General Question

zanyo1's avatar

Can you recover deleted text messages on an iPhone?

Asked by zanyo1 (75points) June 11th, 2008 from iPhone

I have deleted texts several times by mistake and would love to know if I can recover them. If that is even possible, how is it done?

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31 Answers

iwamoto's avatar

if you delete something…you delete something, and because iphone memory is flash based, i don’t think there’s much chance, if any

Acrazycouple's avatar

nope no can do on that one. If you really need it just check you monthly will show most if not all messages for that month.

trogdor_87's avatar

Just check your At&t monthly statement, all of your text messages will be on there.

Allie's avatar

What?! AT&T says what the message says on your statement? So, if you send a message to someone and they send one back your whole conversation shows up on your monthly bill?

zanyo1's avatar

I have the same question as Allie!!!!

ezraglenn's avatar


hearkat's avatar

I have never seen the actual content of text messages listed on my bills.

I have an iMac, and I downloaded a program called Syphone that backs-up the text messages whenever you sync the iPhone in iTunes.

Deleting a text message, or just about anything on the iPhone, is a 2-step process… I try to be careful of what doing, sync the iPhone from time-to-time, confirm that the texts were also synced, THEN I clear my conversations.

md's avatar

Sure, you can restore deleted texts on the iPhone. The texts themselves are held in a .mdbackup file, which is a bunch of base-64-encoded plists and SQLite files. “Deleting” them on your iPhone doesn’t remove them from this file, it only “hides” them from viewing on the phone.

How to restore them, OTOH… that’s the key question!

brendac's avatar

I have a vested interest in this question and would appreciate ANY AND ALL feedback for this. I need to find a way to find text messages.

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stunna309's avatar

NO you cannot see the context of messages on your bill statement, as a matter of fact, i’ve had to ask AT&T if theres a way to recover messages, or find the context, the answer, was NO. Please, don’t worry, the only thing it shows, is phone #, date, time, and if the message was sent or received.

anitacogle's avatar

I have used the method with a sms retriever and squlite and it does not show deleted texts. It only showed what was on the phone when it synced. I read that it is a soft key and that they are “all still there,” just need to locate them in c:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\ Was not the case. To check this I synced and then deleted a couple of texts and then synced again. Just as I suspected the deleted were gone. If any one knows something I don’t please share.

ramze33's avatar

For all you people who are O2 uk, go to Bluebook..all you txt are saved there

SundayKittens's avatar

My iphone magically deleted all of mine yesterday. WTF?

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Jestsauce's avatar

If I back up the phone without synching will they be there?

mantis3dfx's avatar

Many iPhone user has been asking the question on how to recover deleted text message on iPhone. We understand some text messages can be deleted accidentally or intentionally, but somehow the need rise to have them back again. It can be frustrating to do so if you decide to use Media storage software to recover those SMS messages, but luckily it’s easier than most iPhone users think.

If you decide to apply this article, please do so at your own risk. Although we think the steps suggested here are safe if conducted correctly and should not cause any damage to your iPhone, data will be lost if no good back is available. Please insure you run a full backup and test it before attempting any of the steps below.

First of all, it’s important to note that if the deleted text messages were exchanged since the last sync, it’s not possible to recover those SMS message. It’s only possible to recover text messages if they were deleted before the last synchronisation with iTunes. In other words, recovering a text message is only possible if the you didn’t synchronize the iPhone with iTunes after sending or receiving SMS messages.

SMS messages remain on the iPhone after deletion. They are deleted only after sync with iTunes.

In order to recover a deleted text message or messages, run through the following steps:
– Make sure iTunes doesn’t automatically sync with iPhone when connected
– Connect your iPhone to iTunes and Back up buy choosing Preferences > Backup. (or right click the iphone icon in the devices list in the left pane of itunes and select “Backup”
– 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.
– A message will prompt you to restore your backup. This will allow you to restore any data you have backed up before installing the new fireware.

It’s important to distinguish between iPhone data restore and iPhone firmware restore.
iPhone data restore allow you to restore data you have already backup on iTunes.
iPhone firmware restore is pretty much likely a factory default restore. Where the iPhone firmware will be re-installed and any existing data deleted.

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crobinstone's avatar

The previous post has the correct answer. Every time I read a thread or post on how to do something on an Iphone, Im the person that it never works for. This is different. The steps listed in the previous post work and should be tried. My biggest question was whether or not it would delete my music, and low and behold, it didnt! The only downside is that if you have synced after the messages were deleted they are gone forever.

Lean20's avatar

Crobinstone hi, since this worked for you, can you tell me if by any chance this process erases any other info stored in your phone?

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mallycat89's avatar

so pissed off i read somewhere else i had to download this other textpad thing and it would restore my very important msgs i accidently deleated and it said to SYNC MY BLOODY PHONE so i did and it didnt work, and now i see this and it says dont sync your phone or they are gone forever.. bloody effing fantastic!!!!

fisgus's avatar

So, if I want to permanetly remove deleted text from my iphone all I have to do is sync? What about IPHONE Stick and all those other recovery gadets and programs? I did a sync with just music and photos only. Will that work? I don’t want my deleted text.

fisgus's avatar

how do i remove text backed up in itunes from my pc?

serenityvalley's avatar

This question is pretty old. There have been advances in computer forensics that allow deleted text/SMS messages to be recovered from iPhones. Some are available to the public. Do a search for iPhone deleted text messages and look for the advertisements for these products. They actually work.

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