.
- Choose “Forever” out of the three options shown, which can avoid disappear problem from happening again.
If the above solution doesn't work, try our second option.
Part 2. If You've Backed Up Messages to iTunes/iCloud
1 Extract Text Messages from iPhone Backup Files
It is very likely that you missing text messages could be on an iCloud or iTunes backup if you back up your iPhone regularly. There is a tool for you to extract just the text messages from the backup efficiently. It is iMyFone D-Back iPhone data recovery tool (iOS 13/12 supported). You can use it to check whether the missing messages are in iTunes or iCloud backup files, and then extract the messages from your backups. See what the program can do for you:
- Extracts 22+ types of data from your iCloud/iTunes backup. You can extract photos from iTunes backup, view and extract contacts from iCloud and get more data.
- You don't have to restore iTunes or iCloud backup to any iOS device. The data will be extracted to your computer.
- It can export data from your iPhone for more uses even you are using iOS 13/12/11.3 on the latest iPhone 11/XS/XR/X/8. For example, you can print your iMessage conversations.
- It is basically a data recovery which supports to recover 22+ types of data directly from your iPhone. This efficient iOS data recovery tool has been recommended by Cult of Mac as a reliable data recovery tool.
Here's how you can recover disappeared text messages from backup files. But before we begin, you need to download and install iMyFone D-Back to your computer. Once this is done, follow these simple steps to gain access to your backup files and extract the text messages from your backups.
Extract the Text Messages from an iTunes Backup File
Step 1: Launch the program and from the main window, choose "Recover from iTunes Backup" and then click "Start".
Step 2: Select the iTunes backup file that likely contains the missing text messages and click "Next".
In the next window, select the file type you wish to recover (in this case Message).
Step 3: When the scanning process is complete, select the missing text messages from the results displayed and click "Recover".
Extract the Text Messages from an iCloud Backup
If you have backed up the messages on an iCloud Backup file, follow these very simple steps to recover the messages.
Step 1: On the main window, select the "Recover from iCloud Backup" tab and click on "Start".
Step 2: Sign in to your iCloud account and in the next window select the iCloud backup file that contains your missing messages. Click "Next" to proceed.
The next window will allow you to select the type of file you wish to recover. Choose "Message" and click "Scan" to continue.
Step 3: Preview and select the missing text messages on the next window and then click "Recover" to get them back.
2 Restore Your iPhone to a Relevant Backup File
You can also use your iTunes backup that includes your text messages to restore your iPhone. But please note the existing data will be overwritten in this way. You can refer to the picture below to restore the backup to your device.
But note that if you want to restore an iTunes backup made for iOS 11/10/9/8/7 to an iOS device running iOS 13/12, the method will not help.
Part 3. If You Haven't Backed Up Your Messages Before
As explained, the disappeared data may still be on your iPhone, so if you hadn't backed up the messages, there are still some chances that you might be able to use a recovery tool to get them back. There are many third-party tools in the market. We would like to recommend iMyFone D-Back iPhone data recovery (iOS 13/12 supported) because it is famous for its high recovery rate in the industry to recover the disappeared data.
- Recover lost iPhone messages without backup or from iTunes/iCloud backups.
- Support 22+ types of data from iOS device. You can recover deleted photos from iPhone, retrieve deleted messages on iPhone and so on.
- Support recovery for almost all iOS devices, including recovering data from iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPad, and iPod touch.
- Four modes that can be used as per user's proficiency - Smart Recovery, Recover from iOS Device, Recover from iTunes Backup. Recover from iCloud Backup.
- iMyFone D-Back is fully compatible with the latest iPhone models and iOS version including iOS 12/13.
Here's how to do that.
Step 1: Launch the program and then click on "Recover from iOS device". Click on "Start" to begin. You will then be asked to connect the device to the computer using a USB cable. Click "Next" once the program recognizes your device.
Step 2: In the next window, select "Message" under "Message & Call Log" as the file type we want to recover. Then click "Scan".
Step 3: Once the program has detected the program, click on "Scan" to allow iMyFone D-Back to scan the device for the missing messages. When the scan is complete, find the messages in the recovered files displayed on the next window and then click "Recover".
Now you get several ways to recover disappeared text messages from iPhone or iPhone backup, and they all support iOS 13/12/11.3. Choose the one suits your situation most and then try it. Don't forget that iMyFone D-Back also offers a free trial version for all the Windows and Mac users.