How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone
iPhones are probably the easiest phone to recover deleted text messages on. Whether you’ve deleted one specific message or you’ve factory reset your iPhone and lost everything – don’t worry!
We’re going to look at some tools and methods you can use to restore not just text messages, but any deleted data from an iPhone.
Read: We suggest either turning your iPhone off or enabling flight mode for now. The more you use it the bigger the chance you won’t be able to restore your message.
We mostly focus on the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, 4S and 3G but the same tools and techniques can be used on other versions and the iPad as well. So from best to worst here are the techniques and tools you can use to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone phones.
Method 1: Dr.Fone
Now available for both Windows and Mac this is the #1 choice if you want to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone. It’s as simple as connecting the handset to your computer and clicking a few buttons. It scans your iPhone to find deleted messages and you can restore them straight back to the phone. By far the best recovery rate and the easiest to use this should be your first (and probably the only) download. It supports the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and the iPhone 3GS as well as iPads and iPod touches. It runs on your computer and is available for both Windows and Mac. You can check out our quick 5 step guide on retrieving deleted texts with it (and download the free demo) by clicking here.
Method 2: LALLPT
NEW for 2014: The LALLPT SMS Retrieval Software!
The LALLPT retrieval tool is free to download and designed to retrieve deleted text messages and is fully compatible with the iPhone. The iPhone is (by far) the easiest model to recover messages on. The success rate is very high so grab the (free) download now: Note: Put your phone down! The more you use it at the moment the higher the chance you will overwrite a memory location a deleted message is currently stored in. The faster you retrieve your deleted message the better!
iPhones are great and probably one of the more popular handsets on the market at the moment. The big screen and ease of use makes them fluid and easy to use. The problem is that that ‘easy to use’ thing can turn into ‘easy to accidentally delete your messages’. I’ve done it more than a few times myself.
On top of that there’s a ton of great apps out there but this great amount of apps can easily turn into ‘that crappy app just deleted all my texts!’ But not to worry. iPhone users are spoiled for choice when it comes to free tools to recover their text messages.
It’s actually as easy as plugging your phone into the PC or Mac and choosing the messages you want to restore. Click the button below to get our most up to date methods and tools for restoring iPhone texts. You can have your messages restored within minutes. We always suggest using your phone as little as possible while waiting to restore your messages. The faster you run a restore the more chance you’ll get your messages back but with an iPhone this is actually much less of an issue.
Texts from an iPhone have been restored from months back and it does seem like they store them much longer than most other phones. Still, for best results try to avoid using your phone for the next few minutes while you restore your texts.
Method 3: iTunes Sync
Have you synced your phone with your computer while it still had your messages on it? If you connect your phone through USB and sync it back with iTunes you will still have your current messages alongside any that were previously synced with the computer. This is an easy fix and will work fine if you were lucky enough to sync them before you deleted them. You can also do this without actually plugging your phone into the computer. If you search your computer for a file named “3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28” your synced messages are saved in there. There are some tools out there which make it easier to read the text message properly. That said a simple text editor can help you find if the message is even still there before you bother to use anything else.
Method 4: DiskAid
The next easy step you can try is download a tool called DiskAid from here. Load your iPhone through USB and the tool will allow you to browse the files on your phone. Navigate to “\var\mobile\Library\SMS” and copy the file “sms.db” to your computer. You can open it with Wordpad or most text editors and you can see new and old texts stored in there. There is no easy way to restore these texts directly to your phone, but you do have access to the information at least.
If you need help pinpointing exact messages try searching for names or keywords within the text editor. Originally this was probably the best method to recover deleted text messages on iPhone before newer tools were developed. It gave you limited access to the deleted data on the phones memory but it was harder to use, less likely to succeed and couldn’t really restore them back to the phone without a lot of work. We still list it more for anyone who wants to play around with the tech side of things a little more but to be honest there’s very little reason to use this over something like LALLPT or Dr.Fone. Unless you’re pretty tech savvy and looking for something to do then I really wouldn’t bother.
Method 5: Undelete SMS
For jail broken iPhone’s you can try an app called ‘Undelete SMS’ which can be found in Cydia via the BigBoss repo. It’s not free (at the time of writing it costs $7 on the app store) and like all restore tools it cannot guarantee you’ll get your messages restored. If the memory has not been overwritten it should be able to restore it and there have been success stories out there.
While we specialize in retrieving deleted text messages and the iPhone is by far the easiest model of phone to do that with nobody can guarantee 100% recovery. If you’ve tried everything and it’s just not happening then it’s probably time to start the mourning process. If it’s been overwritten before we can retrieve it then it’s basically gone. Your only play next might be talking to your carrier (AT&T, Verizon or Sprint for example) and see if your carrier can restore deleted text messages for you.