How to recover deleted iMessages on iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch

With the importance and frequency of iMessages, it can be very concerning when you accidentally delete one or, even worse, an entire thread. But don’t worry, because we’re going to explain how to recover deleted iMessages on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch — with or without a backup. These methods can also help if your iMessages have been lost for any other reason, such as a failed iOS update.

We also have advice to help you recover iOS text messages, WhatsApp chats, Viber messages and more. This can be a lifesaver if your Apple device is stolen, damaged or lost.

Method 1: Recover iMessages without a backup

Enigma Recovery makes it possible to recover iMessages without a backup. It’s designed to efficiently extract ‘lost’ or ‘deleted’ data from your device’s back-end database — a bit like the software that police use for digital forensics. You can take advantage of the free trial to check that your iMessages are recoverable before upgrading to the full version of the software.

  1. Download on your PC or Mac

Download, install and launch the software on your Mac or Windows computer.

Download and open Enigma Recovery
  1. Connect your device

Connect the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to your computer using a USB cable. Wait for Enigma to recognize your device.

Connect your device
  1. Scan the Messages app

Choose ‘Messages’ > ‘Start scan’. (If you have suffered wider data loss, you can select other apps as well, such as Calendar and Notes.)

Scan the messages app
  1. Preview recovered iMessages

Once the scan is complete, click the Messages tab to preview recovered data.

Preview recovered imessages
  1. Upgrade to the full version of Enigma Recovery

Once you have upgraded to the full version of Enigma Recovery, you can view all data recovered from the Messages app. This may include iMessages, text messages, and photo or video attachments.

Upgrade to full version of Enigma Recovery
  1. Export iMessages to your computer

If you would like to keep a copy of the data, you can export some or all of the recovered data to your computer through the ‘Export & Restore’ menu. You can export iMessages as PDF, CSV, XML or Excel files.

Save and export imessages
  1. Restore your data

You can get your recovered iMessages back on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch via our Restore app. Simply download from the App Store, plug your device into your computer, then go to ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Restore to Device’ on Enigma Recovery. Your iMessages will be saved to the Restore App on your device.

Restore back to your iphone using the free restore app

Method 2: Recover iMessages from iTunes

If you backed up your Apple device to iTunes before the iMessages were deleted, you can restore this backup file to get them back. However, this will overwrite all your current iPhone data, meaning you will lose all files or settings created since the backup. To avoid this problem, you can extract iMessages from an iTunes backup using Enigma Recovery.

Method 3: Recover iMessages from iCloud

There is an option to back up your Messages app (including iMessages) to iCloud. If you had this enabled on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch before your iMessages were lost or deleted, you can restore the relevant iCloud backup file to get them back.

Just like an iTunes restore, an iCloud restore will overwrite all existing device data, potentially causing further data loss. You can avoid this problem by extracting the files with Enigma Recovery instead.

Method 4: Recover iMessages from iTunes or iCloud without a full restore

Enigma Recovery allows you to extract iMessages from any iTunes or iCloud backup file. You can then view the recovered data within the software, export it to your computer, or restore it to your device using our Restore app.

This eliminates the potential for additional data loss associated with a full iTunes or iCloud restore. It can also be quicker and easier, because you only restore the iMessages you need.

  1. Download on your PC or Mac

Download and install Enigma Recovery on your PC or Mac. When the software opens, select ‘Recover from my iTunes’ or ‘Recover from my iCloud’, depending which backup file you would like to extract iMessages from. If you choose iCloud, you can log in securely using two-factor authentication.

Download and open Enigma Recovery
  1. Scan the backup file

Referring to the date column, select the backup file that you would like to extract iMessages from. Next, choose to extract from the ‘Messages’ app and start the scan. (Please note that this will also extract text messages and photo/video attachments from the Messages app.)

Scan the backup file
  1. Extract and view iMessages

The length of the scan will depend how much data there is to extract. Once complete, you can view recovered iMessages in the Messages tab. Please note that there is a limited preview on the free trial version.

Extract and view messages in software
  1. Save iMessages

In the full version of Enigma Recovery, the ‘Export’ option allows you to save recovered iMessages to your computer as a CSV, Excel, PDF or XML file. This can be useful if you want to print them out, share them, or back them up.

Save imessages
  1. Restore iMessages

You can view recovered iMessages on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on our Restore app. Simply download the app, connect the device to your computer, then go to ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Restore to Device’ on the full version of Enigma Recovery.

Restore imessages to your phone using restore app

What’s next?

Hopefully, the panic’s over and you’ve successfully recovered those lost or deleted iMessages — if not, don’t hesitate to get in touch! And those of you who unlocked the full version of Enigma Recovery can rest easy knowing that it can be used again to recover and manage iOS data.

For added peace of mind, the next step we recommend is opting into automatic iCloud backups via your device settings.

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Recover messages, notes, contacts and more from iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch - or an iTunes/iCloud backup.

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