How To See Deleted Messages On IPhone

There are only a few ways to check deleted messages on your iPhone. The only easy way to view these messages is to retrieve them and then only check the message content.

The ‘Recently Deleted’ space is a relatively new feature that Apple introduced with its release of the iOS 16 version. As soon as you delete a message, your iPhone moves and backs up all messages to this particular folder for 30 to 40 days. Within this period, you can restore and check back deleted conversations. 

Once the duration ends, the messages are permanently deleted and no longer recoverable. 

How to See Deleted Messages on iPhone?

You can recover your deleted messages from the Recently Deleted folder. But while these messages are still in the Recently Deleted bin, you can’t directly check the content without completing the recovery process.

It’s worth noting that this doesn’t apply to a single text. Instead, you can delete and recover a whole conversation with someone. All you need to do is follow these steps: 

  1. Go to the Messages app. 
  2. If you’re on your messages feed, tap on Filters in the top-right corner and go to the main list of menus. 
  3. At the bottom of the screen, tap on the Recently Deleted folder. Here, you can find all your deleted messages. Beside every conversation, you can also check the number of days left until it’s permanently deleted. 
  4. Select any message you wish to recover. 
  5. At the bottom-right corner of the screen, tap on the Recover option. 
  6. Now, select the Recover Message option again. 
  7. Finally, go back to All Messages and then reopen the entire conversation you just restored. 

If you’re messaging someone and you accidentally deleted a text that you sent inside a conversation, you can’t instantly recover that single text. There is also no Undo button as well to see or recover such a message. 

See Deleted Messages on Older iOS versions

If you’re on an older iOS version or you can’t find the deleted message in the Recently Deleted folder, you can use your last available backups.

Using iCloud Backup

For this method to work properly, your last iCloud backup needs to be older than the time you deleted the messages. Simply put, it needs to have the message content you want to recover. First, check the date of your available backups. You can follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and then tap on your Apple profile.
  2. Tap on iCloud > Manage Storage.
  3. Navigate to Backups. Doing so will show you a list of your backups. Here, you can also check the date of your last backup.

Finally, the process of resetting your phone and then switching to your last iPhone backup will get rid of all your current data. So, we advise backing up your present data to another platform. Then, you can refer to these steps:

  1. Open Settings > General.
  2. Then, go to Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  3. Tap on Erase All Content and Settings.erase-all-contents-and-settings
  4. Now, your iPhone will restart as brand new.
  5. From the first few setup pages, navigate to the Apps & Data screen. From the list of options, tap on Restore from iCloud Backup.
  6. Select your desired backup version.
  7. Your phone will now start and you can find the previously deleted messages.

Using Finder or iTunes

If you want to use other forms of backup, you’ll still need to follow the steps above to reset your phone. Then, you can follow these steps:

  1. After you reset your iPhone, it will restart and display the setup pages.
  2. From the list of options, select Restore from Mac or PC.
    restore from mac or pc
  3. Connect your iPhone to your Mac or a Windows PC using a lightning-to-USB cable.
  4. On Finder, select your iPhone from the left sidebar. Then, go to General and select Restore Backup.
    iPhone Restore Backup on Mac 1
  5. On iTunes, click on the iPhone icon from the top menu bar. Then, select Restore Backup.
  6. Your iPhone will now be unlocked and you can find your old messages.

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