How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac

There is nothing more frustrating than losing precious data like the iMessages you exchanged with your family or loved ones. The reality is, however, it happens now and then due to accidental deletion, Mac sync-up failure, or iOS update error.

Fortunately, it’s possible though not 100% guaranteed to get the data back. Let’s take a look at how to recover deleted messages on Mac if this ever happens to you.

1. Recover iMessages from an iPhone or iPad

Most people who have a Mac computer have another Apple device and this makes it easy to potentially recover lost iMessages because these messages will show up on every device that the owner has as long as the device is turned on and connected to WiFi or cell service.

If you check one of your other devices that might have the stored messages that you’ve lost on your computer, there is a chance the messages might be still on your iPad or iPhone.

You can simply go into the messages section on these devices to see if the deleted messages are present or not. Since these devices sync up with your computer, there is a definite chance the message will not be here but it’s worth checking out.

Also Read: How to Recover Text Messages from iPhone

2. Time Machine

Time Machine is an automatic backup app that is built into your Mac computer and makes it really easy to recover many different types of files for whatever reason.

Time Machine makes an entire copy of all of the files on your computer at specific intervals and this includes your iMessage. It will recover your entire database of messages and not just specifically deleted messages but this is sometimes the only option you will have.

If the messages were recently deleted this really won’t pose much of a problem but if you are looking for deleted messages from a long time ago, you might end up having to restore a bunch of unwanted messages which you can then delete later.

Follow these steps to easily recover deleted iMessages using Time Machine:

  1. Sing out of iMessage on your Mac computer and quit the app
  2. Open Time Machine
  3. Open the Finder
  4. Click on the Go menu in the Finder
  5. Locate the Library section and click on Messages
  6. When the messages folder comes up, locate a file with the “chat.db” name and a date that is before the date the files you are looking for were deleted.
  7. Select that file
  8. Click Restore

3. iCloud

Another method you can use is to find deleted messages that might have been saved in iCloud. iCloud is a cloud-based storage system that Apple devices use to back up files and save data from physical devices.

This is a really nice advancement in modern technology that lets you easily access lost and deleted data and makes restoring things a breeze. It’s a good option if the options above did not lead you toward your deleted messages.

This is similar to the Time Machine method above but instead of using that app, you are using iCloud to back up your information.

Messages are also synced across different Apple devices by using iCloud so if the first method mentioned here that referenced checking your other devices for messages did not work, you can try this method as an alternative.

To recover iMessages from iCloud:

  1. Sign out of iMessage on your Mac and quit the app
  2. Open your web browser and type
  3. Input your Apple ID and sign in.
  4. Find the Messages app inside iCloud
  5. See if you can find your deleted messages there.

4. Use Third-Party Software

There are many Mac data recovery software that can help you locate and recover any deleted iMessages from your Mac.

All of this software is somewhat similar in form and function. Once you have downloaded the software, launch them to begin the scan process. Within a few minutes or a few clicks, you should be on your way toward locating your lost messages.

But you often have to pay for this kind of recovery software, but they can prove very useful especially if you have a lot of important files to recover.

Final Words

The features and functions of a Mac are great when they are working properly but unfortunately, mishaps can happen from time to time. One such mishap that can happen is when your iMessages are deleted. Sometimes you might want to delete some messages in order to free up space or get rid of old conversations.

Other times, messages can get deleted without your knowledge or intention. Either way, I hope this guide has helped you recover these lost messages.

Have you ever accidentally deleted your iMessages? Were you able to recover them? Let us know in the comments below.

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