How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone
Recover messages menu icon

How to recover messages and attachments

Here's a guide to help you recover deleted text messages, iMessages, and attachments from iCloud and iTunes backups with iPhone Backup Extractor.

What does iPhone Backup Extractor Do?

Recovers deleted messages

  • Finds deleted texts, iMessages and attachments
  • Works with stolen or lost iPhones

Supports new iOS features

  • Works with 2FA protected accounts
  • Works with encrypted backups

Previews messages

  • Allows you to preview texts
  • Lets you choose which message to recover

How to use our iOS data recovery tool for deleted messages

iPhone Backup Extractor is a data recovery software that helped millions of people recover texts and messages from iCloud backups and from encrypted or unencrypted iTunes backups.

We believe that recovering lost messages from iCloud or iTunes should be an easy and safe process. We built a data recovery tool that works with all iOS versions, and with hardened encryption changes released by Apple.

Our data recovery software is free to try. With the free edition you can try recovering up to 4 deleted messages, and play with our demo iCloud account. You can also preview chats and attachments before recovering deleted texts. When you activate your email address you also get to preview the iCloud devices associated with your iCloud email address.

The software helps you find old messages and extracts them along with attachments, from both iCloud and iTunes, even if you lost your iPhone or if you accidentally delete them. You can export messages to your computer in a nicely formatted HTML or PDF file which replicates the text messages with attachments, as you would see them on your iPhone.

Try our solution and recover deleted iMessages, texts and attachments today.

  • 1. Download and install iPhone Backup Extractor. Activate your license;
  • 2. Connect to an iCloud account or local iTunes backup;
  • 3. Browse through discovered backups and find the messages you've deleted;
  • 4. Preview and recover them one by one or recover them in bulk;
  • 5. Export messages as HTML files, and save attachments to your computer.

You will need

Win and MacWindows or macOS computer
iCloudiCloud backup and credentials
iTunesOr an iTunes backup and credentials
Latest iPBELatest iPhone Backup Extractor version

How to recover deleted texts and messages with iPhone Backup Extractor

1. Install iPhone Backup Extractor and connect to a backup

Download and install the latest version iPhone Backup Extractor. From the left side menu, click on the "+" button once, then again on the "+" sign to add a local iTunes backup or an iCloud backup.

If your iPhone is plugged into to your computer, you will see it show up automatically in the sidebar. With iPhone Backup Extractor you can safely recover deleted messages from iTunes backups, including encrypted ones. You need to know your password if your backup is encrypted.

if you are adding an iCloud account, you also need to know the email address and password for your iCloud account. iPhone Backup Extractor works with 2FA. Read this article to see how to use 2FA and get a code that grants access to your iCloud backups.

The connection is SSL secured and we never store your details. We recommend enabling 2FA authentication to ensure nobody else can recover your data.

2. Browse your backups and search for deleted messages

Once connected, browse through your list of available backups, and preview contents for messages and attachments. The iCloud and iTunes backups you have made over time are listed in the right side menu. The easiest way to recovering deleted texts is to choose the most recent backup, and download it.

To download only your messages, go to the "Categories" tab, select "Messages" and download a backup of your messages on your computer.

To recover texts and messages that are older than 30 days, you need to connect your iTunes backups.

3. Extract and retrieve messages locally

After the download process is finished, you have multiple options to extract your messages. If you need to see them before extraction, use the "Preview" tab. If you need to recover them in bulk, use "Overview" mode.

You'll be asked how you want to recover the messages. Choose HTML and select a folder for messages extraction.

If the messages have videos or images attached, you will find these files in a separate “Data” folder.

Recover deleted text messages on iPhone1. iCloud sign-in
Guide: Restore deleted text messages on your computer or Mac2. The messages are downloaded from the iCloud
Retrieve text messages from iOS3. The messages are succesfully downloaded
Extract deleted text messages from your iPhone4. Messages extraction
Extract deleted text messages as HTML5. Extract messages as HTML
Get back deleted text messages from iPhone6. Succesful recovery

For iTunes backups
From the left side of iPhone Backup Extractor, select the iTunes backup file with your messages and attachments.

To extract all your SMS, use the same procedure described at the third step of the iCloud method.

Supported iOS versions, backups and devices

iPhone Backup Extractor is fully compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and any macOS version from 10.7 and above. See below:

Devices Compatible with all iOS devices iPhone 4, 4S, iPhone 5, 5C, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, 6S, 6S Plus, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
iOS It works with all iOSes iOS 11, iOS 10, iOS 9, iOS 8, iOS 7 and lower
Backups Full support for all backups Corrupted backup, iCloud backup, 2FA iCloud backup, Encrypted backup

Data privacy and security With more than 8 years of experience, Reincubate adheres fully to the strictest data privacy laws. Your iCloud credentials are not stored in any way on any third party server or on our servers. The connections are encrypted and secured.

iPhone Backup Extractor is clean of adware, viruses or spyware.
iCloud and iTunes support No viruses Compatible with all iOS devices

Ready to test it with your iPhone?

See what iPhone Backup Extractor can do for you.

30 day money back guarantee Support for iOS 11, iOS 10, iPhone 7 and every iPhone, iPad and iPod.

Why trust us?

Reincubate's CEO at Buckingham Palace

Here’s a photo of our founder Aidan (the tall guy) meeting Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, after Reincubate was awarded the UK’s highest business award for our work since 2008 on developing this technology. We invented the iPhone Backup Extractor, the first tool on the market for iOS data recovery. We’re on a mission to help people make the most of their data in an ethical, transparent way. You can read more about Reincubate, our values, and our position on privacy and data security.

Can we improve this guide and help others recover more of their data, or have we helped you with your recovery? We’ve been doing this for 10 years but there’s always room to improve, and we love hearing how people get on. Why not drop us an email at the address below, or tweet us @reincubate?

For personal users

For businesses and pro users

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iTunes support

Works with Windows and Mac

Customer support

Preview iCloud device list



iCloud and iTunes support

Works with Windows and Mac

Customer support

5 iCloud devices


This is iPhone Backup Extractor, think of it as a "personal forensics" utility. It's pretty awesome.

Jonathan Zdziarski

Forensics and iOS expert

For business and pro users


25 iCloud devices

High priority customer support

Commercial license

All benefits of our premium plan

Demo our APIs for enterprise

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