If you have ever lost iPhone messages while transferring iPhone data, you are not alone. Say you just bought an iPhone X and have been playing with the ID scanner all week. Now you find the time to transfer all the data from your old iPhone to your new iPhone. However, you now realise not all your old messages have been moved.
Sometimes data can be lost in the transfer for many reasons. Whether old messages are overwritten, lost or hidden they can be tracked down through a few different methods. So please remain calm while we help you!
If your old messages have been misplaced and you cannot find them, try the steps below. Old iPhone messages can be found in four different ways. The most popular is to scan your phone with an iPhone data recovery desktop software. Get old iPhone messages back from iPhone 4/5/6/7/8/X:
Find old iPhone messages (Option 2)
- Grab your laptop or computer
- Download Enigma Recovery free trial
- Connect iPhone to computer or laptop
- Scan for Messages
- View old messages
- Export and save messages
(Full tutorial below)
Moving old messages to a new phone
After purchasing a new iPhone from a retail seller. Pretty much everyone goes through the process of transferring data from the old iPhone to the new iPhone. This is done through restoring from a backup created in iCloud or iTunes. You create a backup in iTunes or iCloud with the old iPhone and restore this backup on the new iPhone. The old switcheroo.
Four ways to retrieve messages
As mentioned there are four ways of retrieving old messages from your iPhone. All are listed below in further detail:
Option 1 – Siri search
Retrieve old messages through Siri search:
- Unlock your phone
- Swipe downwards from the middle of the home screen
- Type within the text field a recognisable phase or name from the message(s) you are trying to find.
- Look through the search results to see if the messages you are looking for are there.
Siri search, formerly named ‘Spotlight search’, is an iPhone or iPad feature. It enables you to quickly search your phone or the internet for any query. The newly deemed ‘Siri search’ in iOS 11, accesses your emails and third-party apps also. If Siri and Search is not yet enabled on all your apps turn it on here: Settings > Siri & Search > Select app > Turn on Search & Siri Suggestions.
Try Siri search to find old messages. If the messages you are trying to locate are actually still on your phone, a Siri search could reveal them.
Option 2 – Scan iPhone with iPhone Data Recovery
You can trace old iPhone messages by using third party apps. Most have a free download or a trial with limited features that will help you view retrieve your messages. This tutorial features Enigma Recovery. Follow these easy steps:Step 1
Grab your laptop or computer. For this tutorial you will need to use your laptop or a computer.Step 2
Download Enigma Recovery free trial. Download Enigma Recovery from this website, install it to your Mac or PC and open it.Step 3
Connect iPhone to computer or laptop. Use your iPhone USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer or laptop. Enable any trust popups that appear, to continue.Step 4
Scan for Messages. Select ‘Messages’ from the data type menu, and start the scan to find existing and deleted data from this app.Step 5
View old messages. After the software has finished scanning your iPhone, you will be able to view existing and deleted data from your Messages app.Step 6
Export and save messages. You can now select individual messages or save all messages retrieved from this app. Go to ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > Select location to save ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’.
Option 3 – Retrieve messages from iCloud backup
If you have ever backed up your iPhone to iCloud, you will be able to extract data from that backup in a readable format on your Mac or PC. iPhone Data Recovery software can help you scan the oldest or most recent backup you have available to find old messages:Step 1
Grab your laptop or computer. You will need your Mac or PC to complete this tutorial.Step 2
Download Enigma Recovery and open the software. Download Enigma Recovery from this website to your laptop or computer. Install the software and open it to the start screen.Step 3
Select a backup option ‘Recover from my iCloud’. Choose the option from the side menu ‘Recover from my iCloud’.Step 4
Log into your iCloud account. Through the software, your details will remain safe as the software will offer you two-factor authentication.Step 5
Choose backup. Select an old backup that you would like to recover old messages from. Use the dates of the backup files to help you decide.Step 6
Scan backup. Scan your backup for messages by selecting ‘Messages’ and clicking ‘Start scan.Step 7
7. View messages. After the scan has finished, view your data in the Messages tab.Step 8
8. Save your messages. You can tock and save your messages manually or you can save all messages in your messages tab here: ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > ‘Export’
Option 4 – Retrieve messages from iTunes backup
You can also find old messages lost in your iPhone by scanning a previously made iTunes backup file. Every time you sync your phone to iTunes, a backup of your phone will be created. Unless you have this automatic feature turned off. Follow these instructions to retrieve messages from an old backup created in iTunes.Step 1
Grab your laptop or computer. For this tutorial, you will need your laptop or computer containing your personal iTunesStep 2
Download Enigma Recovery free trial. Download Enigma Recovery to your Mac or PC. Once it has been installed, open the software to the start screen.Step 3
Choose ‘Recover from my iTunes’. From the side menu, select ‘Recover from my iTunes’Step 4
Select backup to recover from. The software will display to you all the iTunes backup files that have been found on your laptop or computer.Step 5
Scan for messages. Initiate the scan by selecting ‘Messages’ from the data type list and clicking ‘Start scan’.Step 6
View messages. After the scan, view your data by selecting the ‘Messages’ tab. The software will display both existing and deleted data from your backup file.Step 7
Save messages. To save your messages to the computer or laptop go to ‘Export & Restore’ > ‘Export to desktop’ > Select location folder ‘Browse’ > ‘Export’
Backing up your data
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 it’s 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, or movies? Try these tips here.