How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

Recover deleted SMS text messages, even if they have been deleted from your iPhone

Main methods to recover deleted messages

Deleting text messages from your iPhone is easy to do, and just as easy to regret. Often, it’s a slip of the finger, while other times you may delete a message before later realising you still need it.

Most of us have experience of that ‘oh no!’ moment, but not everyone knows how to retrieve deleted messages on iPhone. Luckily, we’re here to show you how to get them back quickly and easily.

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With the tips and tutorials below, you can retrieve deleted text messages from a range of phones, including iPhone 12/11/X/XR/XS/8 as well as iPhone 7/6/SE/5/4, as long as you are using iOS 14 – 6. The method that works best for you will depend on whether you have backed up your iPhone and the type of backup you have.

Enigma Recovery

Specialist data recovery software doesn’t just help those who haven’t backed up their iPhones, it also helps those who have, to quickly and easily identify the precise text messages they want to recover. The tools in our app help iPhone users to recover deleted texts without having to completely overwrite their entire phone’s data.

What devices is Enigma Recovery compatible with?

Method 1: From device (without a backup)

If you don’t have a backup in place, data recovery software makes it easy to directly recover the deleted messages iPhones have stored in their back-ends. It helps to try to recover these messages as soon after they are lost as possible to minimise the risk that they have been overwritten by fresh data.

Here’s how:

  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. The app can be used on Mac or Windows computers.

    Free Download
    Download Enigma Recovery & Recover Deleted Text Messages
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer

    Connect your iPhone to the laptop or computer using a USB cable. If you haven’t connected your device before, you will need to authorise the connection by tapping ‘Trust’ on your phone.

    Connect and trust your phone with computer to get back deleted Text Messages
  3. Scan iPhone for messages

    Now select the types of data you would like to scan the phone for. Since we are trying to recover deleted texts, the scan time will be quicker if you select ‘Messages’ alone. Now click ‘Start scan’. The software will scan for all deleted and existing messages from your iPhone.

    Select SMS & Scan To Recover Deleted Texts
  4. View recovered text 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.

    See Recovered iPhone Messages & Text
  5. Save text messages

    Once the software has recovered your deleted text messages, click ‘Export & Restore’. You can now select to save your recovered messages to your computer – supported formats include Excel, PDF, CSV or XML. Once stored on your computer, you can either keep the messages as an additional back-up or print them.

    Export and restore your iPhone Text Messages
  6. Restore text messages

    You can also restore your recovered text messages to your iPhone with our free Restore iOS app. Download the Restore app on your device directly from the App Store, and then click ‘Export & Restore’ in the desktop software. Click ‘Restore’, select the data you want to restore and then keep your phone connected whilst the software transfers your deleted texts to the app, where you can view them on your device.

    Restore Text Messages Back to your iPhone Using The Restore App

Method 2: From iTunes or Finder backup

If you backed up your phone using iTunes or Finder before you deleted the messages you want to retrieve, then it’s easy to recover deleted texts from your iPhone. The same goes for retrieving lost text messages when your iPhone is lost or stolen.

Enigma Recovery software helps you to retrieve deleted text messages from your iTunes backup file and has the added benefit of allowing you to find specific texts or threads that you want to recover. You simply scan your backup file for these deleted messages and select specific texts or conversation threads, to either export to your computer or restore to our free iOS app. Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Install Enigma Recovery software

    Install Enigma Recovery software on your Mac or Windows computer.

    Free Download
    Download Enigma Recovery software & Recover Deleted Text Messages
  2. Find your iTunes backup file

    In the software dashboard, select ‘Recover from my iTunes’ and browse the list of the back-ups found in the default location on your computer. If you have saved a backup file in a different location, click ‘Browse’ to manually find the file location.

    Retrieve Deleted Text Messages via your itunes Backup
  3. Select ‘Messages’ and starts scan

    The software will display a selection of data types for you to select for inclusion in the scan. To save time, select ‘Messages’ only, and click ‘Start Scan’. The software will now scan your iTunes backup file for deleted and existing SMS Text Messages.

    Select Messages & Scan To Recover your Deleted Texts
  4. View your recovered messages

    Once the scan is complete, you will be able to see your recovered text messages. You can scroll through the list of contacts on the left-hand side of the screen or use the search functionality to find the specific messages that you are looking for.

    See Recovered iPhone Messages & Text
  5. Export or restore text messages

    Now that you have recovered your deleted messages you can either export your recovered messages to your Mac or PC in a variety of formats or restore the recovered messages to our free Restore app on your iPhone

    Export your Recovered iPhone Messages & Text

Other ways to recover deleted text messages from iPhones

How to get back deleted messages on iPhone with an iTunes backup

The above solutions for how to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhones involve using the Enigma Recover software. The software enables you to find and restore lost text messages without a backup file. For those with an iTunes back up file, Enigma software allows you to quickly scan and search for the precise messages you want to retrieve.

For those wondering how to recover deleted text messages on iPhones without using third party software, there are the following options. However, restoring directly from iTunes will replace all of the data on your device with the data from the backup. If you haven’t synced your phone for a while, then you may lose a significant amount of data . If you are happy to continue, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your device

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

    Connect your device via your USB cable
  2. Launch iTunes

    Once your phone is connected, iTunes should open automatically. If it does not, launch the program. You may need to ‘Trust’ the computer with your device.

    Connect and trust your phone with iTunes
  3. Navigate to device screen

    Click on the iPhone icon in the top left of the screen – the Device screen with all of your device information will be displayed.

    Navigate to the device screen
  4. Select ‘Restore Backup’

    Under ‘Backups’ -> ‘Manually Backup and Restore’, click ‘Restore Backup’. If you are using Catalina (Finder), this option is in the ‘General’ tab. You should see a list of backups available; choose the most recent or relevant backup to restore your iPhone, depending on which file includes the text messages that you need to recover.

    Select and restore a backup via iTunes
  5. Restore backup

    Keep your device connected whilst iTunes restores your device to the selected backup. All of the iPhone data from your previous back up will be transferred to your iPhone, replacing the current data.

    Keep your device connected whilst iTunes restores your device to the selected backup

Download Enigma Recovery® today

Recover deleted iPhone text messages using Enigma Recovery® on your PC/Mac

Download Now

Learn about the free trial here


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Matthew has 9 years experience marketing software products across Europe to customers and businesses. As Chief Marketing Officer he concentrates on how we can meet users' needs; identifying new features and products and communicating how we can help you protect your data.