Have your iPhone texts disappeared and you lost all your existing messages after your upgrade to the latest iOS? And who knows what or how this happened? The why really doesn’t matter. You want back all those lost messages, especially any pictures, videos, and other attachments that are really hard to get back.
Most iOS updates also bring with them a slew of newly discovered bugs including sync problems, iPhone black screen, and other problems including the unfortunate and potentially devastating iPhone text messages disappeared.
So let’s get to it!
First Things First–the Easy Steps
- Turn iMessage or Messages on and off a couple of times
- Turn iPhone or iDevice on and off via power button
- Check that notifications is set to ON in settings, messages, and notifications
- Restart your iPhone or iDevice by pressing Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo
- Reset all your iPhone’s settings
- Settings>General>Reset>Reset All Settings
If none of the “easy” steps worked, it’s time to restore our iDevice. But before we get to that, one of our readers suggested the following tip, which might just work for you.
Try to see if you get your “lost” messages on another of your iDevices or your computer. One of your other iDevices or your computer may just show all of your years of messages even though they had seemingly disappeared from your iPhone.
Restore Your iDevice
Sometimes you lose SMS or iMessages when connected via unreliable internet connections. Hopefully, you backed up via iTunes or iCloud before you updated your iPhone or other iDevice. If so, then let’s restore your iPhone or other iDevice by using that backup. Your backups contain the SMS and iMessages that aren’t showing up so that’s why we’re restoring.
If you backup on iCloud, check out this guide on how-to restore your iPhone with iCloud.
If you backup using iTunes on your computer, follow these steps on how-to restore your lost messages by using iTunes.
Connect Your Device to Your Computer
- Open iTunes
- Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
- If your device doesn’t appear, learn what Apple suggests you do
- At the Top Menu click File > Device > Restore from backup
- If Find My iPhone is turned on, a message appears to turn it off prior to restoring
- Go to Settings>iCloud>Find My iPhone
- Toggle to the Off position
- Enter Apple ID and passcode if required
- After choosing your iDevice backup, follow the onscreen steps to restore your device
Once the restore process is finished, check and see if you got back all your iPhone texts that disappeared.
Retrieve Deleted Messages When Restoring Didn’t Work
Sometimes though, restoring your iDevice didn’t get back some or even all of your lost texts or attachments. What’s a guy or gal to do???
In this situation, its best to seek some help from backup extract tools. There are a lot of options out there including PhoneRescue, AnyTrans, iPhone Backup Extractor, iBackup Extractor, iBackup Viewer, and a bunch of similar applications. These apps, some free and others paid, allow quick previews of your backup data on iCloud and iTunes. By using these backup extract tools, you get to see if your deleted messages are indeed stored on your backup.
These tools especially help those iFolks who see that Messages is taking up space in their storage despite no messages actually showing up in the Messages app.
To Check This Scenario
- Go to Settings>General>Storage & iCloud Usage.
- Under STORAGE Select Manage Storage
- Scroll Down to Messages
- Check how much storage Messages is taking up
If interested in any of these tools, please visit their websites for information on pricing and how to use the tools. appletoolbox.com does not endorse any specific backup extraction tool.
When Apple releases a new iOS version, oftentimes iMessages get lost in the update. It appears to be an issue with Apple’s servers. Perhaps due to high demand on those servers, your messages are not downloaded from the server right away.
So a final option is to wait a few days and see if Apple’s servers work and download all your iMessages. Yeah, not perfect. But appletoolbox.com readers report this sometimes does the trick for them–patience is a virtue indeed, especially for us iPhone and iDevices users.
Alas, if nothing yet works for you a factory reset may be in order. Check out our How-To Reset article if you need to perform a factory reset.