How to recover deleted text messages on any phone

what to know

  • iOS 16: Messages > Edit > Show recently deleted > Select Messages > Recover > Restore messages .
  • iOS 10 to 15: Settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings . Restore from backup.
  • Android: You may be able to recover deleted text messages using a third-party app like SMS Backup and Restore.

This article explains how to recover deleted text messages on iPhones running iOS 16, iOS 10 to 15, and Android 2.3 or higher.

Starting with iOS 16, Apple has added several enhancements to its Messages app, including the ability to recover deleted text messages directly from the Messages app. That's it:

  1. Open the Messages app.

  2. In the upper left corner, click Edit .

  3. Choose to show recently deleted items .

  4. Click on the message or messages you want to recover.

  5. In the lower right corner, select Recovery .

  6. If you want to recover multiple messages, click Recover Messages or Recover Messages .

Deleted text messages in iOS 16 can only be recovered in the Messages app for 30 days.

The process involves restoring your device using data from a recent iCloud backup. Any messages present on the phone at the time of backup can be retrieved.

Note that your phone may not back up to iCloud, and even if it does, information from the Messages app may not be backed up. You may want to back up your text messages before following the steps below.

Once the recovery process is complete, only the data and messages that were present on the device at the time of backup will appear on your iPhone.

  1. Go to Settings > General . Then, scroll down and tap Reset .

    This method is not for the faint of heart. You delete the data currently stored on your iPhone and then restore your iPhone using the data from the most recent backup. Any new messages or other content that occurred since the last backup will be lost.

  2. Click to delete all content and settings .

  3. Turn on your iPhone and start setting it up like it's new.

  4. When you reach the window titled Apps & Data , select Restore from iCloud Backup .

    Or, if you've been using iTunes to back up directly to your computer, you can choose to restore from an iTunes backup .

  5. Your iPhone may ask you to log in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password. Do this to continue.

  6. A list of recent backups will be displayed. If there are multiple backups, you can select the one to use by checking the date and time.

  7. Wait for some time for the data transfer process to complete. Once completed, you should have all your messages and data from the time of the selected backup.

If you regularly sync your iPhone with iTunes on your Mac (instead of iCloud), iTunes will provide a backup each time you sync - unless you turn off the feature that automatically syncs your iPhone with your computer. If you want to get that text message back and you have backed up your iPhone to your computer, then you can use the most recent backup to retrieve it.

This method will erase the current data on your iPhone and replace it with the snapshot of the data on your iPhone that was last backed up. If you are not comfortable doing this, you may prefer another method.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a suitable cable. Your iPhone may ask you to unlock it. If so, please continue to do so.

  2. If iTunes does not open automatically, open iTunes manually on your computer.

  3. To find your iPhone in iTunes, look for your iPhone's small icon below and to the right of the Play button. Select it. If you have more than one device connected, select iPhone from the drop-down menu.

  4. In the Backup section on the right side of the Summary screen, you should see the option to manually back up and restore your iPhone, along with the date and method of your most recent backup. Select Restore Backup to continue.

  5. The latest backup will replace all data on your phone. This process takes a while. If your most recent backup was taken before the deletion, you should see the missing text messages.

If none of the above methods work for you, your next option is to try a third-party app to recover deleted text messages. There are many apps designed to help you recover deleted text messages, many of which offer free trials and can also be used to recover other types of lost data from iPhone. For example, PhoneRescue and Dr.fone text message recovery apps for iPhone often receive positive reviews.

The situation is different if you want to recover deleted text messages on Android phone. If you haven't backed up your text messages to Google Cloud Service, your best option is to use a message recovery app to recover deleted text messages. Then, make a habit of backing up your Android phone regularly to retrieve text messages and other data in the future.

This information applies regardless of who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, or another manufacturer.

These apps often offer free trials and include the ability to recover other types of data from Android, which may come in handy. Some third-party apps for recovering deleted texts on Android that have received positive reviews online include SMS Backup and Restore, FonePaw Android Data Recovery, and MobiKin Doctor for Android.

Realizing you've accidentally deleted an important message can be stressful, but with some patience and the right tools, you can usually recover deleted messages. By backing up your iPhone or Android device regularly, you can rest easy knowing you'll never lose another important text message.

FAQ
  • The easiest way is to search for the conversation you think you deleted in the Facebook Messenger app. Once you find the chat, send a new message to the recipient to unarchive the entire conversation.

  • Deleted messages in Textme cannot be recovered. You can try some recovery utilities such as EaseUS, but officially there is no "undo" command in TextMe for deleting any files.