This post was updated in May 2017
Have you deleted your iPhone SMS messages by accident and later realized that they contained some valuable information and you want them back? No worries, you can still get back your data! In this article, we will show you how to retrieve all your deleted text messages from your iPhone.
Unless the automatic sync option on iTunes is disabled, a new backup of your iPhone is created every time you sync your iPhone to iTunes. A successfully created backup is mandatory to get your lost messages. You can get your messages from an iTunes or iCloud backup.
Without any further ado, here are the three options available to get your messages back.
1. Get back deleted SMS without losing other information
Don't want to risk losing other data you haven't backed up? We know how important your information is to you, and this is why we have created the iPhone Backup Extractor: to help you archive, view, access, copy or extract all SMS texts saved in your backup, directly using our software.
Download the iPhone Backup Extractor application, and you will get access to your saved SMS, from all backups available on your computer. Our software application works with iTunes and iCloud backups and it's available on Windows and Mac OS X. If your deleted texts were created and removed after the backup was made, the iPhone Backup Extractor will rebuild deleted texts where fragments of the message still exist.
If you are interested to recover your messages and SMS from an iCloud backup, read this guide.
How to use the iPhone Backup Extractor to retrieve my SMS?
When deleting your messages, there are two main scenarios and the iPhone Backup Extractor will help you in both cases.
The first and most frequent one is that you have deleted texts messages you haven't backed up yet. The first thing to do in this case is to create an iTunes backup immediately. By creating a backup as soon as possible, you will increase your chances to retrieve more data. As time passes deleted SMS fragments will overwrite so deterioration can happen quickly.
Once created your new backup, load it to the iPhone Backup Extractor application and you should be able to get back all lost SMS messages. Go to the 'Extract' menu or simply click the number corresponding to the SMS under 'Available data'. It will take a few moments for the iPhone Backup Extractor to extract all SMS and attachments, and you should see them just like in the screenshot below. The deleted messages will be shown in red, and the ones that were not deleted will be shown in blue for iMessages and in green for normal SMS messages.
IMPORTANT! Before starting to create a new backup, we recommend you to create a safe copy of your previously created backup (you can check the iTunes backup copy created selecting it in the iPhone Backup Extractor), to prevent iTunes from overwriting a good backup. Even if there's a 0.01% chance of this to happen, better be safe than sorry.
The second scenario is that you deleted some messages that you have already backed up during your latest iTunes sync. If this is your case, download the iPhone Backup Extractor and load your backup. Now click the number corresponding to the SMS under 'Available data' OR on 'Extract' on the top menu and select between export SMS as HTML (will look like the screenshot above) or as CSV (see below).
Is the iPhone Backup Extractor the best solution to get back my lost text messages?
No doubt! The iPhone Backup Extractor is the best and safest way to get back lost iPhone SMS and attachments! With our software application you can retrieve your messages from your iTunes or iCloud backup. We offer a premium undeletion feature and a user friendly tool. We guarantee it will help you get back an increased number of SMS messages and attachments and our undeletion functionality is better than any other software available today. Our team of experts are ready to help in any data recovery situation and we have an experience of over six years with getting back deleted data out of smart phone backups. Test our software!
The iPhone Backup Extractor helps you find deleted SMS fragments and extracts them along other texts and attachments from the database. It also shows them in a nicely formatted HTML file which replicates the text messages with attachments, as you would see them on your iPhone.
2. Get back texts from iTunes backups
If you frequently sync your iPhone with iTunes then it is always possible that deleted texts survive in an iTunes backup.
You can get back with iTunes the whole backup, but remember that your iPhone will restore to the point it was backed up last. This means that the SMS might have been created after this backup, and more importantly other data that was created after the backup WILL BE LOST if you restore the backup using iTunes. If you are not sure that your backup contains your lost messages, you should skip to the second option.
To get back data from an iTunes backup follow these steps:
- Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac and open iTunes.
- On the right side corner (or left side navigation as below), you can select your iPhone.
- Now check the date when your last backup is created. If you are certain that you want to restore your iPhone to your previously created backup, click Restore Backup.
- It will take a few minutes to restore your iPhone with all the data you backed up, and your text messages should then appear on your iDevice.
3. Get back lost messages from iCloud
The third option is to get back your lost SMS from your iCloud account. This option isn't available for everyone though. Some phone carriers have this option locked down, and iCloud SMS backup is not available for all countries. You can check the list of all countries that support SMS backup for iCloud, here.
Here are the steps to find out if your text messages are saved to iCloud.
- Login to your iCloud account with your ID and password.
- Go to Messages. (If Messages are not showing, it means that your SMS haven't been backed up and the iCloud recovery option is not right for you).
- Search for the messages you need to get back and as long as they have been backed up, you should see them there.
We, the iPhone Backup Extractor team, are working on getting these SMS back on to the iPhone. We aim to build functionality based on our customer feedback. Let us know how much you would like this feature and we'll make it happen.