Last updated: Jan. 15, 2017
I love sending and receiving iMessages across my iPhone, iPad and my MacBook whenever it's convenient for me. Indeed, iMessage is an awesome app that's incredibly easy to use for Apple users to communicate as long as you have an activated Apple ID on your iDevices and computer.
But, it sucks when some iMessages got deleted by accident due to the super sensitive touch screen on your device. Unlike traditional text messages, you may retrieve the deleted ones by contacting your mobile carrier provider. But the story is totally different when it comes to iMessages.
Is it possible to recover deleted iMessages? That's the topic we're covering in this post. I'm going to show three different ways to proceed, hopefully one of them will work out for you.
First things first — stop what you are doing
Though it's hard, but I highly recommend you stop using your iDevice or Mac right away once you realize you have accidentally deleted some messages. This is to avoid old data from being overwritten by new generated data or files.
In fact, even if you have removed iMessages from your phone or tablet, chances are the data contained in these messages remain intact in your device for a while unless new data overwrite them. That's why you'd better not use the device until you get the messages back.
Next, follow the three steps below.
1. Check your other devices
If you deleted iMessages on your iPhone, check the iMessage app on your iPad and Mac that you've enabled the same Apple ID. Sometimes, those messages are gone in one device, but they may still exist in your other devices for some time.
So go ahead and check your other iDevices or Mac and see if you can locate your lost iMessages.
2. Restore from iCloud or iTunes backup
If you have enabled iCloud or iTunes backups for your iPhone, iPad or Mac, it's almost guaranteed that you'll be able to retrieve those deleted iMessages (and other types of files as well) quickly by extracting from a most recent backup.
Just refresh your mind, and learn how to restore your data from a backup in iCloud or iTunes (from the official Apple support guide).
If you haven't set up any backup yet or the backups fail to restore your iMessages, move on to the third method below.
3. Use data recovery software
There are a handful of third-party recovery applications on the Internet that claim to recover all types of iOS data; few actually supports iMessages.
We recommend Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery for iOS, because it has three recovery modes that can help retrieve both text message and iMessages, and the app is extremely easy to use (main interface below).
- Connect your iPhone, or iPad, or iPod Touch to your computer.
- Download Stellar Data Recovery for iOS and install the app on your computer.
- Use the Direct Scan mode first, if it can't find your iMessages, try the other two modes (i.e. Recover Data from iTunes Backup, or iCloud Backup.)
There is nothing more frustrating than losing precious data like the iMessages you exchanged with your loved ones. The reality is, however, that it happens now and then due to accidental deletion, sync-up failure, or iOS update error. Fortunately, it's possible (though not 100% guaranteed) to get the data back.
I hope you find this troubleshooting guide helpful. Don't forget to backup the data that are crucial to you. Apple iCloud and iTunes apps are handy, Time Machine also works great.
Andreas is an Apple and Microsoft fanboy who works with his Mac and lives with a PC at home. While he is not reading technology journals, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends or hiking in the wild.