How to Find Recently Deleted Text Messages On iPhone or iPad


Until recently, when you deleted a text message conversation on your iPhone or iPad, it was gone for good and there was no way to recover it. Now, with the release of iOS 16 for iPhone and iPadOS 16 for iPad, Apple is giving you up to 30 days after you delete a message conversation to restore it. The only catch is that you have to know where to go to find them.

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Steps to Find Recently Deleted Text Messages On Your iPhone or iPad

  1. Starting from any point in the Messages app on your Apple iPhone or iPad, tap the icon in the upper left corner of the screen until you land on the Messages screen.
  1. Tap “Recently Deleted.”

The Recently Deleted screen is displayed, where you’ll see a list of senders you’ve deleted message conversations from, the number of deleted messages from each of those senders, and the number of days remaining until those messages are permanently deleted.

If you find a text message conversation you either deleted on accident, or a conversation that you deleted on purpose but now want to restore, you can tap to place a check mark in the circle next to that message conversation, and then tap “Recover” to go through the process to restore that text message conversation on your iPhone or iPad. And again, if you’re not finding your recently deleted text message on your Apple iPhone or iPad, you’ll want to make sure your updated to at least iOS 16 on your iPhone, or iPadOS 16 on your iPad.

What Types of Text Messages Should You Delete?

1. Personal and Sensitive Information

When a text message contains personal or sensitive information about either yourself or someone else, you should delete it immediately if at all possible. Examples of this type of information could be medical or financial information. If someone else were to get their hands on this type of data they could do a lot of damage to you personally.

2. Reduce Risk of a Data Breach

While companies have gotten very good at locking down their information that employees access on their personal devices, sensitive information that gets sent about work through text messages is still a tremendous risk. To protect both yourself and the organization you work for, any sensitive information associated with your workplace that gets sent through a text message should be deleted immediately to reduce the risk of someone else getting their hands on it.

3. Free Up Storage Capacity and De-cluttering

The most obvious reason to delete your text messages is to free up storage space. While hanging on to old text messages gives you a great archive of data to tap into, over time it will eat away in a meaningful fashion at your storage space, which can be precious. At a minimum, you should delete old conversation threads you have a high level of confidence you won’t ever need to refer to.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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