How to Recover Deleted iMessages on iPhone Easily

When you need to recover an accidentally deleted iMessage conversation, you have a few options.

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How to recover iMessages

iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch users are all familiar with iMessages as a free way to communicate. If you’re on WiFi, Apple will send your iMessages to other devices over the internet for free. Alternatively, you can use the data included in your plan to send iMessages from your iPhone or other Apple device. When you need to recover an accidentally deleted iMessage conversation, you have a few options.

How to retrieve deleted iMessages

Realising you need to recover iMessages you have deleted in error can be a stressful moment. If you’ve backed up your device with iCloud or iTunes you may be less concerned but still unsure about how to recover deleted iMessages without losing other precious data.

If you haven’t got an iCloud or iTunes backup for your device, you may be wondering how to restore deleted iMessages, or if it’s even possible. Rest assured, with the use of our data recovery software, you will be able to recover deleted iMessages to your iPhone or iPad quickly and easily.

Why might I need to recover deleted iMessages?

Most of us will have deleted precious data from our iPhones or tablets at some point. It’s easy to hit ‘delete’ by accident when highlighting messages or conversation threads. Even an iOS update can sometimes lead to data loss.

iMessages are often throwaway pieces of communication, but sometimes they are extremely valuable. Imagine deleting a cherished conversation thread from the beginnings of a relationship, or erasing the address your contact sent you for a job interview.

If you are in a situation where you just have to know how to restore deleted iMessages then read on. We’ll take you through the options and methods that will allow you to recover iMessages to your iPhone or iPad with, or without, a backup file.

How to get back deleted iMessages

There are three main methods to consider when looking at iMessage recovery. The first is the best solution for those who have not backed up their iPhone or iPad to either iCloud or iTunes. It uses Enigma recovery software and allows you to quickly scan your device for the lost iMessages, which are still in the back-end memory of your device despite being deleted. They remain there until the space is needed for fresh data, so it’s best to retrieve the deleted iMessages as soon as possible after erasing them.

The second and third methods are for those with iTunes or iCloud backup. If you want to recover deleted iMessages from your iCloud backup, or from your iTunes backup without the use of third-party software, such as Enigma Recovery, this involves overwriting your iPhone, which carries data-loss risks.

What devices is Enigma Recovery compatible with?

How to recover deleted iMessages with no backup

For those who have deleted messages from their iPhones and do not have a backup in place, data recovery software makes it easy to directly recover deleted messages iPhones have stored in their back-ends. It helps to try to recover deleted text messages as soon after they are lost as possible to minimise the risk that they have been overwritten by fresh data.

Here’s how to retrieve deleted messages from iPhones when you don’t have a back-up file.

  1. Download Enigma Recovery

    Download the Enigma Recovery iPhone data recovery software to your desktop. Remember, we offer a free trial of Enigma Recovery software, so you can check if your iMessages are recoverable before upgrading to the full version of the software. The free trial can be used on any Mac or Windows PC fitting the compatibility requirements.

    Download and open Enigma Recovery to recover deleted imessages
  2. Connect your iPhone to your laptop or computer

    Connect your iPhone to the computer or laptop you are using. You can do this using your iPhone USB charger cable.

    Connect your iphone to a computer or tablet
  3. Select to scan Messages app

    Once the software has recognised your iPhone (you may need to ‘trust’ the device on your computer), select the type of data you need to retrieve. If you select ‘Messages’ only, the scan will complete more quickly.

    select messages and start scan to get back deleted imessages
  4. View your deleted iMessages

    You will be able to see your iMessages once the scan is complete. If you opted to scan more than one data type, click ‘Messages’ to view the deleted iMessages recovered from your iMessages app.

    see deleted imessages
  5. Save recovered iMessages

    You can select the iMessages you would like to save individually, or you can save all your iMessages to a location on your computer or laptop. To save your data, select ‘Export & Restore’ and then ‘Export to Desktop’. Click ‘Export’ once you have chosen a location.

    save deleted imessages
  6. Restore iMessages

    Once you have recovered iMessages you can also restore them to your iPhone. To restore deleted iMessages from your iPhone, download our free Restore iOS app and click ‘Export & Restore’ in the software, then click ‘Restore to Device’ to transfer your iMessages – you can select individual iMessages or conversation threads. While your data is restoring, make sure your device remains connected to the computer.

    restore imessages

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How to get deleted iMessages back with iTunes backup

If you have an iTunes backup file (or a backup created through Finder if you are using any version of Mac OS Catalina) that was created before you deleted or lost your iMessages from your iPhone, then you can carry out a full restore to your device. However, using this method to get your iMessages back could potentially lead to further data loss, which might not sound like the best option to you, especially if your last backup was months, weeks or even days ago.

The safer option is to scan your Finder or iTunes backup with Enigma Recovery, eliminating the need to carry out a full device restore. Using data recovery software will help you to find deleted iMessages individually or as a thread, without losing any additional data from your iPhone. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Download Enigma Recovery

    Download the iPhone data recovery system from Enigma Recovery to your Mac or Windows. This process is super easy, and the trial version can be downloaded for free.

    Download and open Enigma Recovery for imessages
  2. Select ‘Recover from my iTunes’

    Open the software and select ‘Recover from my iTunes’ from the side menu.

    Select recover from itunes to get back deleted messages
  3. Choose iTunes backup file

    The software will retrieve your iTunes or Finder backup files from the default location on your computer – select the backup file you would like to recover from. If you are not sure which one to use, you can use the date column to help you.

    Choose itunes backup
  4. Select to scan for iMessages

    Select the data types you would like to extract from your iTunes backup and start your scan. To make the scan quicker you may want to select ‘Messages’ only.

    Select and scan for deleted imessages
  5. View deleted iMessages

    You will be able to view your lost iMessages after the scan is complete. The software will retrieve all the deleted iMessages it can find in the iTunes backup file selected. You can view your deleted iMessages by clicking onto the ‘Messages’ icon in the menu at the side.

    View deleted imessages
  6. Save recovered iMessages to your computer

    You can save the deleted and existing iMessages extracted by the software from your iTunes file, through the export option available after the software has been unlocked (if you are using the free trial). To save your messages click ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > ‘Export’.

    Save recovered imessages to your computer
  7. Transfer iMessages to Restore App

    An alternative option once your iPhone, iPad or Mac messages are recovered is restoring them back to your device. To restore, click ‘Export & Restore’ and then follow the Restore process to transfer the messages to our free iOS app on your iPhone.

    Transfer imessages over to the restore app

How to recover deleted iMessages on iPhone with iCloud backup

Restoring your lost iMessages from an iCloud backup is possible, but it will involve erasing your device’s contents before replacing it from your most recent iCloud backup, which may have taken place several days ago, or maybe even weeks ago. Therefore, carefully consider whether this option is right for you. If you don’t back up regularly, for example, you may lose a great deal of recent data during the overwrite. If you decide that you need to restore your deleted iMessages and you back-up to iCloud regularly, then here’s how to see deleted iMessages from your iCloud backup without using third-party software.

  1. Erase your device’s existing content

    Head to ‘Settings’, then select ‘General’, ‘Reset’, and ‘Erase All Content.’

  2. Reboot your device

    Once your device has rebooted, select the option to set it up as a new device, following the on-screen instructions.

  3. Restore from iCloud backup

    Make sure you’re on a good WiFi connection and select ‘Apps and Data’, then ‘Restore from iCloud Backup’. It’s then time to sign into iCloud using your Apple ID and find the iCloud backup you want to restore from, and hopefully it will be recent. Remember, any data stored on your phone between the last backup and your overwrite, will be lost.

  4. Find your lost iMessages

    Wait whilst the iCloud backup is restored to your iPhone or other iOS device. Once this is complete, you can return to using your iPhone as normal. Tap on the Messages icon and find the iMessages that you wanted to recover – they will now be showing on your device again.


Can you recover deleted iMessages without a backup?

Whether you have a backup or not you can recover deleted iMessages. A backup file from iTunes or iCloud gives you more options for recovery – especially if you lost or deleted your iMessages several days ago – but it is not a requirement to get your messages back.

Can I bring back a deleted iMessage and store them safely?

Using the data recovery tool Enigma Recovery and our free Restore app, you can recover deleted iMessages and then transfer them back to the app on your iPhone, to save your messages and for easy access in the future.

Will I need the latest version of iOS on my iPhone to retrieve lost messages?

You can use Enigma Recovery software to recover deleted iMessages on your iPhone providing you have iOS version 6-13. You may be required to update your iOS if you want to restore from iCloud backup.

Can I use Enigma Recovery to find and restore other lost data from my iPhone?

Yes. Our software can help you to find and recover specific data from your iPhone or other iOS device without having to completely overwrite your data. Our software scans your iPhone and your backup file, helping you to pinpoint the data you need to restore, whether it be photos, video, messages, call information, notes or anything else besides.


Alan is our Chief Operating Officer & Founder, starting Enigma Digital in 2011. Throughout his career he has been FD and CFO of a number of SMEs from the manufacturing, distribution and technology sectors.

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