How to Retrieve Deleted WhatsApp Chat Messages from iPhone

Read our tutorial to find out how to recover deleted and old WhatsApp messages from iPhone

With over a billion users, WhatsApp is the most widely used cross-platform instant messaging app that sends messages and files via a WiFi or data connection. As valuable and as interchangeable as text messages, WhatsApp messages can house some of our most important data and images. It can be devastating to lose something so important, but we can help you get your deleted WhatsApp messages back.

You can retrieve deleted WhatsApp messages in three different ways

It’s incredibly important to create regular backups of your iPhone using either iCloud or iTunes. Backups can be made via these Apple services and then be restored to your phone. In the event of losing data, iPhone theft or any accidental deletion, deleted data can be restored to your phone through a restore. Another option is to use a third-party tool. iPhone data recovery can help you retrieve your lost iPhone information and data.

Method 1: Restore delete WhatsApp messages from WhatsApp iCloud backup

WhatsApp does not offer an automatic daily backup for iPhone users; however, you can choose to back up WhatsApp messages and attachments to iCloud. This means that automatic backups of your WhatsApp data will be carried out and is a useful option to minimise the risk of data loss. To check if you have this option enabled, you will need to be signed in with the Apple ID that you use to access iCloud.

  1. Go to WhatsApp -> Settings -> Chats -> Chat Backup. Check that Auto Backup is turned on. Alternatively, you can check the last backup date, to make sure that the backup date will include the lost or deleted messages that you are trying to recover.

  2. Once you are sure that there is a backup available, delete and reinstall WhatsApp from the App Store. You will need to verify your phone number and then follow the on-screen prompts to restore your WhatsApp chat history.

  3. If you cannot see an available backup to restore your messages, or the last backup date will mean that you could still lose some more recent messages, you can try one of our other tutorials below to find your deleted WhatsApp messages.

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Method 2: Retrieve deleted WhatsApp messages from an iCloud backup file

If you were not able to recover your deleted messages directly from WhatsApp, then you can still use a third-party software, like Enigma Recovery, to recover from your iCloud backup instead. This method of recovery is also useful if you do not want to reinstall WhatsApp or lose more recent messages, sent since your last backup. If you created a backup of your phone to iCloud, saving your WhatsApp messages before they were deleted, you can retrieve and extract these messages right here.

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

Using your laptop or computer, download the Enigma Recovery iPhone data recovery software from this website. The free trial will allow you to view the number of messages that can be recovered.

Download and open Enigma Recovery

Step 2 – Recover from my iCloud

Once the software has been installed, open Enigma Recovery to the start page. Then select ‘Recover from my iCloud’

Recover from iCloud backup

Step 3 – Log in with two-factor authentication

Log in to iCloud so that the software can begin to search your backups for important information. Your login details will remain secure as the software will not store your login details and the software uses an advanced two-factor authentication method.

Two factor authentication

Step 4 – Choose iPhone backup

Select the backup you would like to recover WhatsApp messages that you have since deleted from. Use the date column to help you.

Choose iPhone backup

Step 5 – Scan for WhatsApp messages

From the data type item menu, choose to scan for WhatsApp and the software will scan your backup file and retrieve WhatsApp threads.

Scan whatsapp backup

Step 6 – View WhatsApp messages

To view your retrieved WhatsApp messages after the scan, click onto the WhatsApp tab.

see deleted whatsapp messages

Step 7 – Save WhatsApp messages

To save your extracted WhatsApp messages, go to ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > select location in ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’.

Save and export whatsapp messages

Step 8 – Restore WhatsApp messages

To restore your recovered WhatsApp messages to your phone, download our free Restore iOS app. Within the software, click on ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Restore’ and select the data you need to transfer. Wait whilst the software transfers your WhatsApp messages back to the Restore app on your device.

restore whatsapp images back to phone

Method 3: Retrieve deleted WhatsApp Messages from an iTunes backup file

An alternative option to recovering directly from WhatsApp or an iCloud backup is to scan an iTunes backup instead. This option is similar to the second method of recovery but does not require an iCloud backup. iTunes is Apple’s alternative method for backing up your iPhone, and will automatically include WhatsApp messages and attachments when you perform a manual backup. To recover from iTunes:.

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

Download the Enigma Recovery free trial. You can access it from any download button on this website. The application is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.

Download and open Enigma Recovery

Step 2 – Recover from my iTunes

Once the application has been installed and opened to the start screen, select ‘Recover from my iTunes’ from the side panel menu

Recover from itunes backup

Step 3 – Choose iPhone backup file

The software will display all the iTunes backup files found on your computer. Select the one you would like to retrieve messages from and ‘Continue’.

Choose itunes backup file

Step 4 – Scan for WhatsApp messages

Now select the data type(s) you would like to extract from your iTunes backup file. After you have done this, start the scan.

Scan for whatsapp messages

Step 5 – View WhatsApp messages

The scan time will depend on how many data types you have selected to scan, and how much data is saved within your iTunes backup file. After the scan, you can view your WhatsApp messages in the WhatsApp tab.

view whatsapp messages

Step 6 – Save WhatsApp messages

Unlock the full version of Enigma Recovery to view all your data and save it to your computer. Save your messages through the ‘Export & Restore’ function > ‘Export to desktop’ > Select location through ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’.

save and export whatsapp messages

Recovering deleted WhatsApp messages straight from iPhone

Since WhatsApp version 2.16.3 was released in 2016, WhatsApp have started to encrypt messages. Unfortunately, this has made WhatsApp Recovery from iPhones impossible through third-party recovery software for every device running WhatsApp v2.16.3 and higher. To find out what version of WhatsApp you have, go to WhatsApp > Settings > Help – your WhatsApp version will appear at the top. If you are using a WhatsApp version above 2.16.3, then you will be able to use Enigma Recovery to transfer your WhatsApp messages from your phone to your PC or Mac by following this simple process:

Step 1 – Download Enigma Recovery

To complete this tutorial, you will need the full, unlocked version of Enigma Recovery. Download the software to your Mac or PC.

Step 2 – Connect your iPhone

To allow the software to transfer iPhone data to your computer, connect your phone to the computer via a USB cable. You may need to enable the connection on your iPhone by tapping ‘Trust’ on the popup notification.

Connect and trust your phone

Step 3 – Scan iPhone for WhatsApp

From the dataset menu, select ‘WhatsApp’ to indicate you would like to copy WhatsApp messages to your computer. Now start the scan.

Scan iphone for whatsapp

Step 4 – View WhatsApp messages

The software will now scan your phone for existing WhatsApp messages. After the scan, view your data within the WhatsApp tab. You will need the unlocked version of Enigma Recovery to view all your messages and enable the export and restore functions.

View whatsapp scan report

Step 5 – View WhatsApp messages

The scan time will depend on how many data types you have selected to scan, and how much data is saved within your iTunes backup file. After the scan, you can view your WhatsApp messages in the WhatsApp tab.

View whatsapp messages

Step 6 – Save WhatsApp messages

Unlock the full version of Enigma Recovery to view all your data and save it to your computer. Save your messages through the ‘Export & Restore’ function > ‘Export to desktop’ > Select location through ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’.

save and export whatsapp messages


How far back can I recover WhatsApp messages?

If you are recovering from an iTunes or iCloud backup file, you can recover deleted WhatsApp messages from as far back as your last backup, which could include messages from years ago! We recommend using our free trial software to scan your device – this will show you a selection of the WhatsApp messages that our software has retrieved.

Is Enigma Recovery safe to use?

There is no need for you to be concerned about the safety of your devices and computer when using Enigma Recovery software. We have developed our software to create a backup of your device and use this backup during the scan.

Which devices is Enigma Recovery compatible with?

Our software is compatible with the newest models iPhone XS / XS Max and XR devices. You can also use these methods for other models including iPhone X/8/7/6/SE/5/4. We’re even compatible with iOS 12.

We hope you’ve found these tutorials useful. Don’t forget that you can also use Enigma Recovery to find a range of deleted data types, including text messages and contacts.

If you need any help at all using the Enigma Recovery software, please contact our Support Team via the live chat or visit our FAQs.

We’re proud to be the only company in our industry offering telephone support to our users. If you require support before or after you purchase, Enigma is here to help you. Call us:

gb flag UK Support & Head Office:
+44 (0)121-726-4761

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+1 (424) 372-1641


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.


  • Thanh at 3:15 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    I have tried to recover my deleted messages with your app, trial version using your Method 2. It was a conversation with a friend that I wanted to retrieve. However I could only retrieve messages as of 14 Sept 2018.
    So I tried with “Recovering deleted WhatsApp messages straight from iPhone” by connecting my phone to my laptop via a cable. Now, I am asked to unlock to continue. Before I buy your package, i wanted to make sure that I would be able to retrieve this past conversation, as this is the only thing I need, it will become expensive for me if it wouldnt work.
    FYI I didnt delete the Whatsapp conversation by accident. I did it purposedly and now I regret it.
    Could you please advise?
    Thank you

    • Hi Thanh,

      Thanks for your message! When recovering deleted WhatsApp messages directly from an iPhone, our software is compatible with WhatsApp versions below 2.16.3 only, due to the introduction of encrypted messages on WhatsApp. We would advise that you first check your WhatsApp version to ensure it is compatible, before purchasing. If you are using a WhatsApp version above 2.16.3, it is unlikely deleted data will be recovered. In addition, our free trial version of Enigma Recovery will show you a limited selection of any deleted WhatsApp messages that have been found. It would be helpful to check through the data that is shown in the free trial, to check if deleted WhatsApp messages have been recovered from your device. If you are unable to recover from the device or from the WhatsApp app itself, you can also try to recover the data from an iTunes or iCloud backup, if you have either of these available.

      Hope this helps!


  • Prince Joseph at 2:10 pm

    Hi I’m prince I want to recover my watsaap chat from a particular contact from April 2018. I couldn’t find it in the iCloud backup. Will I be able to recover if it’s not in the I cloud back up. Is it free or do I hav to pay to download enigma recovery.

    • Hello Prince,

      Thanks for your message. If you are unable to find your WhatsApp message in your iCloud backup, the next best option would be to recover it from an iTunes backup instead, if you have one available. We do offer a free trial of the Enigma Recovery software – with the trial, you can scan a device and/or backup file and get a preview of the deleted data that the software has found before you purchase.

      Hope this helps, please let us know if you have any other questions!


  • Srinivas Velanki at 9:31 pm

    I need to restore the deleted whats app messages by the sender to me

    • Hello Srinivas,

      Thanks for your message! To restore WhatsApp messages using Enigma Recovery, once you have scanned and selected the messages you need to restore, please select ‘Export & Restore’ within the software and then follow the on-screen instructions, which will guide you through the restore process. With our iOS app, the WhatsApp messages will be restored to the Restore app on your device.

      Hope this helps! If you need more assistance, our Support Team is available via the Chat icon at the bottom of the screen, or via email and will be glad to assist you!


  • Akram at 12:40 pm

    I couldn’t get my old deleted messages?when I goes to iCloud backup it shows their is nothing and to skip that, I need the chat history back please be kind enough to help me to get that back

    • shaazia at 2:31 pm

      Hello Akram,

      Thanks for your message! If you have previously made a backup of your device through iTunes, then you may be able to recover your deleted WhatsApp messages from this backup. You can find out more here, directly from WhatsApp’s website.

      Hope this helps!


  • N.N at 3:35 am

    Hi there,

    May I know whether I can recover my deleted whatsapp messages after I uninstalling the WhatsApp app the installed it back? Really need your help urgently.

    Thank You.

    • Shaazia at 4:41 pm

      Hello N.N

      Thanks for your message. Based on the situation you describe, it sounds as though the best option for recovery would be if you have an iTunes or iCloud backup file available, then you can use one of these to find your messages. I would advise that you first download the free trial of our Enigma Recovery software and use that to perform a scan. With the free version, you will be able to find out if the software has been able to find any of your messages, before upgrading to the full version.

      Hope this helps!


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