How can I recover deleted text messages on my iPhone 4?

My messages have been deleted and I would very much like to get them back. Can somebody please help me?
asked Jan 5, 2012 in iPhone

reshown Feb 14, 2015

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2 Answers

Recovering iPhone text messages


Restoring a deleted text message to your iPhone is possible provided you’ve previously “synced” the iPhone with iTunes, as it’s this process that creates an emergency backup of most personal data - texts, pictures, apps and so on - stored on the phone.

But it’s worth noting that reverting to the emergency backup will mean you lose things added to the phone since the last back-up.

However, new apps can be restored by downloading them for a second time - you shouldn’t be charged for a second download - and new pictures saved by dragging them onto your PC’s desktop from the iPhone’s memory.

To restore deleted text messages from your previous iPhone backup, simply:

  • Connect the smartphone, via the white cable, with your PC and open iTunes
  • Cancel the back-up that automatically starts up when you sync the phone with your PC
  • Click on Settings, then General, Reset, Erase All Content
  • When prompted, restore your iPhone to the previous back-up.
answered Jan 5, 2012
reshown Feb 14, 2015
The iPhone OS stores your texts in a database system called sqlite.  This is relevant because of the way that sqlite handles deleting entries in the database.  When you delete an entry (aka a text), rather than totally obliterating the entry in the database, the entry is just marked as no longer in use, and will be reused later.  There is a chance that the entry for the text you're wishing to see has been recovered and used for a newer text, in which case the text is indeed gone forever..

Additionally, you can use Decipher TextMessage and have it read not-deleted texts out of your iPhone backup files as well as look for deleted ones that are still lingering.
answered Mar 2, 2012

edited Mar 5, 2012