by Anthony 

November 12, 2022

With the release of iOS and iPad OS 16 and MacOS Ventura, it is now possible to recover deleted messages. The process of recovering deleted messages is exactly the same, regardless of whether you’re on an iPhone or iPad. 

To recover deleted messages on iPhone click on Edit in the Messages app and choose Show Recently Deleted. Select the conversations you wish to recover, and click on Recover in the bottom corner of the screen.

Click on Edit in the Messages app to reocover delted messages.jpg


Click on Show Recently Deleted in the Messages app to reocover delted messages.jpg
Click on Recover in the Messages app to reocover delted messages.jpg

Filter Unknown Senders

If you see Filters rather than Edit in the top left corner of your Messages app, it is because you have Filter Unknown Senders enabled in Settings. In which case, click on the Filters option and choose Recently Deleted. 

Filter Unknown Senders in the Settings app on iPhone
Click on Filter in the Messages app to reocover delted messages

30 Days To Recover Your Messages

Unfortunately, you can only recover whole conversations, not recover individual messages, and deleted messages are only available for 30 days, albeit it may take up to 40 days before they are permanently deleted from iCloud.

You have 30 days to reover a message

Troubleshooting Recovering Your Messages

If you don’t see the Show Recently Deleted menu option, it’s possibly because you haven’t installed the latest operating system - iOS 16, iPadOS 16 or MacOS Ventura.

You can check this by going to Settings, clicking on General followed by Software Update. If the update isn’t available it might be because your device is too old.

iPhone screen showing latest iOS update in Settings

Recovering Deleted Messages on a Mac

To recover messages on Mac it’s a little bit different. Click on View in the file menu and choose Recently Deleted.

Screenshot showing recently deleted option in Messages app on Mac

Other Ways To Recover Deleted Messages

If you are trying to recover messages older than 30 days, then your only hope is to restore from an iCloud backup of your iPhone. Just bear in mind, the iCloud backup needs to predate the message that you’re trying to recover. 

Unfortunately, since these backups are initiated automatically, it’s highly unlikely there will be one old enough that meets your needs. You can check by opening the Settings app, clicking on your name, followed by iCloud and iCloud Backup.

iCloud backup screen in Settings in iPhone

If you’re lucky enough to find a backup that does predate the message, you can restore the backup by opening Settings, choosing General followed by Transfer or Reset. 

Erase This iPhone screen in Settings app on iPhone

Just be wary that this will wipe your iphone completely and all the data stored on it, and should be considered a last resort.  You should ensure you don’t inadvertently lose any other important information in the process. I highly recommend plugging your iPhone or iPad into your Mac computer and backing it up through Finder before wiping it.

Key Takeaways

  • You have 30 days to recover deleted messages in the Message app on iPhone, iPad and Mac.
  • You can only recover whole conversations not individual messages.
  • To recover messages older than 30 days you can try restoring an old backup.
  • However, this risks deleting other important information and is highly risky.
  • Manually backup your iPhone or iPad to your Mac before wiping it. 

If you found this post useful, you might also be interested in reading my favourite free Word Games and don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel for lots of tips and tricks on all your favourite apps.

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