Latest News

How to find deleted texts on an iPhone

From important business decisions to precious family photos, text messages can often contain some data we simply can’t afford to lose. But with just one swipe, texts can easily be deleted from our iPhones by mistake. If this has happened to you and you need to retrieve a vital text, don’t panic. There could be a way out!

The good news is, if you've kept your iPhone backed up, you should be able find your deleted text, no problem. The bad news is you might have to lose some of your more recent data to do it. Read our handy guide to getting back your deleted texts and you’ll be reunited with your precious data in no time.

Backing up your iPhone is a great way to protect yourself from disaster, but so is arranging iPhone insurance. Save yourself from all manner of problems by giving the Gadget Cover team a call today.

Method 1: Restoring texts from an iCloud backup

Hopefully your iPhone is already set to backup to iCloud on a regular basis. If it is then the most straightforward option is to restore the deleted text message from your iCloud backup. You’ll do this with a full restore, which will send your iPhone back to a point when you still had the lost text.

However, there are two important issues to remember. First, you’ll lose any data you've added since the last backup. So, be sure you save copies of any newer photos, videos or other messages you don't want to lose! If the backup from which you’re choosing to restore the information is quite old, this may take some time.

Second, you'll probably have to sign back in to all your apps. Annoying, yes, but much better than a lost text.

To try this method, do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap your name at the top.
  2. Select iCloud.
  3. Scroll down and select iCloud Backup.
  4. Here you’ll be able to check whether your last backup was before or after you deleted the text. If the backup was since the mistake, then you’re out of luck.
  5. If the backup was before the deletion, then great. Reopen the Settings app and tap General.
  6. Scroll down and choose Reset.
  7. Select Erase all Content and Settings.
  8. A screen will pop up and you’ll be asked ‘Do you want to update your iCloud Backup before erasing? DO NOT DO THIS. Instead choose the second option on the list Erase Now.
  9. Your iPhone will now reset to factory conditions. Once this has completed after a few minutes, you'll be greeted as though your iPhone is a brand-new device.
  10. Go through the step-by-step set-up instructions until you reach the Apps & Data page. Here choose Restore from iCloud Backup.
  11. Sign in to iCloud and choose which backup you want to restore from. Pick the most recent backup from before the text was deleted.

Method 2: Restoring texts from

Sometimes deleted texts can be recovered from a backup without having to do a full restore on your iPhone. Following this method often results in a more straightforward success.

  1. Log into
  2. Click on Text Messages. If this option is absent then this method will not work for you.
  3. Search messages to find the one you want.
  4. Next open Settings > Name > iCloud and turn off Text Messages.
  5. A pop-up will appear and you should select Keep On My iPhone.
  6. Turn Text Messages back on and select Merge. After a short wait, your deleted text message should then reappear on your iPhone.  

Method 3: Restoring texts from your computer

If you’ve been backing up your iPhone regularly to your computer then hopefully you can restore the deleted text with the following method. If you have an older version of macOS or a PC, you’ll restore via iTunes. If you have the newer macOS Catalina installed, you will restore via Finder.

Whichever way you use to get started, you must first disable Find My iPhone on your iPhone. Simply tap Settings > Your Name > Find My > Find My iPhone and toggle off.

To restore with macOS Catalina do the following:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB.
  2. Open Finder and your iPhone should appear under Locations. Click on it.
  3. Click Manage Backups and a backup list will appear.
  4. Choose the backup from before you deleted the text.
  5. Click Restore iPhone and follow the prompts.

To restore with iTunes do the following:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB.
  2. Open iTunes, if it doesn't automatically appear.
  3. Click the phone icon at the top left of the screen.
  4. Choose Summary from the menu that appears.
  5. Click Restore Backup. However, if this option is greyed out, then change your backup selection from iCloud to This Computer. You can change it back later.

Unfortunately, if you have never backed up your iPhone to your computer, or backed up following deletion of the text, then this method will not work for you.

Also remember to turn Find My iPhone back on when you’ve finished with this method. Along with having the right iPhone insurance in place at all times, Find My iPhone is an important security and tracking tool if your iPhone ever gets lost or stolen.

Method 4: Restoring text via your phone provider

It’s always worth asking your phone provider for help. Sometimes they might still hold your text in their systems and can easily retrieve it for you.

Method 5: Restoring texts via third-party apps

If you’re getting really desperate then there are some online services specialising in restoring texts from iCloud backups without the need to restore your whole device. However, they’re not cheap and there’s no guarantee they’ll work.

Let Gadget Cover protect your iPhone

With these expensive devices it’s not just the occasional lost text you need to guard against.  iPhone insurance policies arranged through Gadget Cover protect against everything from accidental damage and liquid damage to theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage.

For an extra premium, your iPhone and any accessories can also be covered against loss. Protection can also be extended to your family, too.

Get a quick quote for iPhone insurance today.

Share this story, choose your platform