How to Retrieve Text Messages that Disappeared on iPhone

Texts disappearing from iPhone? Read this article to find out why that’s happening, and how to get the deleted messages back.
How to Retrieve Text Messages that Disappeared on iPhone

It’s not common for an iPhone to randomly throw your important messages into the abyss. However, all tech gadgets can be buggy sometimes — and iPhones are not immune to that either. Some users have reported that their text messages disappear on iPhone randomly.

Since you’re reading this post, we know you’ve also found yourself in a similar situation. You’re looking for answers — and solutions. Luckily, your search ends here! In this post, we will take a deep dive into the subject and explore why iPhone text messages disappear and what you can do to sort out the problem.

Sounds good? Let’s dive right into it.

Part 1. Why Did My Messages disappear?

We know you’re haunted by the question, “Why did my messages disappear in the first place?”. Well, this section will answer that.

There could be several reasons why you may face this problem. Here are the most common ones.

  1. A temporary glitch in your iOS system randomly deletes your text messages.
  2. There’s a bug in the iOS version you’re running on your iPhone. A bug could cause several kinds of problems, including but not limited to deleting your text messages.
  3. Your phone is having problems syncing your iCloud messages, which may cause some messages to disappear.
  4. You may have accidentally deleted the messages while trying to free up space or delete unwanted stuff.
  5. You might have accidentally changed Messages settings, which caused sync problems between your device and iCloud.

Part 2. What to Do If Text Messages Disappear on iPhone?

Now that you know why your messages have disappeared, it’s time to answer your question, “How do I retrieve text messages that disappeared?”

Here are some fixes we have curated for you. We recommend trying out these fixes one by one in ascending order.

Reactive iMessage and MMS Messaging

The first thing you need to do is reactivate iMessage and MMS.

It’s likely that you have accidentally turned OFF iMessage on your iPhone, which caused all your iMessages to disappear. Be noted that iMessages are different from regular SMS messages.

Here’s how to reactivate iMessage.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Messages.
  3. Turn on the toggle for iMessage.
Reactive iMessage and MMS Messaging on iPhone

When an Android user sends you a multimedia message, like an image or a video, you receive it as an MMS instead of an iMessage.

If you have accidentally turned OFF MMS on your phone, those messages might disappear. Here’s how to reactivate MMS and try to get those messages back.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Messages.
  3. Scroll down until you see the SMS/MMS section, then turn ON the toggle for MMS Messaging.

Restart Your iPhone

If your messages don’t come back after turning ON iMessage and MMS Messaging, you should restart your iPhone.

Restarting your iPhone will forcefully sync your messages to your device. Furthermore, a restart may also fix many small bugs and glitches in your system.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Press and hold the Side button and Volume Down button on your iPhone at the same time.
  2. You will see a slider to power OFF your phone.
  3. Drag the slider to the right.
  4. Wait for 30 seconds.
  5. Press and hold the Side button again to turn ON your phone.
Slide to Power off iPhone

Restart the Messages App

It’s also recommended to force close your Messages app and reopen it. Doing this will resync your messages to the device, which might restore your disappeared messages.

We know it sounds difficult, but it’s easier than you think!

Here’s how you can restart your Messages app.

  1. Swipe up and hold from the bottom edge of your phone to open the Recent Apps menu.
  2. Swipe up on the Messages app to close it.
  3. Wait for 5-10 seconds.
  4. Tap the Messages app on your Home Screen to reopen it.
Restart messages app on iPhone

Turn Off iCloud Messages and Then On

Sometimes, your phone faces problems syncing your iCloud messages with the local storage. When that happens, it’s recommended to “refresh” the system by turning OFF iCloud Messages and then turning it back ON.

Doing this will resync all your cloud messages back to your device.

To do this, follow the simple steps below.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your Apple ID at the top.
  3. Go to iCloud > See All > Messages.
  4. Turn OFF the toggle for “Sync this iPhone.”
  5. Wait 30 seconds.
  6. Turn the toggle back ON.
Turn Off iCloud Messages and Then On

Turn On Airplane Mode and Then Off

Sometimes, your phone may need a “push” to resync your cloud messages back to your device. The easiest way to provide that push is to reconnect your internet connection. To do that, Airplane mode serves well.

While the Airplane mode is intended for disconnecting your iPhone from all kinds of wireless connections while you’re in an airplane, it also works well when trying to disconnect and reconnect to your network connection.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Swipe down on the top-right corner of your display to pull down the Control Center.
  2. Tap the Airplane Mode icon to turn it ON.
  3. Wait for 10 seconds.
  4. Tap the icon again to turn OFF the Airplane mode.
Turn On Airplane Mode and Then Off

Reset All Settings

If none of the fixes above have worked for you, it’s time to restore all settings to their factory defaults.

Doing this will undo all the settings changes you might have made unknowingly.

Don’t worry, doing this will not delete your device’s content, i.e., messages, videos, images, or apps.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  3. Tap “Reset” at the bottom.
  4. Select “Reset All Settings.”
  5. Enter your passcode and confirm the action.
Reset all settings on iPhone

Update Your iPhone to the Latest iOS Version

It’s likely that there’s a bug or glitch in the iOS version you’re currently running. In such cases, it’s recommended to update your iPhone to the latest available version of iOS.

Doing this can also resolve several other issues you might be facing on your iPhone, like battery drain issues, performance problems, and more.

Here’s how to update your iPhone to the latest version.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to General > Software Update.
  3. If there’s an available update, you will see the Download and Install button.
  4. Tap the button and wait for the download to complete.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked.
  6. Your device will now restart to complete the process.
Download and install iOS

Restore Disappeared Messages from iCloud Backup

If none of the fixes above have worked for you, you might need to reset your iPhone and restore a backup file from iCloud.

If you have iCloud Backup turned ON, it’s likely that you have a copy of your messages stored in the cloud. However, you will need to reset your iPhone to get it back.

If you want to reset your iPhone, here’s how to use this method.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  3. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings.”
  4. Tap “Continue.”
  5. Enter your passcode and confirm the action.
  6. After your device has reset, start the setup process.
  7. On the “Apps and Data” screen, select “Restore from iCloud Backup.”
  8. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  9. Choose the latest backup file.
  10. Wait for the backup to be restored.
Restore from iCloud Backup

And voila! Your messages should now reappear on your iPhone.

Restore Disappeared Messages from iTunes Backup

If you use your computer (Mac or PC) to back up your iPhone, you can use the iTunes/Finder Backup feature to restore your messages back to your iPhone.

However, be aware that this will only work if your latest backup contains your messages in the first place. That means the backup you wish to restore should be older than the point where your messages disappeared.

If that’s the case, here’s how you can restore your messages back to your iPhone.

  1. If you’re on a Windows PC, install iTunes from the Microsoft Store. If you’re on a Mac, skip this step, as you will be using Finder instead.
  2. Open Finder/iTunes.
  3. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.
  4. Unlock your iPhone and tap “Trust,” then enter your passcode.
  5. On your iTunes/Finder, select your iPhone.
  6. Tap the “Restore Backup…” button.
  7. Choose the latest backup file that you’d like to restore.
  8. Click “Restore.”
  9. Wait for the process to complete.
Finder restore backup

Your messages should now appear back on your iPhone.

Retrieve Disappeared Messages without Backup

If you don’t have a backup file on your iCloud storage or your computer, you might think there’s no way to get back the texts disappearing from iPhone. But — that’s not the case!

There’s another method you can use for the task, and it doesn’t require you to have any backup files.

In this method, we’re going to use Tenorshare UltData. With this tool, you can recover your deleted text messages and restore all kinds of other lost data, like images, videos, contacts, and more.

Here’s how to use it to bring your messages back.

>> Get Tenorshare UltData <<

  1. Download and install Tenorshare UltData on your computer, then open it.
  2. Hit “Recover Data from iOS Devices.”
iPhone Data Recovery
  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.
iPhone data recovery connect device
  1. Unlock your iPhone and tap “Trust” to connect it successfully.
iPhone data recovery trust
  1. Choose the kind of data you want to scan for recovery. In this case, you want to select “Messages & Attachments,” but you’re free to choose any other kind of data as well.
iPhone data recovery start scan
  1. Hit “Scan.”
  2. Choose the data you want to recover, then hit the Recover button. With Tenorshare UltData, you can restore messages and contacts directly to your iPhone, while the rest of the data types can be restored to your PC.
iPhone data recovery preview photos iOS
  1. Wait for the process to complete, and you’re golden!

Your messages will now be restored to your iPhone directly. Learn more about how to recover deleted messages on iPhone without backup here.

Part 3. How to Avoid Messages Disappeared on iPhone?

What can you do to prevent your text messages from being lost? Well, we have a handful of tips you should pay attention to.

Here are the most important ones.

  1. Keep your iMessage and MMS Messaging features turned ON. If you haven’t already, you can toggle them ON in Settings > Messages.
  2. Make sure iCloud Messages is turned ON. This will make sure your messages are always backed up to the cloud and never get lost.
  3. Make sure to take regular backups of your iPhone. You can either back up your iPhone to iCloud or your computer using Finder or iTunes.
  4. Connect your iPhone to a stable WiFi connection often, so it can successfully back up all your messages to the cloud.

Frequently Asked Questions About Text Messages that Disappeared on iPhone

Why are my iPhone text messages disappearing?

There could be several reasons why that might happen. However, the most common reasons users face this issue are bad system settings and software glitches.

Do I need to reset my iPhone to restore my messages from the cloud?

If you have backed up your iPhone to iCloud, you will need to reset your iPhone to restore the backup file.

However, if you use Tenorshare UltData to restore your messages, you don’t need to reset. Learn how to restore iPhone from iCloud without reset here.

What types of data can Tenorshare UltData restore?

Tenorshare UltData can restore tons of data types to your iPhone, like messages, contacts, images, videos, and a lot more.


That’s it! That’s how you restore messages that disappeared on iPhone.

To begin with, you should try disabling and reenabling iMessage and MMS Messaging. Then, try restoring your messages from a backup file. Lastly, if nothing works, Tenorshare UltData is your best bet to restore your messages without any kind of backup file needed.

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