3 Quick Methods to Retrieve Deleted iMessages from Your iDevice or Mac

I love sending and receiving iMessages on my iPhone, iPad or my MacBook whenever it's convenient; I'm sure you do too. Indeed, iMessage is an incredibly easy way for Apple users to communicate via Wi-Fi as long as you have an activated Apple ID on your devices or computer.

But, it sucks when some iMessages got deleted due to the super sensitive touch screen. Unlike traditional text messages, you may retrieve deleted ones by contacting your mobile carrier provider, for example, AT&T offers such kind of recovery services for its users. The story is entirely different when it comes to iMessages.

Is it possible to recover deleted iMessages from an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or even on a Mac? That's the topic we're going to talk about today. And I'm going to show three different ways to proceed, hoping one or some of them work for you.

First things first — stop what you are doing

I know it's very hard, but I highly recommend you stop using your iDevice or Mac right away once you realize you have accidentally deleted some important messages. This is to avoid data overwriting issue from happening.

In fact, even if you have removed iMessages from your phone or tablet, chances are that the messages remain in your device's database provided that they are not written over by new data. That's why you'd better not use the device anymore until you get lost the messages back.

Follow the three steps below!

1. Check your other devices

If you deleted the iMessages on your iPhone, check the iMessage app on your iPad and computer where you've enabled the same Apple ID. Sometimes, those messages are gone in one device, but they exist in other devices for a while. It's like the situation that you remove some emails from Apple Mail, but the emails maybe still there on the web server e.g. Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.

So go ahead and check out your other connected devices and see if you can find your lost iMessages back.

2. Restore from iCloud or iTunes backup

One beauty of staying in the Apple community is that it has some awesome apps to protect your data, two of which are iCloud and iTunes.

If you have enabled iCloud or iTunes backups for your phone, tablet or Mac, it's almost guaranteed that you'll be able to retrieve the deleted iMessages effortlessly by relying on a most recent backup.

Now refresh your mind, and learn how to restore your iPhone, iPad, or iTouch from a backup in iCloud or iTunes (Apple official guide).

If you haven't set up backup yet, or the backup fails to restore your iMessages, move on to the third method below.

3. Use an iMessage data recovery software

There is a big list of third-party applications on the Internet that claim to recover all types of iOS data; few actually supports iMessages.

We recommend Stellar Data Recovery for iOS, as it works to retrieve both text message and iMessages, and the app is very easy to use. Of course, it also recovers many other kinds of files just in case you need. In addition, it's compatible with all iDevice models.

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad, or iTouch to your computer with which you regularly sync data.
  2. Download Data Recovery for iOS and install the software on your computer.
  3. Use the Direct Scan mode first, if it can't find your iMessages, move to the other two modes (i.e. Recover Data from iTunes Backup, or iCloud Backup).

By the way, if this app doesn't work out. We've also reviewed a few other handy iPhone data recovery tools that may worth trying.

Final words

There is nothing more frustrating or devastating than losing those precious data, for example, the iMessages we exchanged with our loved ones. The reality, however, is it does happen now and then, whether due to accidental deletion, sync-up failure, or iOS update error. Fortunately, it may not be too late to retrieve them as long as you fresh your mind and check some of the above iMessage recovery solutions.

I hope you find this troubleshooting guide helpful. Don't forget to always backup the data that are crucial to you. Apple iCloud and iTunes are great options, Time Machine is also a must.

Andreas Louis

Based in CA, Andreas is an Apple and Microsoft fanboy who works with his Mac and lives with a PC at home. He also has contributed to several other notable technology journals.

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