Losing old text messages on an iPhone or any other can be a terrible experience. This is especially when you have some of the messages you would want to preserve for whatever reason well known to you. Many people have however had to deal with this experience without knowing where to turn to in case of such a mishap!

Old Text Messages

While in many cases this experience is contributed to by the accidental deletion of messages from the iPhone, there are other underlying causes such as an upgrade to iOS 16. But still, you may have not deleted messages on iPhone but they have taken too many years on your iPhone and you are wondering whether you can still get them.

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The easiest way to be sure to get your messages any time you want them is through consistent backup. You may decide to back up your messages on iTunes or even iCloud. The methods may however not be the best for everyone as they have their own shortcomings.

If you want to access some of the old messages on iPhone from many years ago, we have prepared this guide to help you with the steps. Read on and you will be able to find one most suitable method to use.


Method 1: Scan the iPhone

Scanning your iPhone especially if you are already using iOS 16 is one of the easiest ways to get back your old messages. With the help of iMyFone D-Back, you will be able to quickly scan your iPhone and retrieve old messages.

The software comes with perfect scanning features that can find missing messages and locate old ones on your device with ease.

The advantage you get with this plug-and-scan tool is that it can also scan your iPhone and locate other data types. Besides, it can also scan iTunes and iCloud backups to extract old messages. Below are the steps to use the iMyFone D-Back.

Step 1: Install the software on your computer and run it. Select “Recover from iOS Device” from the main window of the software and tap “Start” to initiate the process. Link the iPhone you intend to restore old text messages from to the computer through a USB cable and wait for it to be automatically detected by the program. Tap “Next.”

Step 2: In the window that appears, select “Message” as the data type you want then tap “Scan.” This step will initiate the scanning of your iPhone to try. And locate some of the old messages you are looking for. Wait until scanning completes.

Step 3: When the process in step two ends, a list of messages available on your iPhone. It will be displayed on the next window. You can now choose the messages you wish to recover. Then tap “Recover” to save them on your preferred folder in your computer.

Other than iMyFone D-Back, other software in the best data recovery software category is Disk drill by Cleverfiles. This iPhone data recovery software has versatile features that can scan. And retrieve deleted text messages, and old ones that you may not be able to retrieve using other methods.  

Method 2: Scan iTunes and iCloud Backup

You can also find old messages from your iPhone. Even after so many years by scanning your iTunes and iCloud backups. You might however have to deal with some challenges while using this method. These may include:

  • Being unable to view contents of iTunes or iCloud backup until you have completed the restore process. Since there is no preview, you will not be able to tell. Whether the messages you are looking for are available in the backup or even select the right messages for retrieval.
  • The process itself might lead to data loss from your device. Further, all the settings on your device will be deleted in the process.

Disk Drill or D-Back will help you scan the iTunes and iCloud backups without experiencing any of the aforementioned problems. You must however be careful not to find yourself in the trap. To scan iTunes and iCloud, proceed as below.

Method 3: Retrieve Old Messages with Search Bar on iMessages

This is another method to find old messages on the iPhone. The search bar on iMessages gives you the privilege to scan. And find messages you might have thought no longer existed on your device.  Follow the steps below to proceed.

Step#1. Click on the Message app on your iPhone to open it.

Step#2. Go to the messages list appearing on the new window. And swipe down with your finger to show the search box.

Step#3. Type the search term you want to use in the search box and your messages will begin to appear. The term should be similar to some of the terms in your old messages to make your search easier.

Step 4: Tap on any search result to view that specific message.

Method 4: Use Spotlight to Find Old iMessages

Spotlight search is yet another data recovery method you can use to find old messages on your iPhone. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use the spotlight.

Step 1: Click and swipe to the right of your iPhone from the home screen. In order to bring up the Spotlight search.

Step 2: Click on the search bar and type any leading words. That may be part of the messages you are looking for. You can also type the names of your senders. Or even their phone numbers to make your search easier and get more specific results.

Step 3: Scroll down to navigate messages quickly. And see the search results that appear to be able to expose more messages and find your old messages.

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Vineet Maheshwari is a passionate blogger and relationship oriented digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience in SEO, PPC management, web analytics, domain investing, affiliate marketing and digital strategy. He has helped high tech brands connect with customers in an engaging manner, thereby ensuring that high quality leads are generated over time.