When you delete a text message on your iPhone or any other iOS device in general, you may want to recover your conversations back for many reasons, but what if you don’t have a backup on iCloud or even no iTunes?
For many, the problem may not be easy to solve because they think there are no iCloud backups, but for sure, there is always a way to recover any data using the device’s internal storage. Sometimes, users prefer saving their iOS messages on the SD card, and in this case, it’s the best way that I recommend. The Secure Digital card can be scanned even after the removal of data, so, any data can be found and restored if it’s not broken of course.
On the other side, you have other options, such as the cellular provider, they have the network back up and if you’re lucky, you’ll find your message after calling their support and ask for help. But first, there are easy solutions you need to consider first, let’s find how.
Ways for recovering texts
You can try different strategies for retrieving the text messages you already removed from your iPhone. For some of these methods (if you are not a computer expert) it might look a bit technical making it almost impossible to achieve. However, you can also rely on someone who is an expert in data recovery, or use software that scans the internal device’s storage, then, extract the data and lets you get it back.
1. Use iOS data recovery software
Dr Fone tool
If you want to retrieve the message you accidentally removed from the iOS device without the need for a computer, then, the iOS data recovery tool like Dr.fone offers what you expect. It comes with some of the best third-party programs for retrieving messages on iOS devices, but also on other OS like Android.
To use the tool, you need the following:
- Your iPhone
- A USB cable
- A PC or laptop
- The software
Here are the steps you need to follow:
First, launch the software on your PC or laptop, now, connect the USB cable from your Mac or PC to your iPad or the iPhone device. Next, click on recover, once the program launches thoroughly, you will see the entire apps and iPhone menu displayed on the software’s window that looks like a control panel to manage the devices and storage.
To search for deleted messages, go to the bottom right corner of the window, and then click on ‘Start scan‘, It might last a few minutes depending on the volume of data you have inside. Once the scan completes, push notification to ‘ON’ the option ‘only display deleted items‘.
If you have lots of files and you think the list will be too long, you can use the search to locate the particular deleted file. Meanwhile, you can just click on the exact file to preview and then, mark the checkbox before clicking on ‘recover to computer’ to transfer the deleted file back to your laptop. Finally, move the message to your iPhone and make sure you can read them before disconnecting the cable, that’s it.
Make sure you update your iTunes to the latest version before using any app or software to avoid compatibility problems. Before launching the software on PC or the iPhone itself, always remember to disable iTunes from syncing with your iOS automatically, here is what to do:
Go to iTunes and click on “Preferences“, then, click on “Devices” and then check the box with “Prevent iPhones and others from automatic sync”. You can choose between “recover to the device” or to the “computer“.
This is the most advanced software that supports the latest iOS version up to 13, and it comes with a faster recovery process compared to any other tool. Besides, it combines the power of deep scanning with fast file access and a higher success rate, in the end, the user gets what he lost as data in any Apple’s iOS device, make sure you search for the message to find them.
This is another recommended tool that does the job like a pro in a matter of seconds, however, I found it slower, even with high Mac or PC RAM. The software uses lots of machine CPUs that will overheat it and adds extra stress to the system, so, make sure you put the laptop on a cooling pad if you have one to avoid the machine overheating and system crashes.
Don’t pay for the software unless you see the messages you want to retrieve, you can see all that after running a scan for your smartphone from your laptop.
2. Using an iOS app
Many trusted solutions allow anyone to retrieve the data he removed to the Recycle Bin or in the device’s internal or external storage using an application on the Apple store for iPhone. I tested a couple of tools and the best option is the above. Unlike other options, this method does not require wire connection, cables, or computers, even more, it works on your iPhone and saves time.
There are many scan options and some of them require rebooting while others do not need that. The recovery rate on this app is higher than what’s in the average industry, moreover, it finds and retrieves data like attachment files, documents, call logs, contacts, messages, WhatsApp, etc…
3. Using iCloud backup or website
If you don’t want to use a computer to get the removed messages again, then, this will work. If you’ve used iCloud to back up your files, you can choose this method, unfortunately, iCloud does not back up all the messages from every aspect of your device, to check that, you can go to “Settings” and locate “Manage Storage” to search for any backups with the deleted text messages.
Please note that in order to back data like this using iCloud, it might restore your phone to a factory setting. That means the loss of current messages, photos, and videos on your iPhone, which happens only if you choose to restore the old backup, and of course, you should have some valuable data that you don’t want to mess with or accidentally lose. Hence, to avoid losing the existing files, I recommend the recovery software, it’s safer, however, if you want to continue, here is what to do:
If you choose to overwrite, then go to “Setting“, next, choose “General” and click on reset to erase. After that, you will need to set up your iPhone from scratch. But you can try the iCloud website option as an alternative, do the following:
Use your Apple ID and password to log on to iCloud.com, once you’re logged in, check for text messages, but if it is not there, it means you did not already backed up the messages. On the other side, if you can see the messages that are gone from your device, but they’re there, then proceed to your device “Settings” menu and click iCloud to turn “OFF” text messages. A pop-up message should appear once you disable the text message.
In this step, click on “keep on my phone”, then turn text messages back “ON“, next, push the notification “merge” and watch as the text messages that are gone previously will appear on your iPhone again.
4. Choose iTunes
iTunes gives you an alternative way to recover deleted data and text conversations backed-up to your Mac or any PC, but it will overwrite the current iPhone data, here is what to do:
First, connect your iPhone or iPad to the Mac computer you already logged in, and wait for iTunes to open automatically, but if it’s not the case, then launch it manually. Second, click on “restore backup” once it launches, within a few minutes, it will overwrite the existing data on your iPhone.
5. Get help from the cellular service provider
If none of the above methods worked for you because you don’t have a backup and also because you don’t want to use a computer, and you still in the need to get the message you accidentally deleted, then, the last option I recommend is contacting your phone service provider for data recovery. Most cellular providers have a backup of your daily activities including text messages, and they can provide a backup service. To see if they have the data or not, contact their customer care for more details.
The feature may differ depending on the cellular company you use, in the US, most companies have daily backups. But for other countries, things are not the same, and you may have access to messages you sent or received during the last 24 hours or even older.
6. Using a professional data recovery lab
This is not a solution for everyone as it costs a lot, but if you think that the data in your lost messages worth it, then, why not looking for a professional data recovery engineer. In the US, for example, there are many of these labs that specialize in retrieving every single piece of information from unused devices, broken phones, and hard disks, or other types of storage devices you can imagine.
These labs have powerful technologies and hardware that isolate the electrical component that’s responsible for the data storage, then, they have many options to extract it back even if the device is dead. For example, engineers can add internal NAND, which is the internal flash memory chip for iOS devices.
In reality, even if the iPhone is broken, experts in data recovery can place it on sophisticated hardware they’ve built to extract all of its hidden data. Or, they can place the NAND in a new iPhone that works, and by doing that, everything, including photos, videos, messages, and more will be back and ready to copy where they want.
As I said, this is not a technology for everyone, normally it’s used in military and national security labs, but there are commercial labs that can help with a search on Google.
iPhone 11, SE, 7, and other versions don’t have the same technologies even if that may look similar, so, depending on what software is installed and what hardware is there, the time needed to extract the data will be longer if it needs extra work.
What happens when deleting a message?
When you delete a message on your smartphone, it becomes invisible like a smokescreen, which means the user is no longer able to see the message on your phone and assume it’s no longer there. What happens is that the system technically keeps the message hidden but already there in the storage of the device. So, all you need is a way to locate first and second, retrieve those hidden files marked as removed, and then restore your messages.