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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.