Deleted an entire text convo on iPhone, can I get it back?
February 23, 2021 5:11 AM   Subscribe

I meant to delete one message but accidentally deleted my entire convo history (thousands of messages) with a close friend. Can I get them back?

Details -
We both have iPhones- mine is an XR running 14.3, hers is a bit older.

We’re still friends so if she can somehow facilitate sending them to me, that’s doable. But it’s years of messages. :((

I would prefer to get them back on my phone, but by email would be ok too.

I’m scared to revert to a backup because it seems to require deleting the whole phone and I can’t tell when my phone was last backed up. How can I tell?

Tech skills: low to moderate... really clear directions would help me.

posted by nouvelle-personne to Technology (3 answers total)
If you open Settings, then pull down slightly to reveal the search bar at the top. Enter “Backup” as the search term - you should see a blue cloud icon with Backup and Apple ID -> iCloud written beside it. Click on that, and then on iCloud Backup. At the bottom of the next screen you should see the date/time of your last backup.

Restoring to an iCloud backup is non-scary & well documented in my experience, so if you have a recent backup it should give you a chance to get everything back. If you’re set up on iCloud, by default it should back itself up when you’re plugged in to mains power and connected to wifi. Mine happens when I recharge overnight. Good luck!
posted by rd45 at 5:41 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]

If you have an Apple laptop and don't sync your messages to iCloud, they might be saved on the Messages app. My text threads don't disappear from the laptop app when I delete them from my phone, AFAIK.
posted by bonifate at 9:28 AM on February 23

This just happened to me as well and am seconding bonifate. You may still have everything in your laptop Messages app. I did.
posted by dngrangl at 1:43 PM on February 23

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