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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 2 – Select ‘Recover from my iCloud’
With the software open, select ‘Recover from my iCloud’ from the side menu.
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.
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’.
Step 5 – Select Messages and scan
Select the data types you want to download from your iCloud backup and click ‘Start scan’.
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.
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.
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!
Step 2 – Select ‘Recover from my iTunes’
Open the software and select ‘Recover from my iTunes’ from the side menu.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.