How can I recover deleted text messages on my iPhone 4?

Rikke Damkjær August 5, 2011

My messages have been deleted and I would very much like to get them back. Can somebody please help me?

  1. sam
    June 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I deleted all my text messages the other day by mistake. I have never backed up my iphone is there any way i can retrieve these?

    Ive read other places that the messages are not totally deleted until you sync your phone with itunes which i haven't done and that they are saved in a archive folder.

    Can someone tell me the steps of retrieving these?

    • Natasha
      June 25, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I am having the same thing. I havent backed up my iphone in a while and some of the texts that i need have been accidently deleted and want them back. Is this possible?

      • ha14
        June 27, 2012 at 7:04 am

        you have to try the tools mentioned above and see if you will get lucky. Some of them are shareware and recovery is not guarantied so it is your call.

    • Susendeep Dutta
      June 27, 2012 at 7:12 am

      Try syncing your phone to itunes.In this process,your archived folder will also get synchronised.Then after that try to recover all those messages using some software tools mentioned in the above comments such as Decipher tools or other in the link below -

      If this doesn't works then try some advance methods such as browsing the backup files of iTunes -

  2. Bruce wells
    June 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Help w recovering deleted txt from iphone

  3. Vee
    June 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    There is a way for you to retrieve deleted text messages from an iPhone using iTunes. Read about it here

  4. Stevieus
    June 10, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Ok, sorry, I just wanted to troll. Sorry of anyone is going to actually answer this. My dad is super relaxed, and would never try to look at my phone.

  5. veronica
    June 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I have followed ALL of these steps and then some, I am not seeing any old texts from my back up? Please help. Thanks.

  6. mohamed fawzy
    June 7, 2012 at 10:57 am

    i want reload my old message on my Iphone4G

  7. Molly
    May 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Please help me I accidently deleted important texts that I need in a custody hearing against my ex where he is admitting his abuse toward my daughter and I. I deleted the by running my finger across the main message before opening the entire conversation...... I texted him to see if they'd come back when he replied. No luck .... I don't think I've synced my phone lately.... A lot of these texts happened today. The available computer with iTunes is at my parents house..... How do I know if my phone has backed up or not and how do I get these texts back. Please my daughters future depends on this..... I can't belive this has happened, I'm so stupi an clumbsy. PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME!!!!! I need straight forward blunt instructions I'm not exactly tech savy

    • Tina
      May 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm


      Did you try DeciperTools recommended by ha14 above?

      • marble
        May 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm

        Molly, don't even bother trying that. these deciphertool guys have made this page a marketing scheme to attract users. i have already burnt my hand trying out their software. it is utter crap and they don't refund your $$. then they say that recovery differs from case to case, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. utter crap - this should be said before one buys the software. this excuse doesn't work when you take the money and then not refund it.

        Read through the comments that I and others have made about this company and their software - deciphertool is a marketing spam trying to dupe users.

        • NYGuy
          May 24, 2012 at 9:57 am

          Hey marble, try out apple genius and see if you can restore. They might charge $100+

  8. jose
    May 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    How can i retreave tex data from my iphone, and if so can i delete them permenantly

    • Tina
      May 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm


      Did you try the options listed in this thread? Which ones did you try and what happened?

  9. Kayleigh
    May 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Im a 16 year old girl who has lost her dad and her mum on the 3rd of April 2012! All my comforting words of my late mum are via texts! I really need these texts back as there the only thing that comforts me! In heartbroken over this! I used to read them every night before bed....

    • Penny
      May 22, 2012 at 12:51 am

      So sorry to hear that. Sounds like a bummer.

      There is no cheap nor easy way to RECOVER texts or calls. Frankly I'm to lazy to move my ass and buy that stuff.
      But if you want to PERMANTLY delete them off your sim card, so they are gone forever, text yourself atleast 20,000 times or more (I know it's a pain but its better than being busted for sexting by your parents). Delete that lovely conversation you had with yourself. Then plug your iPhone into iTunes and RESTORE. This way the only things people will be able to see are those text messages you sent yourself.
      This solution sounds crazy and drastic, but it honestly works. It's a lot more complicated trying to explain the details of whats actually going on in your sim. But it works I swear on my life. You won't know the difference, your phone company will:)

  10. Shashikala
    May 13, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Hey I deleted my texts bymistake.. Could any one help me out.. How do I get them bac.. Plsss

    • ha14
      May 13, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Decipher TextMessage is a small and handy application that allows you to access your iPhone backup files including messages and text chat history directly from your computer

      • Win
        May 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm

        ha14 can deciphertools recover my girlfriends deleted messages?

        • Sarah
          May 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm

          Possibly, do you have a backup of her iPhone?

      • Sarah
        May 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm

        Great post by the way - tried Decipher TextMessage, works awesome.

      • Erika
        May 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        You are just marketing your silly app here. Its a piece of junk. It doesn't work!!

        • Steven Brouillet
          May 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm

          Just my two cents. I found the decipher text program via google and this site. My girlfriend deleted a few messages from her mom who just passed away ;-( and she tried a few different programs to get them back. The Decipher Text Message one actually recovered several of the texts she was looking for. I have no clue how this stuff works from a tech standpoint, however she was thrilled to get a few of the messages back so that she now has them saved for safe keeping. The decipher tool has a free trial so we were able to see if any messages were recoverable before paying for the full version. To me, that is pretty cool since I don't want to pay for something I'm not going to use. Anyway... I would say give it a shot. Hope that info is helpful. Best Steve

        • Tina
          May 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

          Thank you for your feedback, Steven!

        • Kayleigh
          May 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

          Please please can you help! I'm a 16 year old girl who lost her dad and her mum on the third of April! All the comforting word I have of my mum is via text messages I must get these back as they are all that comforts me! I'm heart broken over this please someone help me !!!

      • marble
        May 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm

        this deciphertool is bogus software. how do i get my money back? i dont see any contacts details on the website - no email, no phone.

        their website says - "We cannot offer a refund if the deleted message can not be recovered"!!

        • ha14
          May 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm

          To contact the support is here

          For instance on Windows if you delete and rewrite then chances to recover files are close to 0%. Now back to iphone is the same scenario, you cant delete files and then want them back, i am sure they can be very important. The backup option to iTunes for instance should be considered to limit damages

          not many recovery iphone text messages exist and some of them are expensives for the method they use and also depends how was the text deleted. You have to try and find out the best option. There is no magic like Windows OS.

        • marble
          May 23, 2012 at 8:29 am

          WTH!! you take my money, give me trash and then tell me "sometimes it will work and sometimes it won't"

          bad luck for bad practices deciphertool. i hope you mend your ways before you give online software community a bad name

        • Carla Elemsly
          May 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm

          I used the decipher text message free trial. It worked great and then I paid for it. Maybe give the free version a test run?

      • Wayne
        May 20, 2012 at 7:05 am

        it didn't work! crap software.

        • ha14
          May 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm

          Some have good results and others have bad results depending the situation;

          Even on Windows if you format, delete and rewrite then the chances to recover deleted files are very close to 0%.

          The best way for iphone is always to make backup with iTunes so that o be able to recover important Text messages.

  11. Rick
    April 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Take a look at 'Text Saver' from
    It has helped me get back all my texts from my iPhone's backup

    • Emma
      May 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      thanks for sharing the software. worked gr8

    • Glen
      May 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      nice software, got back all my texts.


    • Shannon
      May 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Hey thanks Rick. Text Saver application worked just great :)
      Can you tell me if there is something that can recover deleted photographs as well?

      • Susendeep Dutta
        May 28, 2012 at 4:52 am

        iPhone Data Recovery - Undelete Photos, SMS, Contacts & More Files -

        • Shannon
          May 29, 2012 at 10:22 am

          Hey Susendeep Dutta, thanks for the pointer, but I didn't find it interesting so as to pay $25 for it!

          I instead bought Photo Saver from the same website that Rick had pointed out earlier, for 1/3rd of the price. Easy to use and recovered all my photos.

  12. Jodsnownd
    April 20, 2012 at 4:33 am

    backed up my phone... still deleted all of my purchases... which i suppose is good, keep me from going over my data anymore... but still, i have to rebuy everything... and i still cant find any deleted texts

    • Susendeep Dutta
      May 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Use Decipher tool as suggested by ha14 in the above comments.

      • saintcross
        May 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

        this decipher tool didn't work for me, they didn't even refund my money back.

        • Decipher Media
          May 22, 2012 at 3:39 am

          Hi saintcross!

          Please send us an email (info at decipher-media dot com) -- hopefully we can help the program work for you, or we can refund your purchase. We do have a money-back guarantee :)

        • Tina
          May 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm

          Thanks for jumping in and offering a solution!

  13. Kathleen mitchell
    April 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    how do i make sure that iTunes doesn't automatically sync with my i phone 4??

  14. Anotherblkmovie
    April 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    It didnt work. The old texts did not come back.

    • Susendeep Dutta
      May 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

      You can try Decipher tool to recover messages as suggested by ha14 in the above comments.

  15. Theodore
    April 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

    If i back up my iphone 3gs, and try to connect with itunes at my new iphone 4, and try to apply the back up, will it show my messages and stuff from iphone 3?

  16. RandyQ
    March 30, 2012 at 2:44 am

     I tried multiple ways to recover this data. I was in fear of my spouse cheating on me... i tried to look at the backup and then some free tools like the amber abc and backup browser. All of these tools just made me more anxious and upset... however i found a company that helped me out and answered some questions...they are called alias forensics sorry to name pitch but they really helped me in a bind. hope this information helps someone else.

    • brandan
      May 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      iam also in feer of my gf cheeting on me and im trying to find out how to gett all of the messages

      • brandan
        June 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm

        Update - these guys are awesome! sent my data in..they recovered it and bam! found what i was lookin for. Good news is i now know what i suspected. Bad news i have to find a new girlfriend haha.
        So thanks Alias!

        • Lou
          June 23, 2012 at 2:40 am

          Hi Brandan, do you have the contact for this company? Did you have to send the phone off? I really need to retrieve my boyfriends deleted texts (and he hasn't synced to itunes for a while) but I cant send his phone off somewhere

        • brandan
          June 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm

          yah the guys i spoke with are called alias forensics and yes i sent my phone off. . i dont know if they need the hopefully you can get some help.
          i found them by googling alias forensics

        • brandan
          June 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm

          sry if this is a double post. didnt see it the first time..LOU - yes i sent my phone. they are called alias i googled ffor alias forensics this is the website

  17. Mgprice
    March 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    My text app was deleted by mistake. How do I recover it? I thought syncing my iPhone would work and it didn't. Help!!

  18. Riknme
    March 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

    i am having deleted mess reappearing while typing a new mess to some one else pleeeeeeeeeease help

  19. Haleyholmes95
    March 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I did everything it said.... I backed up the iphone then I restored it or w.e and now just as its almost done loading everything it says theres an error and my iphone wont work :*(

  20. TooTrusting
    February 27, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Does not work. Don't try to recover your texts this way

  21. tony
    February 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    i believe my girlfriend is lying to me and i suspect shes texting other guys and than erasing them, does anyone have a way that i can see the msgs she erased.?

      April 24, 2012 at 8:45 am

      tony, did you find a solution for this?
      Regards, Ron.

    • Jay
      May 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Tony, I have the same situation, did you find out any ways to look at the deleted messages on your girlfriend's phone? Would appreciate if you could also let me know. Thanks, Jay.

      • Mark
        May 9, 2012 at 4:28 am

        Send your email address. I can send the instructions.

        • Jasmine
          May 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

          I know this is a switch but want to know if my boyfriend is being faithful. Any help would be great and I don't want to download something that does not work. He has a iphone 3g

        • peter
          May 15, 2012 at 1:42 am

          you have instructions for reading deleted text messages?

        • stef
          May 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm

          could you also send me instructions? (was it free?)

        • Tee
          June 27, 2012 at 12:49 am

          I need instruction too, my boyfriend is doing something.

        • Tee
          June 27, 2012 at 12:52 am

          How can you pull deleted texts from iphone4 w/o detection ? My boyfriend is trippin.

    • Eli
      May 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      I have the same issue tony. Did you find a solution to recovering the texts?

  22. Muhammed
    February 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm

     in iTunes or iphone i cant see Back Up button or provision in Preferences

  23. Aibek
    February 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

    thanks for the input, will check it out

  24. Aibek
    February 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    how much do you charge for your services?

  25. Shaun
    February 10, 2012 at 8:33 am

    its very. easy           ask the person to send that message again!!!

  26. Aibek
    February 6, 2012 at 5:52 am

    has anyone else tried this?

  27. Thomas Scharrer
    January 25, 2012 at 2:12 am

    My name is Thomas Scharrer I am a data recovery specialist and I recover deleted text messages. I have two options you can purchase a kit from me or you can send your phone to me. If you send your phone to me I can go back up to a year and if you purchase a kit it will go back up to six months. You may call me for a free consultation at 480-467-9151.

    • Gayle James
      January 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Hey Thomas, Can you recover get messages after an iPhone crash? I didn't delete them.... 

      • Gayle James
        January 27, 2012 at 9:14 am

        recover *text (not get)

    • Wingapoh2
      April 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      hey Thomas! I'm interested to your kit! Could you contact me via email? ( thank you very much

    • Tom
      May 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      How much is the kit to retrieve the kit???

    • Olivia
      May 14, 2012 at 12:48 am

      im interested in giving you phone to back up old text messages. I bought the phone in Feb so if the kit might be more effective please let me know.
      please e-mail me @

    • Andy
      May 14, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      Hello Thomas. I would like to know more about your kit. Please email details and cost to cashinvegas[at]

  28. Emb0304
    January 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    It says I have no backed up devices.? Idk what to do!

  29. Shareenkhan74
    January 14, 2012 at 1:24 am

    i dont know how but i have lost all my text msgs from1/11/2011 and before. I this an iphone issue. has anyone else experienced this before

  30. Shareenkhan74
    January 14, 2012 at 1:22 am

    how do i recover my deleted notes from my iphone 4s

  31. Frostwire
    January 12, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Make use of a SIM card and a data recovery program- These tools can downloaded via the Internet safely.

  32. Anonymous
    January 5, 2012 at 7:37 am

    my husband has found a way to look at all my deleted messages on my iPhone 4. He thinks he's clever because I can't figure out he's doing it. He's finding my deleted messages right from my mobile device. I've google searched and also youTube searched my dilemma with no success. Please help I hate when he one ups me ;)

    • Ripeone
      January 7, 2012 at 1:32 am

      Sounds like a situation Someone I know is going through. @HLucas

    • Devildogmx1
      January 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      My wife is doing the same...I have no privacy!

      • Someone's Wife
        January 11, 2012 at 11:08 pm

        I wish I knew how to do it.

      • Kyrananette
        January 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

        ditto..and I can't figure out how hes doing it. 

    • Beccabooboo1992
      January 25, 2012 at 7:37 am

      I don't own an iphone, bur my boyfriend does. I have gone for his phone before, for good reasons!
      When I found messages he thought he'd deleted and the look on his face when I confronted him was priceless!
      Anyways I'll try and explain exactly what I did.
      1- press the main "home" button at the bottom of your screen until you get back to the main menu.
      2- once at the main menu, press the "home" button again until the search bar appears. I believe this is the search bar for the entire phone.
      3- from the search bar, type in a few letters of the persons name you want to know if they've been in contact with. Scroll all the way through the results as his were all the way at the end! But I hope this helps you!!

      • Jenny
        February 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        I tried it. It didn't show me any of the text messages thou :{

    • Aguidry72
      January 27, 2012 at 5:11 am

      Can you please find out how he is retrieving them?

    • Alexisanastasia20
      February 28, 2012 at 1:10 am

      Swipe your finger from the left to right until the search iphone thing comes up. Type in the
      Persons name whom you deleted texts from, they show up there even if deleted

      • Baby12342004
        March 4, 2012 at 8:30 am

        I did that and it still won't come up help I think he doing some thing

      • Wi3776
        April 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

         they dont

    • Ratsandwich
      April 20, 2012 at 3:20 am

      Are you a spineless cheating whore? Or merely an asshole. Or is your husband an asshole and your just an idiot for puttiing up with it all. Either way your marriage is doomed. You don't trust each other and your playing games. One up. 2 down.

    • Kayleigh
      May 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      How did your husband get them back? This is important

    • Yharris
      June 2, 2012 at 12:30 am

      He is using the Spotlight Search bar!! Happened to me too!

  33. Elinabk00
    November 18, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Did all the steps but couldnt find recovered texts

    • Tina
      November 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm


      if you are still seeking for a solution, I recommend you to ask a new question. It will be posted on the MakeUseOf Answers front page and will receive a response within a few hours.

  34. Bud
    November 8, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Helpful and clever you guys..thanks!

    • lostiphonetextmessage
      November 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      did the steps above work for you Bud? i am wondering if we have the same case. i accidentally deleted a message immediately after i opened it. and want to recoveer it

  35. Ghada Anan
    August 13, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    so how can i make sure my backup is good??

  36. Ghada Anan
    August 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    in step 3:  did u mean that all my content in the iphone will be erased??
    how can i prevent that from happening?

    • JiahTha1
      November 7, 2011 at 12:34 am

      Back it up

      • Fran
        June 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

        I want to recover my deleted messages. I backed up my iPhone when going to update the software, and now when I try to install the backup it says there is an error. Is there anyway of retrieving these texts.

  37. Anonymous
    August 9, 2011 at 7:34 am

    SMS messages remain on the iPhone after deletion. When “deleted” on the iPhone, they are technically hidden and marked for deletion. Text messages are then deleted only after sync with iTunes.
    In order to recover a deleted text message or messages, run through the following 4 easy steps:
    STEP 1:Make sure iTunes doesn’t automatically sync with iPhone when connected.
    STEP 2:Connect your iPhone to iTunes and Back up by selecting Preferences > Backup from iTunes, or right-click on your iPhone and choose back up.
    STEP 3:Restore your iPhone by selecting Restore under Preferences. Note that restoring the iPhone will restore the previous iPhone firmware. Your iPhone will be completely erased after the new firmware is installed. So make sure your back up is good!
    STEP 4:The final step will be to restore your iPhone from the back up you created on step 2. This will allow you to restore any data you have backed up, including the “deleted” text messages.

    Retrieving Deleted Text Messages from your iPhone

    • ECU_cheerleader
      November 7, 2011 at 2:09 am

      Once the 4 step process is complete how do you find the deleted texts? I did all of the steps but the deleted msgs did not appear. Are they stored on the computer and if so how do I find them?

      • Anonymous
        November 7, 2011 at 10:49 am

        is your phone jailbroken?
        1. Download iPhoneBrowser (Windows)

        2. Connect iPhone via USB

        3. Start iPhoneBrowser & Delete all files in following 2 folders:



        4. Restart ur iPhone

        Extract And Recover iPhone Data From iTunes Backup

        • danny
          May 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

          I followed your instructions. How do I retrieve the messages. I need to retrieve the txts I accidently deleted.

        • Susendeep Dutta
          May 28, 2012 at 4:46 am

          Follow the instructions in the link below -

        • Daniel
          June 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm

          doesn't work! And why is this susendeep spamming this thread!

      • Aggie
        May 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

        ok - I work in apple and this is something unofficial. I will try to answer this to the best of my knowledge and experience. foremost, you need a backup of your iphone. it is automatically created by itunes everytime you connect your phone to the computer.
        so if you have ever connected your iphone to itunes then all the data present that was in the phone at that point was backed-up and you have a very bright chance of getting it back :)

        There could be 2 reasons why you are looking for deleted/lost data. You have either deleted it by mistake, or you have damaged or lost your iPhone.

        I will address the first issue first. (deletion by mistake)
        Given that you have a backup of your iphone, simply use a software to recover the deleted/lost data.
        if you are running windows, then get total-save from ''

        it is inexpensive and takes less than a couple of minutes to recover all text messages, photos, videos and contacts in your phones backup. I have personally used it and was happy with the support they provided.
        if you want just texts, then get text-save from the same vendor - its even cheaper than totalsave

        not sure about trustworthy alternatives for mac. I have heard about dechiper tool, but they have earned some pretty bad reviews, ranging from broken software to bad support and unwillingness to refund.

        If you have lost your iPhone, then just get a new one and restore from the existing backup. If you don't want (or cannot buy) a new iPhone, then simply use the softwares mentioned above to get back the data to your PC/Mac.

        I hope this helps.


        • Angela
          June 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm

          Thanks Aggie. Total Saver worked like charm :)

        • Brad
          June 9, 2012 at 8:26 am

          thanks for recommending total saver

        • Melissa
          June 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

          Will this software also be able to recover conversations using iMessaging between two iPhones?

        • Sarah
          June 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm

          My iPhone deleted all my messages, I wasn't even using it at the time, I had just sent a photo to my friend and it had sent so I locked the screen I received another message but when I unlocked my phone all my messages were wiped, I have nothing and I had some very important Infirmation about a change in my exams tomorrow that I need back however I cannot restore any of them ... What do I do?!

        • Brad
          June 18, 2012 at 6:52 am

          Hey Sarah,

          I've used total saver as recommended by Aggie (above) and it did help me recover photos, texts, contacts etc.
          If you just want to recover texts from your iphone's backup, then go with text saver

          hope this helps

        • Lucy
          June 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

          Do I have to restore the phone to retrieve the deleted texts? Because I don't want to eraser he entire content of my phone.

    • fak
      November 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      does not work at all

    • Siewmui Ng
      November 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

      Have any video clips to teach how its work??

    • Debbie Fenner
      March 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      I just deleted a whole conversation of messages with over 500 txts. If i follow these four steps will i get back the whole conversation or just what i backed up on my phone last time i syncd with itunes?

    • Sam
      May 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      If you haven't backed up you iPhone can you still recover messages?

      • Susendeep Dutta
        May 28, 2012 at 4:49 am

        Those deleted messages goes into archive folder.

        • sam
          June 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

          how can you get these out your archive folder?

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