How to recover deleted text messages on iPhone without computer or backup?

We all have accidentally deleted important text messages at some point. When this happens, you may panic thinking the messages are gone forever. However, there are ways to recover recently deleted texts even without a computer or backup.

Why You Should Try to Recover Deleted Texts

Here are some key reasons recovering deleted texts can be useful:

  • Forgotten important information – You may have deleted a message with an address, phone number, email, or other details you now need.
  • Sentimental value – Old texts with friends or loved ones may have emotional significance.
  • Resolve disputes – Deleted texts may help settle arguments over who said what.
  • Legal reasons – Recovering deleted texts may assist with lawsuits or other legal issues.

How iPhone Deletes and Stores Texts

To understand how to recover deleted messages, it helps to know how the iPhone deletes and stores texts behind the scenes:

  • When you delete a text on your iPhone, it gets marked as free space rather than actually being erased right away.
  • Deleted data stays on your device until it gets overwritten by new data.
  • Your iPhone doesn’t keep a recycle bin for deleted texts that you can easily access.
  • iTunes and iCloud backups store copies of your texts that can recover deleted messages if you restore from backup.

Recovering Recently Deleted Texts From iPhone Storage

If you act quickly, specialized iOS data recovery software can scan your iPhone storage directly and find deleted texts that haven’t yet been overwritten.

This type of text message recovery works even without an iCloud or iTunes backup to restore from. However, it can only recover texts deleted up to a week or two ago.


  • iPhone data recovery app installed on a computer or your iOS device.
  • Apple Lightning to USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer.

Steps to Recover Deleted Texts from iPhone Storage

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the Lightning cable.
  2. Open the iOS data recovery app and select the “Recover from iOS Device” option.
  3. The app will scan your iPhone storage for any recoverable data.
  4. Previews of found data like texts will display after the scan.
  5. Select the text messages you want to recover.
  6. Choose a save location on your computer to export the recovered texts.

The best iPhone data recovery software can find deleted texts alongside other lost data like WhatsApp messages, photos, notes, call logs and more. Opt for a program that provides a safe, read-only scan of your device.

Tips for Success

  • Recover deleted texts as soon as possible before they are overwritten by new data.
  • Connect your iPhone directly to the computer rather than wirelessly.
  • Disable Find My iPhone temporarily before scanning and re-enable after.
  • Close all other programs on your device and computer during the scan and recovery process.

Using an iTunes or iCloud Backup to Restore Deleted Texts

If you have an iTunes or iCloud backup from before the texts were deleted, you can fully restore your device to get everything back including the lost messages. This can recover even older deleted texts.


  • iTunes (for Windows or Mac) or iCloud account.
  • Recent enough local iTunes or iCloud backup from before texts were deleted.

Steps to Restore Deleted Texts from Backup

To restore from an iTunes backup:

  1. Connect iPhone to computer then open iTunes.
  2. Select your device and go to Summary > Backups.
  3. Select the desired backup then Restore iPhone.
  4. Sync the restored data from backup to your iPhone.

To restore from an iCloud backup:

  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.
  2. Tap the backup you want to restore from then tap Restore.

This will erase your device and replace its data with the backup, including all settings and deleted texts.

Tips for Success

  • Make sure you have a backup that is recent enough to contain the deleted texts.
  • Backup before you restore in case you need to revert.
  • Erasing and syncing your iPhone can take a while.
  • iOS versions must match between your backup and iPhone.

Using an App to Recover Deleted Texts From iPhone

Besides desktop software, you can also use a dedicated app on your iPhone itself to scan its storage and recover deleted texts after the fact.


  • Data recovery app downloaded from the App Store.
  • Jailbroken iPhone for full functionality. (Optional)

Steps to Recover Deleted Texts with an App

  1. Download and install a data recovery app from the iOS App Store.
  2. Open the app and grant requested permissions.
  3. Select the “Recover Deleted Texts” or similar option.
  4. The app scans your iPhone for deleted text message data.
  5. Previews of recoverable texts will appear.
  6. Select the texts you want to recover.
  7. The app restores your chosen deleted texts to your iPhone.

A jailbroken iPhone allows the data recovery app to access the root file system for the best results. But apps can recover recently deleted texts even on non-jailbroken devices in many cases.

Tips for Success

  • Recover deleted texts right after they are deleted before being overwritten.
  • Close other apps during the scan and recovery process.
  • Jailbreaking gives an app more low-level access to fully scan and recover all data.

Using iCloud Website to View Deleted Texts

If you have iCloud backup enabled, you can log into and view deleted texts that were backed up there.


  • iCloud backup enabled on your iPhone.
  • Apple ID login credentials.

Steps to View Deleted iCloud Texts Online

  1. Go to and login with your Apple ID.
  2. Click on Settings then choose Messages.
  3. Select your iOS device.
  4. Click “Deleted Messages” to view deleted texts stored in your iCloud backup.

While you can view and read the deleted texts here, there is no way to recover or export them from the iCloud website. But it can be useful for confirming a deleted text conversation exists in your iCloud backup.

Tips for Success

  • Only texts deleted after your last iCloud backup will show up here.
  • Ensure you are logged into the same iCloud account your phone is backing up to.
  • Beware that deleting texts here also deletes them from your iCloud backup.

Enabling iCloud Backup to Preserve Deleted Texts

If you don’t already have iCloud backup set up, enabling it can provide some protection against permanent deletion if you later delete important texts and need to recover them.


  • iCloud storage space available.
  • WiFi/cellular data connection for backup.

Steps to Turn On iCloud Backup

  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud.
  2. Tap iCloud Backup.
  3. Toggle on “iCloud Backup”.
  4. Tap “Back Up Now” to perform initial iPhone backup.

Your iPhone will regularly backup your texts, photos, settings and other data to iCloud. You can avoid permanent deletion of important texts by restoring from iCloud backup if needed.

Tips for Success

  • Check backup status under Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  • Ensure enough iCloud storage for backups. Upgrade storage if needed.
  • Back up over WiFi instead of cellular to avoid using data.

Using Third-Party Texting Apps as a Safety Net

Some popular third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp automatically backup your chat history online. If you delete important texts sent through such an app, you may still be able to retrieve them from the app’s backup.


  • Third-party messaging app user account.
  • Backup enabled in app settings.

Steps to Restore Deleted App Texts from Backup

WhatsApp chat restore example:

  1. Reinstall the WhatsApp app if deleted.
  2. Enter your phone number and verify it.
  3. On the Backup screen tap “Restore” to restore chats.

The steps vary across apps but typically involve reinstalling the app, logging into your account and restoring the backup.

Tips for Success

  • Set chat history backup frequency to daily or weekly.
  • Note that restoring chat history also brings back unwanted conversations.
  • Backup chats before uninstalling or deleting an app.

Avoiding Permanent Deletion of Important Texts

While recovering deleted texts is possible in many cases, it is always best to avoid permanently losing important messages in the first place.

Make Use of Locked Apps

The Notes and Messages apps have built-in deletion protection options to prevent accidental permanent deletion of important texts:

  • Locked Notes – Lock individual notes containing important info to require Face/Touch ID to view, edit or delete.
  • Locked Messages – Lock specific message threads so they cannot be deleted without authentication.

Be Careful When Deleting Large Threads

Think twice before deleting very long conversations all at once. These are harder to recover after the fact than shorter threads.

Back Up Your Data

Maintain regular iPhone and iCloud backups you can use to restore accidentally deleted texts if needed.


While accidentally deleting important texts can be frustrating, you are not necessarily stuck without options. With a data recovery app, backup restore, online cloud access and various built-in iOS protections, you stand a good chance of recovering or viewing deleted iPhone messages in many cases.

Just be sure to act quickly when you realize texts are missing and avoid writing new data to your device. Enabling backups as a safety net is also a smart precaution against permanent data loss.

With some effort, those crucial deleted texts often don’t have to stay lost forever even if you don’t have a computer backup readily available.

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