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How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPad (and iPhone)

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Accidentally deleted a text message on your iPad or iPhone? I did the same once and deleted all the messages from my bank, which made many things confusing and messy.

While I eventually found a solution, it took me a lot of time to get everything sorted out. So, if you, too, are stuck in the same problem and don’t know what to do, then don’t worry.

I’ve got your back and made an easy-to-understand guide that will help you get your deleted messages back within no time. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive right in and look at what the solutions are.

Related: How to Retrieve iPad Notes Data from an iCloud backup?

Recover text messages on an iPhone/iPad using iCloud

This is the easiest, least time-consuming, and safest way to get your text messages back. All you need is your iPhone or iPad, an iCloud account, and an internet connection to get everything working.

Note: This requires you to restore your iCloud backup to recover your lost messages. However, doing so will overwrite any new messages that aren’t on the backup. So, make sure that you copy any and all new messages so that you don’t lose them.

Step 1: Head on to iCloud Settings. Click on “Manage Storage” and then “Backups” to see if you have an old backup to restore.

Step 2: Next, go to Settings and click on “General” and then on “Software Update” to check and install any new updates.

Step 3: Now, you need to reset your device. So, go to “Settings” then on “General” and click on “Reset” to factory reset your iPhone/iPad.

Step 4: Now, turn on your device and start setting it up. Once you reach the “Recover from Backup” screen, click on “Recover” and select your backup.

Step 5: Finally, let the recovery process complete, and you should see all your old deleted messages come back to life.

Recover text messages on an iPhone/iPad using iTunes

Another way to restore your text messages on your iPhone or iPad is through iTunes or Finder. It follows a similar process to the iTunes backup, so your device will be reset to the factory options.

Note: All your previous data would be overwritten, so make sure to copy them before restoring the backup from iTunes or Finder.

All you need to do is follow the steps below, and you’ll be able to restore your text messages:

Step 1: Turn on your Mac/PC and then connect your iPhone or iPad to it.

Step 2: You should be able to see all the information on your device on iTunes or Finder.

Step 3: Next, look for the “Restore Backup…” option in the bottom-right corner and click on it.

Step 4: Select the backup you want to restore and enter the encryption password

Step 5: Let the restoration process complete, and you should have your deleted messages recovered back

Recover text messages on an iPhone/iPad using a 3rd-party tool

If you don’t have an iCloud or iTunes backup and still want to get your deleted messages back, then this is the perfect solution. There are third-party iPad recovery tools that may be a risk to your device. So, I tested more than 10 apps to find the best app for the job.

My recommendation is Tenorshare UltData. UltData from Tenorshare is highly rated by experts in the iPhone data recovery community, so I had high expectations. It performed really well in my testing, and it helped me recover many deleted messages faster than other tools. However, this incredible speed has some issues, and it can also recover some corrupt messages.

You can use the standard recovery options such as “Recover Data from iCloud” or “Recover Data from Backup,” or you can also recover data by scanning your iPhone or iPad.

I used the scanning method, and it took me around 30 mins to get everything done. You, too, can recover messages by following the steps below:

Step 1: Click on the blue “Recover Data from iOS Devices” option

Step 2: Connect your iPad or iPad to your Mac

Step 3: Let UltData scan your iPhone for all the deleted files

Step 4: Select the messages you want to recover and click on the “Recover” button to start the recovery process

Step 5: Let the recovery process finish and check your device to see if all the messages have been recovered

Note: UltData is not a free app, and you would need to get a premium subscription to use it. It works on Windows and macOS and supports the latest Windows 11, and macOS Monterey builds.

You can get UltData with the following premium plans:

  • 1-month license: $55.95
  • 1-year license: $59.95
  • Lifetime license: $69.95

Pros

  • Easy to use with a minimal and clean UI
  • The scanning process is fast
  • Can recover most deleted text messages

Cons

  • It might recover some corrupted text messages
  • It is super expensive

Recover deleted text messages by contacting your carrier

Another free option that you can use to recover text messages is by contacting your carrier. This is highly time-consuming and doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll get your messages back.

However, if you really deleted a very crucial message and need it back asap, then contacting your carrier is the best option.

Most carriers do have some record on the last few text messages that you have received, so it won’t be a stretch to get them back if you can provide them all the information they want.

But, I wouldn’t recommend it as the primary option, and if you have time on your hands, you can try the other methods above. So, only use this process if it’s a real emergency.

Final words

Unfortunately, the Messaging app on your iPhone or iPad doesn’t come with a trash folder. So, if you delete a text message, it would be lost and completely removed.

However, you can recover them with a few neat tricks mentioned above. They won’t guarantee you a 100% recovery every time, but they still provide a great advantage over not having any messages.

Just follow the guide above, and I’m sure that you would be able to recover most of your texts, if not all. Also, do note that some of the tips above require you to have an iCloud/iTunes backup for everything to work smoothly.

I hope you don’t find yourself in a situation where you have lost some text messages, but if you do, the guide above is perfect and will definitely be helpful to you.

Related: Ways to Retrieve Deleted Videos from iPad With & Without Backup

FAQs

Can I retrieve deleted text messages on my iPad?

Yes, you can retrieve deleted text messages on your iPad. However, you would need to restore a previous backup with the text message for it to show up on your device. You can also use a third-party tool to scan your iPad or iPhone and restore the text message.

Where do deleted messages go on iPad?

Deleted messages are automatically removed from your iPad. iPadOS and iOS don’t have a trash bin for messages, so you need to be extra careful not to delete any crucial messages. Also, syncing your device with your iCloud account is recommended to avoid losing any important data.

Is Tenorshare UltData safe to use?

Yes, UltData is safe to use. I scanned the app to see if I could find any malware or virus, but I wasn’t able to find anything. It performed exceptionally on all my tests, and I recovered my deleted text messages without any issues.

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