Advice and tips about smartphones

Retrieve Old Messages from Your New iPhone

retrieve old messages

What’s the first thing you do when you get a new iPhone? Try out all the brand new features of course! Everything’s all water resistant this, ear pods that, faster speed here, larger battery there. I supposed you’d expect nothing less, you have to get used to your new phone right?

Ever started to use a new phone only to realise not everything has been transferred over from your old one? Messages have been lost, contacts are missing and some photos have disappeared! If you’re in this situation now, or if you simply want to locate and recover old messages from your existing iPhone, follow these important steps below. Please know that you can indeed recover lost iPhone data, including old sentimental messages and important texts.

Here’s how to do it (tutorial works for iPhone 7, 6, 6s, 5 and lower):

Old iPhone data to new iPhone

When you purchased your new iPhone either you or the retail seller will have transferred data from your old phone to the new phone. During this process, it’s recommended that you create a backup in iCloud or iTunes, and restore to that backup.

How to create an iPhone backup
How to restore your iPhone to a previous backup

A backup is a snapshot or copy of all your data at that time: music, messages, contacts, WhatsApp chat, calls, calendar items and more. iCloud can only backup so much, unless you have either of the 50GB 200GB 1 or 2TB paid options (gosh that’s heaps of space!). iTunes however is limited only by the space on your laptop/computer, and is free.

Restoring a new iPhone to that backup will effectively transfer your old data to your new iPhone. Nine times out of ten, the process goes smoothly and everything is copied over. Other times people lose items in the process, in which case completing option 2 or 3 below will help you.

Lost music, photos, movies? Try these tips here.

Enigma Recovery™ – retrieve old Texts, iMessages & more…

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Compatible with Windows and Mac computers

Option One

Use spotlight search to find old messages

iphone spotlight search

The spotlight search is a search tool on your iPhone that can be used to find anything you are looking for on your phone or on the internet. The queries or phrases you type will bring up messages, iBooks, WhatsApp conversations, calendar items or any app containing the phrase.

Spotlight is also good for when you’re trying to locate something quickly a song, a contact or an email. If you haven’t already, give it a try now. If the iMessages or text messages you are trying to locate are actually still on your phone, a spotlight search can sometimes reveal them.

  • To use spotlight search swipe downwards from the middle of your iPhone home screen
  • Think of a phrase, a name or something recognisable from the message(s) you are trying to trace. Now type it into the search field
  • You can see more results by tapping ‘Show more’

Option Two

Retrieve old messages from iPhone

Using third party tools can also help you trace old iPhone messages. Most of them have a free download or a trial with limited features that will let you know if it is able to retrieve your messages. This tutorial features Enigma Recovery. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Grab your laptop
  2. Download Enigma Recovery
  3. Select ‘Recover from iOS Device’
  4. Connect USB cable to your iPhone and computer
  5. Select ‘Start scan’
  6. Hit the ‘Messages’ tab and view your old messages

Enigma Recovery™ – retrieve old Texts, iMessages & more…

Start download

Compatible with Windows and Mac computers

Option Three

Retrieve old messages from iPhone backup

If you did not find your old messages in the scan of your iPhone, there is another option to try. You can use Enigma Recovery to scan the last backup of your iPhone created before the messages were lost. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open Enigma Recovery
  2. Select to recover data from ‘iOS Device’
  3. Select a backup option from the left (iTunes or iCloud)
  4. Log into your iCloud account (iCloud only)
  5. Scan your backup file
  6. Select messages to view your old iPhone messages

How is it possible to recover old messages?

After items like messages, contacts and notes are deleted from our phones, they still remain on the phone’s internal database for a period of time until it is overwritten with the creation of new data.

It’s impossible to know the pattern in which old data is rewritten as it does not go in any particular order. Because of this, old files can remain within our device database for some time – sometimes years! All it takes is a little extraction tool to pull this data out and arrange it in a readable format.

Recover deleted iPhone messages – software

retrieve imessages

Using third party tools and apps, we can perform extra functions with our phones, functions that may not yet be available on the device itself. For instance, using iPhone data recovery software, you can view, recover and restore old text messages, iMessages and other files. All you need is the correct tool, a computer or laptop, and your iPhone.

There are many tools that can perform this task, but only one that can perform it across a range of different devices. Enigma Recovery is compatible with iPhone, Android and sd card devices. The software will display existing messages from your iPhone and also lost, old, and deleted messages.

Any more tips to retrieve old text messages? Comment here:

About the Author

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.

7 thoughts on “Retrieve Old Messages from Your New iPhone

  1. I have broken my iPhone 4s I need to recover a text message from it … since I have broken it I have changed network providers. It is the screen which is blank but the phone will charge is it possible to get the data required

    1. Hi Nikki,

      If you created a backup in iTunes or iCloud before your phone was broken, there’s a chance you can recover your old messages with our software through the backup. Try the free trial to see what it can recover for you! 🙂

  2. I deleted a message from my phone and I don’t have a computer how can I retrieve my message on my phone ?

    1. Hi Junior,

      Thanks for commenting! Unfortunately, you will need a computer or laptop to complete any tutorial that will allow you to recover deleted text messages from your iPhone.


  3. My iCloud account is locked which means that my iPhone has not been backed up in iTunes or iCloude since it has been locked. Can I still be able to retreive data from my iPhone (like phone calls and iMessages) that have been deleted?

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