Lost or deleted some important messages from your iPhone? Don't worry, there are three ways to recover deleted texts from an iPhone: using iCloud, using iTunes, and using a third-party app. We'll guide you step-by-step through each method in an effort to restore your iPhone messages.

As a good housekeeper you've deleted all your old text messages, and then realised that you do - in fact - need some or all of them. Well fear not. It is possible to recover deleted text messages from your iPhone.

Indeed, you can do so without having recourse to anything more difficult than restoring from backup - we recommend iTunes. And at worst you may be able to get those messages back using a third-party app.

If you've got the the opposite problem, we've also got a guide on how to delete all messages on an iPhone. And, just in case you didn't know, you can send group texts from Android and iPhone.

iCloud

If you have ever backed up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes you should be able to restore your iPhone text messages from the backup.

Note that Apple changed things around and introduced Messages in iCloud a couple of years ago. Enabling this syncs messages across all your devices which use the same Apple ID. But it does mean deleted messages get deleted from all devices and messages are not included in an iCloud backup

Unfortunately the only way to restore messages via an iCloud backup is to completely erase your iPhone and try restoring it from an iCloud backup, so long as you have one from before the text messages were deleted. Check in Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.

If you do, then you need to factory reset your iPhone before restoring it via that iCloud backup. Note that the last successful iCloud backup time/date is available beneath the Back Up Now button.

iTunes

If iCloud didn't work, there are two further options to try. First you can try recovering deleted text messages via an iTunes backup. This can often be the best way.

Unless you disabled the automatic sync option in iTunes, you should have created a backup everytime you synced with your PC or Mac.

  • Connect your iPhone to the PC with which you sync it. iTunes should open (if not, open it manually)
  • You should see your iPhone appear. Select it
  • Now choose 'Restore backup'
  • All the data you previously backed up will now replace the data on your phone. It will take a few minutes. As long as you haven't backed up subsequent to deleting those messages, they should now appear on your phone

Third-Party App

If neither of the options above has worked, it is time to go nuclear. Well, not nuclear exactly but it may cost you a couple of quid, and there is no guarantee it will work.

We've never used any of these, but a there are some third-party apps appear to have a good online reputation: PhoneRescue by iMobie, Enigma Recovery, WonderShare Dr.Fone for iOS, iMyFone D-Back Data Recovery and Tenorshare iPhone Data Recovery.

Because even after you have 'deleted' messages they remain on your handset until overwritten, you should be able to recover deleted messages using these utilities (and others) - but there are no guarantees.