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How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone (2022 Update)

5 easy methods to recover deleted messages on an iPhone, plus which one should only be used as a last resort.

Did you accidentally delete a text message and now you need to get it back? Fortunately, there are several methods to get back deleted text messages, so no need to worry! We'll go over how to retrieve deleted messages from an iCloud backup, as well as a few other tips and tricks to recover deleted text messages on an iPhone. 

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Recover Missing Messages from Facebook, WhatsApp, or Messages

If you don't think you deleted the text or iMessage, Facebook message, or WhatsApp message you're looking for, there are different steps you can follow to locate those missing messages. You can search for old WhatsApp messages, search through Facebook messages, or search for text messages fairly quickly. If, however, you need to learn how to find deleted messages on iPhone and you know for sure they've been deleted, keep reading!

How to Recover Deleted Messages on iPhone with iCloud Recovery

iCloud backups are a great way to recover deleted text messages from an iPhone. If you regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud, you should be able to use this method to get deleted messages back. If you're not already, you should definitely be doing regular iCloud backups! It’s a good idea for saving a lot of important data, not just messages that might potentially get deleted, and you can set iCloud backups to run automatically so you don't even have to think about them.

First, Check Your Last iCloud Backup

In order to recover deleted tests on the iPhone, you'll need to ensure that the most recent successful backup occurred prior to the deletion of the messages. If this is the case, you can use the last successful backup to restore deleted text messages! If not, you'll need to try another method, such as using your most recent computer backup to get back deleted messages.

  1. Open the Settings app.

    icloud backup iphone
     
  2. Tap on your Apple ID profile at the top.

    restore iphone from backup
     
  3. Tap on iCloud.

    recover deleted texts
     
  4. Scroll down if needed and tap on iCloud Backup.

    how to retrieve deleted text messages
     
  5. Now check to see if the time of your last successful backup was before or after you deleted the texts on your iPhone.

    recover deleted text messages iphone

If the iCloud backup predates the time that you deleted messages on the iPhone, you're in luck! Continue to the next section to restore the deleted messages using the iCloud backup. If the date of the last successful backup is after the messages were deleted from your iPhone, try using the computer backup method next.

    Restore Deleted Messages on iPhone with iCloud Backup

    Now you'll need to erase your iPhone and restore it with the backup that occurred before the deletion to get back the deleted messages. Here's how:

    1. Open the Settings app.

      recover deleted text messages
       
    2. Scroll down and tap on General.

      how to restore iphone from icloud
       
    3. Scroll all the way down and select Reset.

      how to restore iphone
       
    4. Select Erase All Content and Settings. Note: most of your settings will be safe when you restore your iCloud backup, but you may have to log back in on some of your apps.

      how to recover deleted messages
       
    5. In the confirmation menu that pops up, choose the second option: Erase Now. It's important that you do not choose Backup Then Erase, or you will lose the previous backup and won't be able to recover the deleted text messages.

      recover deleted text messages iphone
       
    6. Now your iPhone has been totally erased and will begin as though it’s a new device.
    7. Follow the on-screen instructions until you come to the Apps & Data page.
    8. On the Apps & Data page, choose Restore from iCloud Backup.
    9. Enter any passwords asked for from iCloud Backup, then sign in to iCloud.
    10. Proceed to Choose backup, then choose from a list of available backups in iCloud. There may be even older backups to choose from other than the one you verified before starting. Choose the most recent one that predates the deletion of the text messages. Keep in mind that the older the backup, the more likely it is that it will not contain other important data that you've added to your iPhone since that backup was made.
    11. You may have to sign back in to all of your accounts after the iPhone is restored. 

    Once this process is complete, check to see if you have recovered the deleted text messages on your iPhone. If not, give the next section a try!

    How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone: Restore from Your Computer

    If the previous method of recovering deleted text messages didn’t work, don’t worry; there is another way to get back deleted messages using your computer. Similar to recovery of deleted messages with an iCloud backup on your iPhone, you should be able to access any saved messages via your local backups, as long as you have been doing regular backups to your computer. This is why it's recommended that you periodically back up your iPhone to your computer even if you have automatic iCloud backups enabled. Follow these simple steps to recover deleted texts on an iPhone.

    Important: It's possible that you have disabled this feature of the PC / Mac syncing process, so if you don’t have access to your text messages here, that could be why. You may want to update these settings so that going forward it's easier to recover deleted text messages on an iPhone.

    First, Disable Find My iPhone

    The first thing you need to do before restoring your iPhone from a computer backup is to disable the Find My iPhone feature with your Apple ID and password. You cannot restore a Finder or iTunes backup while Find My iPhone is enabled. This is meant to prevent someone from restoring a stolen iPhone with their own backup. Once you've done this, you can move on to the Finder method (for macOS Catalina or later) or the iTunes method (for older macOS versions and PCs).

    1. Open the Settings app.

      icloud backup iphone
       
    2. Tap on your Apple ID profile at the top.

      recover deleted texts
       
    3. Tap Find My.


       
    4. Tap Find My iPhone.


       
    5. Toggle Find My iPhone off. You'll have to enter your Apple ID password.

    Next, connect your iPhone with the computer you usually sync it with. If you are running an older version of macOS or have a PC, you will restore from iTunes. If you have macOS Catalina or later installed, you will restore from Finder.

    Restore Your iPhone from Finder (macOS Catalina or later) to Recover Deleted Messages

    1. If prompted, tap Trust to allow your iPhone to trust and connect with this computer.
    2. When your iPhone is connected to your Mac, it should appear in Finder under Locations. Click on it.


       
    3. Click Manage Backups and a list of backups on your computer will appear. 
    4. If you do not see any available backups, unfortunately you won't be able to restore your iPhone from your computer, but keep reading for more ideas.


       
    5. If you do see previous backups, check the list to make sure the most recent backup was made before you deleted those text messages, but after you sent them.
    6. If so, click OK.


       
    7. Now you're ready to restore. Click Restore iPhone.

    This process takes some time, especially if the backup is large. As long as your backup was made after the text messages were sent and before they were deleted, this should recover them for you. Just follow the prompts, and the iPhone will restore to its backed-up state.

    If you have completed the above process but are still unable to retrieve the deleted text messages on your iPhone, it may be time to try calling your phone service provider to see if they know how to recover deleted messages on an iPhone!

    Restore Your iPhone with iTunes to Recover Deleted Text Messages (PC or macOS Mojave & earlier)

    If you have a PC or are using macOS Mojave or earlier on your Mac, you can try this method to get back deleted text messages on your iPhone. However, if you have synced with this PC or Mac since deleting your text messages, this process will not work, as iTunes only saves your most recent backup data for a restore. Assuming you have not synced with iTunes since you deleted your text messages, this method should restore your missing messages back to your Messages app!

    1. Connect your iPhone with the computer you usually sync it with.
    2. iTunes will open automatically. If not, just click the program and open it up.
    3. Click the phone icon next to the drop-down menu in the top-left part of the screen. If it's not there, then your iPhone probably isn't connected to your computer.


       
    4. Make sure you're on the Summary page.

      how to restore iphone from itunes
       
    5. To get back the data backed up from your iPhone, including your deleted text messages, you will need to click Restore Backup
    6. If this option is grayed out, you may need to change your backup preferences (on the left-hand side of this screen) from iCloud to This Computer. You can always change this back after you have restored your iPhone.

      restore iphone from backup
       

    This process can take a while if you have a lot of data stored on your phone or Mac.

    Hopefully you now have access to the deleted messages, but if not, continue reading for more tips to troubleshoot deleted text messages.

    Recover Deleted Texts: Contact Your Cell Phone Service Provider

    In some instances, you can recover deleted text messages by contacting your cellular service provider. They will occasionally have access to a backup if it has not yet been overwritten or updated. If you are in a bind and really need messages back, I would recommend you contact them before trying to use a third-party app or another drastic measure.

    When you call, you will need to ask for technical support and then ask to speak to a representative, as there probably won’t be accurate menu prompts to take you to the right department. While the representative may or may not be able to help, they may offer suggestions that you have not yet tried. 

    Recover Deleted Text Messages: iPhone Apps

    We recommend this only as a last resort for retrieving deleted messages on your iPhone. There are some third-party apps out there that will help you recover deleted files and text messages from your iPhone, but they can be sketchy. Make sure you read the reviews carefully to help you evaluate the legitimacy of any app you are thinking of using.

    Personally, I would hesitate to use any of these apps to recover deleted text messages, but if you really are in a bind, there are a few that have some good reviews and are popular online. PhoneRescue by iMobie has a platform for both iPhone and Android devices and WonderShare Dr.Fone for iOS also has a free trial and a paid version available online. There are no guarantees, and you are opening yourself up to the mercy of these apps and their creators, so even trusted sources online should be carefully considered before you jump right in out of desperation.

    Now that you've learned how to recover deleted messages on iPhone in a number of ways, let us know which one works for you! If you've tried an app for recovering deleted text messages, we'd love to hear about your experience with that, as well.

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    How to Create a Group Chat on iPhone (2022)

    Learn how to make a group chat on the iPhone, plus how to add people to a group text, remove them, and leave the chat yourself.

    Are you wondering how to create a group text? You can create a group chat on your iPhone to stay in contact with multiple people simultaneously, even if they are Android users. Now let's learn how to create a group chat on iPhone using the Messages app.

    Related: How Many People Can Join a Group Text on an iPhone or iPad?

    5 Steps to Mastering Group Chat on iPhone

    Step 1: Enable Group Messaging

    Before you can create group messages, you must learn how to enable group messaging on the iPhone. To learn more about using the Messages app on the iPhone, sign up for our free Tip of the Day.

    1. Open the Settings app.

    2. Tap Messages.

      Message app settings
       
    3. Under SMS/MMS toggle Group Messaging on.

      Toggle Group Messaging setting

    Now that this is enabled, you can learn how to create a group text on your iPhone!

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    Step 2: Create a Group Text on an iPhone

    With your Settings in order, you are ready to learn how to create a group text on iPhone:

    1. Open the Messages app.

    2. Tap the compose icon in the upper-right corner.

      Start new message
       
    3. Enter the names of the contacts you want to add, or you can tap the + icon to look for them in your Contacts list.

      Add contacts to group text
    4. Type your message and tap the Send icon.  

      Type a message to start group chat

    You've learned how to make a group chat in the Messages app, and you are ready to chat!

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    Step 3: Add Contacts to a Group Chat

    Once you have created a iMessage group chat, you need to know how to add someone to a group text on iPhone. This is only possible if everyone in the group is an iPhone user. Group chats with Android users are possible, but they have limited features.

    1. Open the group message chat and tap the group info at the top.

    2. Tap the number of people to view and add contacts.

    3. Select Add Contact.

    4. Type the person's name or tap the plus icon and select from your Contacts list.

      Type contact name to add someone to group text
       
    5. Tap Done.

      Click done to add new contacts to group text

    Now you know how to make a group on Messages and add new contacts!

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    Step 4: Remove Contacts from a Group Chat

    It is only possible to remove someone from a group text if there are three or more people, not including yourself. If everyone in the group is an iMessages user, anyone in the group can add or remove contacts.

    You can remove someone from a group text after your first message has been sent:

    1. Open the group message chat and tap the group info at the top.


       
    2. Tap the number of people to view group members.


       
    3. Swipe left on the person’s name. 

      Swipe left on contact you want to remove
       
    4. Tap Remove.

      Tap to remove a contact from group chat

    Knowing how to remove someone from a group text is helpful when learning how to make a group text on the iPhone and managing it.

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    Step 5: Leave a Group Chat

    There have to be three people, not including yourself, for you to leave the group. Here's how to leave a group message on your iPhone:

    1. Open the group message chat and tap the group info at the top.


       
    2. Tap Leave this Conversation at the bottom of your screen.

      Tap to leave text group
       
    3. Tap Leave this Conversation again to confirm.

      Confirm to leave a group conversation

    Once you leave a chat, you cannot re-add yourself, but another member can add you again. If you are only chatting with two other people, no one can leave the conversation. If you delete the conversation, the other members can still message, and you will still receive the notifications. 

    It is possible to mute the conversation to stop receiving notifications. In extreme circumstances, you can also block the other members. However, they will not be able to contact you via message or call if you do so.

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    Bonus: Group Text with Android Users

    When chatting within a group text with an Android user, SMS/MMS's function is SMS/MMS rather than group iMessages. It is still possible, though, to create a group containing Android users and iPhone users alike.

    However, once the group is created, it is impossible to add or remove members or leave the conversation as long as an Android user is part of the group. If someone is missing from your chat, you will have to create a new SMS/MMS thread and invite all participants simultaneously.

    Cannot add Android user to existing group chat

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    Learning how to make a group chat on an iPhone can be incredibly useful in a social and even business setting. If you are in a group chat with only iMessages members, you can easily add and remove members as necessary. If you're planning on including Android users in a group chat, add everyone simultaneously, as you will not be able to add or remove anyone later on. You will also be unable to leave the conversation.

    You now have all the tools to navigate an iMessage group chat! If you'd like more information on managing group chats, you can also learn how to name a group text on iPhone and how to leave a group text.

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    How to Hide Text Messages on an iPhone: Hide iMessages or Use Secret Texting Apps (2022)

    Can you hide text messages on an iPhone in iOS 15? You can, and there are a few ways to do it.

    Is there a way to hide texts on an iPhone? If you need to know how to hide text messages on your iPhone in iMessages or a secret messaging app, we can help. You can lock or hide messages, and even turn off message previews on iPhone so that your personal information stays private. There are even some secret text messaging apps for iPhones.

    Related: How to Recover Deleted Text Messages from iPhone

    If you are trying to figure out how to hide contacts, or how to hide iMessage conversations, we will cover that while discussing how to lock iPhone messages and how to find hidden text messages, and we'll even discuss how to hide your messages app itself.

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    Best Apps to Hide Text Messages

    If you need to figure out how to hide messages on the iPhone, this post will show you your options. It’s not always easy to hide text messages and it can be equally hard to find hidden text messages so let’s dive in and see how it’s done! It's easier than you might think to keep a text message secret with these apps. This is also the best answer for the question of how to lock messages on an iPhone. These apps can lock your text messages under an extra layer of security. If you message frequently, learn how to schedule a text.

    Keep in mind that many scammers also prefer encrypted messaging services, so make sure you don't send any personal information to anyone you don't know and trust using these apps.

    CoverMe Private Text & Calls (Free, in-app purchases starting at $1.99)

    chat apps free

    CoverMe Private is a great option if you need to find a way to hide messages on an iPhone. You can actually use this app to encrypt and lock your calls and text messages; they’ll be secured with your Touch ID, so you don’t have to worry about someone figuring out your code or password.

    CoverMe is also great for those of you who need to lock or hide messages. It has a disappearing message feature that users really love. The app also assigns you a burner phone number to mask your real number when you are sending text messages or phone calls, which can help protect your anonymity as well. This is a great option if you are looking for the best app to hide text messages.

    Wire - Secure Messenger (Free)

    free call and text app

    This is another great option if you are looking for a way to hide messages on your iPhone or lock messages from being seen. It is encrypted from end to end, so only you and the receiver can see the messages and communications that you are sending.

    Wire is great because it offers you the ability to do more than just hide text messages on iPhone. You can also send and receive files, FaceTime, call, and chat. It’s a more sophisticated secret texting app than some of the other options available.

    Signal - Private Mesenger (Free)

    free call and text app

    Signal is an awesome option for iPhone, and you can get the app on your iPad as well by following this tip. You can use Signal for private single or group chats, and everything is end-to-end encrypted. Voice or video calls are also offered, and you can even share media and files.

    How to Hide Your Secret Texting Apps on iPhone

    If you find yourself using one or multiple secret texting apps on your iPhone to hide iPhone messages or lock your messages, you should consider learning how to hide apps on your iPhone. It’s a great way to hide secret texting apps for iPhones, or to simply declutter your iPhone Home screen.

    How to Hide Text Messages on iPhone by Turning Off Message Preview

    One of the easiest ways to hide text messages on the iPhone is to turn off the message preview that appears on the Lock screen. This does not hide messages or lock messages in your Messages app but it will keep a preview of the content of the message from popping up on your screen when they are delivered. This way you don’t have to worry about leaving your phone lying around. No one will be able to see your iPhone message preview if you turn off the settings!

    How to Hide iMessages by Turning Off Message Preview:

    1. Open the Settings app.


       
    2. Tap on Notifications.


       
    3. Scroll down and select Messages.


       
    4. Under Options, tap Show Previews.


       
    5. Now, tap Never.


       
    6. If you don't want anyone to even know you got a message, you can return to Messages in the Notifications settings and first tap on Sounds.


       
    7. Next, tap on Vibration.

    8. Choose None.

      Tap None
       
    9. Return to the Sounds page one more time and select None under Alert Tones.


       
    10. Finally, return to the Messages Notifications settings and tap to turn off Lock Screen, Notification Center, and Banner alerts.


       
    11. The final option is to toggle Allow Notifications off. You will need to remember to open your Messages app regularly to see if you have received any new messages because your phone will no longer alert you in any way.

    How to Back Up a Text Conversation but Not See It Anymore

    If you want to hide your messages on iPhone or keep messages that you hide or lock without actually having them on your phone, you do have another option. You can save the text conversation to your computer and then delete it from your device. Another way you can save a text conversation but not see it anymore is to take screenshots of the conversation and save those to your computer, a disc or thumb drive, and then delete the conversation.

    These options are helpful if you want to hide text messages or keep them private without having to use an app or different service.

    How Do I See Hidden Text Messages?

    Unfortunately, there's not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and that's simply because there are so many ways to hide messages.

    If it's just that the message preview is hidden but the message wasn't deleted, the message will still appear in the Messages app and can be searched for even if they're not readily visible. If the message was hidden via a third-party app, the access method will vary depending on the app and the user's settings. If a user deleted the message or conversation, unfortunately, it won't be accessible on the device anymore, but may be recoverable if messages are being synced to iCloud. Next, learn how to find hidden or missing apps on your iPhone.

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    How to Pin Conversations in the Messages App to Find Them More Easily in iOS 15

    Make it easier to find your favorite threads in Messages with iOS 15.

    The Messages app in iOS 15 allows iPhone users to pin their most important contacts and group texts to the top of the Messages app, making it faster and easier to send a text message to the people you message the most. You can pin up to nine text threads, and if you change your mind, it's just as easy to unpin contacts in Messages. We'll walk you through both!

    Related: How to Know If Someone Blocked Your Number on iPhone

    Why You'll Love This Tip:

    • No more searching for buried conversation threads; pin your favorites to the top of the screen in Messages instead.
    • Keep track of plans made in group messages by pinning the conversation.

    How to Pin Messages on iPhone

    When you pin a contact in Messages on iPhone, the conversation thread with that person stays at the top as an icon so that you can easily tap into and read the conversation at a moment's notice, without having to search iPhone messages to find what you're looking for. If you like learning about hidden iPhone tricks and features, try signing up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter! Here's how to pin contacts in Messages on iPhone:

    1. Open the Messages app.

      pin contacts messages iPhone
       
    2. Find and long press the text message (not the contact icon) from the person or group you'd like to pin.

      Pin messages to the top on iPhone
       
    3.  Tap Pin in the menu that appears.

      Pin contacts in Messages on iPhone
       
    4. Your contact will now be pinned to the top of your Messages list.

      pin contacts messages iPhone
       
    5. If you want to unpin your chosen contact, long press the icon you want to remove, then tap Unpin.

      Pin messages to the top on iPhone

    Now you know how to keep messages at the top of the Messages app on iPhone!

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    Group Messaging: How to Name a Group Chat on iPhone (2022)

    You can more easily find text threads if you know how to name a group text on iPhone.

    Group messaging is a convenient way for everyone in the conversation to communicate with each other and share information. If you belong to or have started several group text conversations, it's important to be able to see at a glance which chat is which, so you don't send the wrong comment to the wrong group! We'll show you how to name a group text and change the name of an existing group, so you can easily find your text thread when you need it. 

    Related: How to Make a FaceTime Call

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    How Do I Name a Group Text on iPhone?

    You can only name group iMessages, not group MMS messages. This means that all members of the group need to be iPhone users or signed into Messages on an Apple device such as a Mac or iPad. Also, see our article on size limits of group chats. Here's how to name a group chat on iPhone.

    1. Open your Messages app.

    2. Tap on the paper and pencil icon to create a new message.

      how to name a group chat
    3. Type the names of the contacts you wish to add and send your first group text. 

    4. Tap the tiny carrot (arrow) or the number of people in your group.

    5. Tap the info icon.

    6. Tap Change Name and Photo. (If you don't see the option, there is likely a group member who is not using Messages.)

    7. Type the name of your group.

    8. Tap Done to save the group name. 

    9. Tap Done to close edit view. 

    How to Change Group Chat Names

    If you'd like to name a group text that already exists, or want to give your group message a new name, here's how:

    1. Open the conversation and tap on the small arrow or the group name.

    2. Tap on the info icon.

    3. Tap on the existing group name to edit and add the new name.

    4. Tap Done to save your new group name.

    5. Tap Done to close edit view. 

    If you're new to group texting, you might also consider checking out how to make a group chat and how to leave a group text.

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    How to Search Messages on iPhone & iPad (2022 Update)

    We will teach you how to search iMessages in the Message app and messages in Facebook and WhatsApp to find old messages!

    Are you wondering how to search text messages on your iPhone or iPad to find a specific conversation? We can help! We'll cover how to search through your messages on the iPhone and iPad using the Messages app, search Facebook messages, and search WhatsApp chat. Fortunately, most messaging apps make your text conversations searchable. Let's dive in!

    What’s in This Article?

    How to Find Deleted Messages on iPhone and iPad

    Many people want to know how to find old text messages on iPhone and iPad that have been deleted. Unlike Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, the Messages app doesn't allow you to archive iMessages. This means if you want to clear out old messages, you have to delete them, and once an iMessage is deleted, it can't be searched. 

    So even though you can search text messages on your iPhone, you can only search for the ones that haven't been deleted. The same can be said of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, but you have the option to archive messages, so they'll always be searchable. For this reason, it's important not to delete any text message threads you think you might need to come back to in the future. 

    How to Search Texts on iPhone & iPad in the Messages App

    You can search your iMessages directly in the Messages app. This is the easiest way to do it, although I'll cover one other search method. The screenshots are taken on iPhone, but the process is the same on iPad. Here's how to search in text messages:

    1. Open the Messages app.

      Open the Messages app - iphone search text messages
       
    2. Pull down on the screen to reveal the search bar.

      Pull down on the screen - search messages iphone
       
    3. Type the name of the person, topic, or keyword that you are looking for.

      Type the keyword - how to search on iphone
       
    4. You’ll see the relevant thread(s). You can tap See All if you want to see more threads or tap the conversation to open it.

      See the relevant thread - search texts iphone
       
    5. You will see your search term within that message.

      You will see your search term - how to get old messages on iphone

    In older iOS versions, the search function was inadequate, but it has been upgraded and now allows you to search multiple relevant conversations. However, you can also search the Messages app without ever opening the app itself by using your iPhone's search function.

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    How to Search Text Messages on iPhone and iPad Using Today View

    Next, I’ll teach you ​​how to search through iMessages using Today View, so that you don’t have to open the Messages app.

    1. Open the Today View on your iPhone or iPad by swiping to the right from your first Home screen.

      Open the Today View - can you search text messages on iphone
       
    2. At the very top is the Search bar; if you scroll down, it will disappear. Just scroll back to the top, and you'll see it. Tap the Search bar and type either the person or phrase that you’re looking for.

      At the very top is the Search bar - how to get old text messages	in your text history
       
    3. Swipe up until you see the Conversations section and tap the text you are looking for. 

      Conversations section - search my messages
       
    4. If you don't see it, see if there's a Messages section containing the text.

      Messages section - text message history
       
    5. If you still don’t see it, scroll to the very bottom and check under Search in Apps and tap Search Messages.

      Search in Apps section - message history iphone
       
    6. You'll be taken to your Messages app, where you may see conversations and links with your search term. You can tap See All to see more results in the respective category.

      You'll be taken to your Messages app.
       
    7. Tap the correct thread.

      Tap the correct thread - search in imessage
       
    8. You will be brought to your search term within that message.

      You will be brought to your search term within that message.

    Pro Tip: A nice feature of iMessages search is the ability to go directly to the phrase you're looking for within the conversation. To learn more about your iPhone, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.

    Now you know how to search messages on your iPhone! Keep in mind that you can only look through present messages, which means if you've deleted a message, it will not show up when you search. If you are wondering how to search for messages in other apps, we will break down how to search for messages in Facebook and WhatsApp next!

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    How Far Back Can Text Messages Be Retrieved

    Many people want to find out how to find old messages on iPhone, but they aren’t sure how old is too old. There are several factors to consider here. As I already mentioned, you can only search old text messages that haven’t been deleted yet, since Messages doesn’t let you archive texts. But even if you don’t actively delete messages, your iPhone may be deleting them for you. To check this:

    1. Open Settings.

      Open Settings.
       
    2. Tap Messages

      Tap Messages - can you search messages on iphone
       
    3. Under Message History, tap Keep Messages.

      Tap Keep Messages - text history iphone
       
    4. Here you can pick between 30 days, 1 year, and Forever. Keep in mind that if you select Forever, you may fill up your storage with old texts.

      Here you can pick between 30 days, 1 year, and Forever.

    Some people ask if you can search iMessages by date? Unfortunately, there is no good way to do this on iPhone or iPad at the moment. But your messages should be listed in order by date sent or received so that can help you narrow down your search.

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    How to Search Facebook Messenger Conversations on iPhone & iPad

    A Facebook conversation search is easy and can be done within the Facebook Messenger app in a few easy steps:

    1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.

      Open the Facebook Messenger app.
       
    2. Tap the Search field at the top of the app. Please note that the Facebook app is redesigned frequently and may look a little different on your phone. 

      Tap the Search field at the top of your display.
       
    3. Type in your search term, you'll see several categories where the search term appears. The categories include Messages (conversations with your contacts), Discover (groups and pages on Facebook), More on Instagram (relevant Instagram accounts that you may or may not follow), and More People (people who are not your contacts.)

      Type in your search term
       
    4. Tap See More under Messages.

      Tap See More under Messages.
       
    5. Facebook Messenger will list conversations with the matched search term and how many times it was mentioned. Tap the one you want to see.

      Facebook Messenger will list conversations with the matched search term and how many times it was mentioned.
       
    6. You’ll see the various sentences where the matched search term was mentioned.

      You’ll see the various sentences where the matched search term was mentioned.
       
    7. Tap on the relevant one, and you'll be brought to your search term within that message; the search term will be highlighted.

      Tap on the relevant one.

    Just like with iMessage, if you click on a result, it will take you directly into that part of the message. Facebook Messenger search does a great job of looking through message threads from all time, including individual and group conversations and messages that were archived.

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    How to Search WhatsApp Messages on iPhone & iPad

    WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps on the iPhone. WhatsApp is generally considered to have the best search on the iPhone by reviewers, and like Facebook, it highlights the term you're looking for, so it's easy to find in the thread. As with the other two messaging apps we've mentioned, if you've deleted the message, it won't be available for search. However, if you archived the message, the search will work.

    1. Open WhatsApp and log in if you are prompted.

      Open WhatsApp and log in if you are prompted.
       
    2. Go to the Chats tab, unless you are already there.

      Go to the Chats tab, unless you are already there.
       
    3. Locate the Search bar at the top of the screen.

      Locate the Search bar at the top of the screen.
       
    4. Type the phrase, words, event, or person you’re searching for. Messages that match will appear with the search terms highlighted in bold. Tap the relevant message.

      Type the phrase, words, event, or person you’re searching for.
       
    5. You will be taken to the message within the thread and the term will still be highlighted.

      If you click on a result, it will take you to that message within the thread.

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    That’s it! You should now be comfortable searching for messages in the Messages, Facebook, and WhatsApp apps! No one wants to search through dozens (if not hundreds) of messages looking for a specific conversation on their Apple device. Fortunately, most messaging apps make your text conversations searchable. If your friend has sent a link you don't want to lose, you can also pin the shared content so it appears in the related app. For further information on text massages, see our article on the size limits of group chats. Next, learn how to sync messages from iPhone to Mac & iPad.

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