How to Recover Deleted iMessages on iPhone Easily

Read our tutorials to find out how to recover deleted iMessages from your iPhone

Compatibility: iOS 13 – 6 | iPhone SE / 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max / XS, XS Max / XR / X / 8, 8 Plus / iPhone 7, 7 Plus / 6s, 6s Plus / 6, 6 Plus / 5C, 5s / 5 / 4s / 4 / 3GS / 3, iPad, iPod Touch

iMessage is Apple’s messaging service and can be used on iOS devices, Apple Watch and Mac. As the default service for messaging on an iOS device, it is one of the most common ways for Apple users to send messages. With the importance and frequency of using iMessages, it can be very concerning when you lose or accidentally delete an iMessage, or even worse, a whole thread of iMessages conversations

There are a few different methods that can be used to recover lost or deleted iMessages, with or without a backup. These methods can also be used if you have accidentally deleted messages or a failed iOS update has caused data loss. With all the methods below, you will be able to restore deleted iMessages or export them to your computer.

Method 1: How to Recover Deleted iMessages from iPhone without a Backup File

Our first method is the best solution for you if you do not have any iTunes or iCloud backups available, or you have scanned your backups and have not found the data you need. You can get back deleted iMessages using a third-party data recovery software, such as Enigma Recovery, without a backup file. When an iMessage is deleted from your iPhone, it remains in the internal database of the device, as available space to be overwritten, which occurs when you send or receive more data on your phone.

For this reason, we recommend that it is best to scan your phone as soon as possible after deleted messages. 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.

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

Grab your laptop or computer and download the Enigma Recovery iPhone data recovery software to your desktop. Open the software if it does not do so automatically after the install is complete.

Download and open Enigma Recovery to recover deleted imessages

Step 2 – Connect your iPhone to your laptop or computer

Using your iPhone USB charger cable, connect your iPhone to the computer or laptop you are using.

Connect your iphone to a computer or tablet

Step 3 – Select to scan Messages app

Once the software has recognised your iPhone (you may need to trust the device on this computer), you will be able to select which data type you need to retrieve. Since we are trying to retrieve deleted messages, you can select ‘Messages’ only, which will reduce the time for a scan to complete.

select messages and start scan to get back deleted imessages

Step 4 – View your deleted iMessages

After the software has finished scanning your phone for deleted data, you will be able to see your messages. If you selected to scan more than one data type, click ‘Messages’ to view the deleted messages recovered from your iMessages app.

see deleted imessages

Step 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

Step 6 – Restore iMessages

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

restore deleted imessages

Enigma Recovery® Recover deleted iMessages data

Recover deleted iPhone iMessages using your PC/Mac

Method 2: How to Recover Deleted iMessages from your iCloud Backup

One of the types of data that are backed up to iCloud is iMessages, especially if you have iCloud Messages turned on, and can access your iMessages across your iOS devices. If you have been using this function, you can retrieve your deleted iMessages from iCloud by restoring your device from iCloud. However, this process will overwrite any data added to your phone since the last sync with iCloud. For this method, you will need an iCloud backup file with the iMessages that you want to recover before they were deleted from your iPhone.

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

To begin, download Enigma Recovery software to your Windows or Mac computer and launch the software once the installation is complete.

Download and open Enigma Recovery for iMessages

Step 2 – Select ‘Recover from my iCloud’

With the software open, select ‘Recover from my iCloud’ from the side menu.

Recover imessages from icloud

Step 3 – Log in to iCloud

Now log in to your iCloud account to access your data. If you have 2-factor authentication turned on, follow the on-screen instructions to log in. The process is secure, and the software does not retain your login details.

log into icloud

Step 4 – Choose an iCloud backup file

The software will show all the backup files you can recover from in your iCloud account. Select the one you wish to download data from and click ‘Continue’.

choose icloud backup file your would like to recover imessages from

Step 5 – Select Messages and scan

Select the data types you want to download from your iCloud backup and click ‘Start scan’.

select and scan for imessages

Step 6 – View deleted Messages

After the scan, you can preview a selection of your iMessages from iCloud in the free trial. If you are using the full version of the software, you will be able to view all messages found and use the export and restore options.

view deleted imessages

Step 7 – Save Messages

To restore your iMessages to our free Restore app, or save them to your Windows or Mac, click ‘Export & Restore’ and then select from the available options on the screen, following the instructions to complete the process.

save and export recovered imessages

Method 3: How to Retrieve Deleted iMessages from your iTunes Backup

If you have an iTunes backup file (or a backup created through Finder if you are using Mac OS X Catalina 10.15) that was created before you deleted or lost your iMessages, then you can carry out a full restore to your device. However, using this method to get your Messages back could potentially lead to further data loss, which might not sound like the best option to you, especially if your last backup was days, weeks or even months ago!

To avoid this, the next 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.

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

Download the iPhone data recovery system 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

Step 2 – Select ‘Recover from my iTunes’

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

Recover imessages from iTunes

Step 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.

Select an iTunes backup to scan for imessages

Step 4 – Select to scan for Messages

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 just ‘Messages’ only.

Scan for imessages

Step 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 messages it can find in the iTunes backup file selected. View your deleted iPhone messages by clicking onto the Messages icon in the menu at the side.

view deleted imessages

Step 6 – Save messages to my computer

You can save the deleted and existing messages 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 and export recovered iphone imessages

Step 7 – Transfer Messages to Restore App

An alternative option once your 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.

Export and restore recovered imessages


Can I also recover deleted SMS Text Messages using Enigma Recovery?

Enigma Recovery is a unique iOS data recovery software, which has been designed to help users recover deleted SMS Text Messages and iMessages, by simply selecting the ‘Messages’ data type in the software and scanning a phone or backup. To read our in-depth tutorial on recovering deleted text messages, please click here.

Can I recover 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. If you do not have a backup file and are struggling to recover your data, please contact our Support Team, who will be pleased to help you recover your data directly from your iPhone.

Can I bring back a deleted iMessage?

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, for easy access.

We hope these tutorials have been useful to you! Enigma Recovery has been designed to recover a range of deleted data from iPhones, including iMessages, Text Messages, Notes and more. Our software is compatible with Mac or Windows computers.


Shaazia has been part of the Enigma Marketing Team since 2013 when we sold our first software license. She writes blogs and 'How to' articles for the website, and is passionate about helping users recover and manage their data.


  • Crystal at 5:58 pm

    Is their a free trail. So that I can see if the messages go back to December 26th? I need messages from that date

    • shaazia at 2:13 pm

      Hello Crystal,

      Thanks for your message. Yes, we do offer a free trial, which will show you a preview of the data the software has recovered, before purchasing a software license. You can download the free trial by clicking on ‘Download’ in the top menu bar, and following the install instructions.

      Hope this helps, please let us know if you need any further assistance!


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