Everyone has his or her reason why some messages ought to stay. For some, text messages may be the only remaining reminders from their loved ones, while others may hold life and death information. Though we don’t recommend that you keep important text messages in your iPhone only, a lot of people do. If you happen to have deleted important text messages by mistake, you may be wondering what to do to recover them. This post covers five ways to get those missing SMS back.
Before we proceed let us remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.
Solution #1: Use old iCloud backup
Apparently, this first solution only works if you’ve created a backup in iCloud ahead of time, or prior to the time that you deleted your SMS. If you are not sure whether or not you were able to back your iPhone before the time you deleted your messages, here’s how to check:
- Open Settings app.
- Tap on the name at the top, then tap iCloud.
- Tap Manage Storage.
- Tap Backup.
Here, you’ll see the list of Backups (if there are) that you’ve created. Check the dates when the backups were made and see if any one of them contained the old SMS that you have deleted. You can tap the each item to see the date when they were created.
If you’re positive that you have an old backup to use, you then need to wipe out your iPhone to restore it to factory settings. Remember, doing this will delete your current unsaved files so be sure to back them up before you do a factory reset.
Once you’re ready, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone:
- Open Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap Reset.
- Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
- Wait for the device to complete the reset.
- Set the phone up again and once you reach the part to recover your device from an old backup, make sure to pick the right backup you’ve previously identified.
Solution #2: Use iCloud backup to only retrieve SMS without a factory reset
This option can be used if you don’t want to recover your device using an old back up. What you need to do is try the first two steps. If Text Messages is not there, just ignore steps 3-8.
- In your computer, log in to icloud.com using your Apple ID and password.
- Tap on Text Messages. If Text Messages is among the items, you can proceed to the next steps below. If it’s nowhere to be found, that means you didn’t create any backup for your SMS at all. Just ignore the rest of the steps for this option.
- If Text Messages is present, click on it and look for the messages you’re missing.
- Click your iPhone icon and go to Settings> [your name] > iCloud.
- Turn off Text Messages (or make sure it’s already turned off).
- You’ll see a popup. Select Keep on My iPhone.
- Now turn text messages back on.
- Tap Merge, and wait. After a few minutes the deleted text messages should reappear on your iPhone.
Solution #3: Use old iTunes backup
If you’ve been using iTunes instead of iCloud to keep a copy of your iPhone contents, you may be able to recover your missing SMS, just like in Solution #1. The steps below will also overwrite or wipe your iPhone so make sure to create a copy of your current files and other data before doing it.
- Connect your iPhone 8 to your computer.
- Open iTunes in your computer (if it didn’t open automatically after connecting your iPhone).
- Click on the iPhone icon that appear in the upper left-hand side.
- Click Restore backup.
- Wait for iTunes to wipe your iPhone 8 and replace the data on it. Just like in Solution #1, as long as the backup you’re trying to use to recover your device was created before the time you deleted your text messages, this should work for you.
Solution #4: Ask support from your carrier
Some carriers keep a copy of text messages that go through their network and that means you may be able to retrieve your missing ones by asking for them. Each service provider may have their own policies regarding handling of messages so there’s a 50-50 chance of you getting something out.
Solution #5: Use third party data recovery services
Deleted files are not really gone entirely the moment you hit the delete button. In some cases, files may still be recoverable for some time unless the sectors where they were kept are overwritten. If you only recently lost your text messages, turn your iPhone off right away to give you good chance to allow you to recover something.
There are a few third party App Store apps that you can tap for this task but they may not be free. They are also not guaranteed to be able to recover anything at all. If you want to give them a try though, you can start with the following apps:
- WonderShare Dr.Fone for iOS
- PhoneRescue by iMobie
- Enigma Recovery
- Tenorshare iPhone Data Recovery
Alternatively, you can bring your iPhone to a nearby shop that has a capability to recover data and let professional handle the data rescue. Again, make sure not to use your phone so as not to overwrite the sectors where the missing files may be kept. Turning back on your device and not using it still uses the storage device in some way so there’s a chance that those critical storage locations you want to preserve may be used or written over. If you badly need to use your phone, consider inserting your SIM card to another iPhone to do your thing. In other words, do not turn the phone back on at all. Let recovery specialists turn it on.
Even with advanced recovery software and tools, there aren’t no guarantees when it comes to data recovery. Even professionals and data recovery specialists won’t be able to control or stop the system from overwriting critical sectors. When it comes to data recovery, luck plays a big role. Avoid disappointing yourself by lowering your expectations.
Engage with us
If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.
Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.