How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

Four step tutorial, works for iPhone 4/5/5s/SE/6/6s/7/8/X

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

It’s surprisingly easy to accidentally delete a thread of text messages. IPhone touch screens are super sensitive! If you’re itching to get some important messages back from your phone, remain calm. There are many ways to retrieve your deleted messages including: extracting from an iTunes backup, downloading from an iCloud backup, or recovering straight from the iPhone (tutorial below). You will need your laptop or computer to complete this tutorial. Here are the steps to get your iPhone messages back:

  1. Download Enigma Recovery
  2. Connect iPhone & tap ‘Trust’
  3. Scan iPhone for messages
  4. View and save deleted messages

(Full tutorial below)

After you delete a message from your iPhone it’s not actually permanently deleted. Not many people know that once an iPhone file is deleted, it will still be saved in the back-end of the phone. The only way it can be extracted is with a good recovery tool. The important thing to remember is that you must act fast. The quicker that you scan your phone with recovery software after deleting messages, is the greater chance you have of retrieving those messages. All deleted iPhone data is eventually overwritten as you create new data. With the tutorial below you can retrieve deleted text messages from the following devices supporting iOS 6 or higher:

  • iPhone 4/4s
  • iPhone 5 / 5s /5c
  • iPhone 6 / 6 plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7 / 7 plus
  • iPhone 8 /8 plus
  • iPhone X

Get started here.

Enigma Recovery® Recover deleted iPhone data

Recover deleted iPhone text messages using your PC/Mac

Compatible with Windows and Mac computers | Reviews (297+)

Recover deleted text messages straight from iPhone

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

Grab your laptop or computer and download Enigma Recovery iPhone data tool. Once the software is installed, open it on your desktop

Step 2 – Connect iPhone

Connect your iPhone to the laptop or computer using a USB cable. You may need to authorise the connection by tapping ‘Trust’ on your iPhone.

Step 3 – Scan iPhone for Messages

Now select the types of data you would like to scan the phone for. The scan time will be quicker if you select ‘Messages’ alone. Now click ‘Start scan’. The software will now scan for all deleted and existing data in the selected categories.

Step 4 – View and save messages

When the scan has finished you will be able to view portions of your deleted and existing messages in the free trial version. Unlock the full version of the software to view all your messages and save them to your desktop. Through the free Restore app, you will also be able to restore messages back to your device.

That’s it!

We hope you’ve had success retrieving your data. If you have any questions, please contact our support team via the live chat function or visit our FAQs. We’re always happy to help!

Recover deleted text messages with an iTunes Restore

Here is yet another way to recover deleted messages from your iPhone. Every time you sync your phone to iTunes, a backup of the iPhone is created on your computer or laptop. If you created a backup of your phone before the desired messages you wish to recover were deleted, you can recover them with a restore.

Restoring your phone with a previously made backup will replace all of your current data with the data from your backup. While you will have retrieved and restored your lost messages, this method will also overwrite all the data you have created since your last backup. If you are happy to continue, follow these steps:

Step 1

Using your USB cable, connect the iPhone to your computer or laptop.

Step 2

If iTunes does not open automatically, open it manually. Click onto the iPhone icon in the top left of the screen.

Step 3

Now select ‘Restore Backup…’ If you are met with any problems, please troubleshoot here.

Step 4

Choose your most recent or relevant backup to restore to your iPhone. All the iPhone data from your previous backup will now be transferred to your iPhone replacing the current data.

Recover deleted text messages with an iCloud Restore

The final tutorial for recovering deleted text messages involves restoring from an iCloud backup. If you created a backup in iCloud before deleting the messages, you will be able to perform an iCloud restore to restore the lost messages back to your phone. This method, much like the iTunes method will also replace all the current data on your phone with the data from your last iCloud backup. If you are happy to overwrite all of the data created since your last backup, please proceed with this tutorial to restore your lost messages:

Step 1

Start by logging into your iCloud account.

Step 2

Click on the Text Messages icon. If it does not appear, there is a chance that your Messages have not been backed up in iCloud. In this instance please use one of the tutorials above.

Step 3

Open the Settings app in your phone and go to iCloud.

Step 4

Deselect the Messages app.

Step 5

When the warning pops up, select ‘Keep on My iPhone’.

Step 6

Now re-select the Messages app.

Step 7

Now select merge and wait for the messages to re-appear in your Messages app.

Enigma Recovery® Recover deleted iPhone data

Recover deleted iPhone text messages using your PC/Mac

Compatible with Windows and Mac computers | Reviews (297+)


Sarah McGregor joined the Enigma Recovery Team in June 2014. As Digital and Content Marketing Executive she writes help blogs and ‘How to’ articles for the website. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys connecting with our customers through social media and email.