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Maybe you’ve lost some important conversations from your fiancee that you want to recover. Or, maybe, you have an upcoming legal case and you want to print messages for court. No matter the cause, we will tell you all we know about retrieving deleted text messages on your iPhone. All the methods below will also work for WhatsApp chats.

Please choose a way from below that suits you best.

How to recover deleted messages on iPhone

Usually, when you restore from an iTunes or iCloud backup, you can only get your texts by restoring your entire iPhone.

But good news.

CopyTrans Shelbee can help you restore messages only, the rest of the data will stay intact.

Let’s get started with recovering deleted texts on iPhone using CopyTrans Shelbee:

  1. Start with downloading and installing CopyTrans Shelbee.

    Download CopyTrans Shelbee

    If you need help installing the program, refer to the installation guide.

  2. Run CopyTrans Shelbee, connect your iPhone to your PC and click on “Custom restore”.

    NOTE: Please clean up enough space on your device for a full restore to perform custom. Even though the program will only restore your messages, you need to have enough space for a full restore. We have an article about cleaning your device that will make this a child’s play.

    Partial iPhone restore with CopyTrans Shelbee

  3. Click on the pencil icon to see the list of backups available. If you have no idea where your backups are, you can search with CopyTrans Backup Extractor. Once ready, click on “Next”.

    NOTE: If your backup is encrypted, you will be asked for a backup password. What password?

    Restoring iPhone messages with CopyTrans Shelbee select the backup file

  4. Select the types of data you want to restore and click on “Next”.

    NOTE: If your backup is encrypted, it will contain Account information: we recommend to select it as well. “Accounts” contain contacts, calendars, notes and iMessages from your cloud account.

    Recover deleted messages on iPhone using CopyTrans Shelbee

  5. Please, keep in mind that existing messages on your phone will be overwritten. Click “Next”.

    NOTE: Before restoring we make a temporary backup just in case something goes wrong. We strongly recommend to wait until the process is completed.

    CopyTrans Shelbee backup before restore

  6. In the next window, select the backup location. When ready, click “Start”.

    CopyTrans Shelbee select directory to backup first

  7. The restore is in progress now. Get a cup of coffee and wait until the program completes the operation.

    Recover deleted iMessages with CopyTrans Shelbee

  8. And it’s done! The deleted texts are back to your iPhone.
    Messages restored with CopyTrans Shelbee


Some other awesome things CopyTrans Shelbee can do:

⚡ backup and restore iOS apps;
⚡ backup iPhone to any PC folder or to external drive;
⚡ validate backups and check for password issues;
⚡ restore from iTunes and other local backups.

If you’re interested, learn more about CopyTrans Shelbee.

How to recover deleted iMessages to computer

If you need your messages from an iPhone but you don’t want any of your data overwritten, use this method!

CopyTrans Backup Extractor can:

find iPhone backups on your PC, wherever they are;
find iPhone backups in iCloud;
extract messages from any backup to PC in a readable format;
save attachments from a conversation.

So, to perform iMessage recovery to your computer:

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Backup Extractor:

    Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  2. If you need help installing the program, refer to the installation guide.

  3. Run the program and log in to iCloud if you want to find more backups. Once ready, click “Find Backups”.
    Find iPhone backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor
  4. You will see a list of all available backups: choose the one that contains your text messages.
    If you are restoring from iTunes backup, you may be asked for a backup password. What password?

    ☁️ iCloud backups will be marked with a cloud icon and they are never password-protected.

    Enter the backup password in CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  5. Click on “Messages” and press “Extract”, then select the destination folder.
    Recover deleted iMessages to computer
  6. Wait while all your messages are being unloaded to your PC.

    Extracting iPhone messages to PC with CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  7. Once the extraction is finished, you can view all your messages from the backup in .pdf format.

    How to recover deleted messages iPhone result

How to retrieve deleted text messages on iPhone with iTunes

iTunes might also be of help while recovering deleted iMessages.

⚠️ Please be warned ⚠️

iTunes restore means you will need to reset your device completely. All the data will be erased
and replaced with data from the backup. If you’d rather avoid this, consider the two alternatives:

Restore only messages from iTunes backup

Extract messages from iTunes backup to PC

Here is how to recover deleted iPhone texts using iTunes:

  1. Start by connecting your iPhone to the computer and opening iTunes. Then click on the phone icon in the upper left corner.Click on the phone icon

  2. Click “Restore Backup”.Click on Restore backup

  3. Choose the backup you want to restore from. You will need to remember (or calculate) which backup contains the messages you want to restore. When in doubt, just choose the latest.Choose the backup you want to restore from

  4. The restore is in progress. Wait until it is finished.Restoring is in process

How to recover deleted text messages on iPhone using iCloud

This section focuses on how to recover deleted texts on iPhone from an iCloud backup.

🌩️ Please be warned 🌩️

iCloud restore means you will need to reset your device completely. All the data will be erased
and replaced with data from the backup. If you’d rather avoid this, consider the two alternatives:

Extract messages from an iCloud backup to PC

Restore only messages from iTunes backup

If you want to recover deleted text messages from iCloud, here’s what to do:

  1. First of all, open “Settings” on your iPhone and tap on your name.Tap on your name

  2. Tap on “iCloud”.Tap on iCloud

  3. Select “Manage Storage”.Tap on Manage Storage

  4. Now select “Backups”.Tap on Backups

  5. Now it is high time to remember which of your backups may contain the messages you are looking for.Your backups

  6. To restore your iPhone from iCloud backup, open “Settings” and choose “General”.Go to the Settings menu

  7. Scroll down and find the “Reset” tab.Tap on Reset

  8. Choose “Erase All Content and Settings”, then “Erase now”. Yes, that’s right: you will need to erase all of your data first. That may sound terrible, but this is how Apple works. Try not to worry, though, as you will set up your iPhone right after that using one of the old backups.

  9. Select Erase All Content and Settings Select Erase now
  10. Your iPhone will then reboot and offer you a number of standard setup steps. When you get to the step where you are offered to restore your device from an old backup, choose wisely: make sure you don’t forget which backup you need.Setting up

That’s the happy end of our story. Don’t forget to keep your backups up-to-date! Hope this guide served you well. If you know more on how to recover deleted text messages, let us know in the comments below.

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By Ksenia CopyTrans

Ksenia is obsessed with food photography, video games and computer science. She could probably fix your laptop as well as she cooks the Neapolitan style pizza. Now she is open to share her knowledge of CopyTrans products with you, but remember: Ksenia doesn't share food.