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How to restore deleted texts on an iPhone

Updated April 17, 2017

A text message is never completely deleted from an iPhone if you know how to navigate the inner files of your Apple cell phone. If you accidentally deleted text messages from your iPhone, you may still have access to them by downloading a program that will help you read these files. You need to regularly sync your phone with iTunes and back up your data. Afterward, you can find text messages that are stored on your computer and can be found by navigating your computer files.

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  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable. Open and start iTunes. When the iTunes program opens, it will detect that your phone is connected to the computer. Click on the word "sync" in the lower, left corner of the window. This will sync your phone with the computer program.

  2. Download and install the computer program TextPad, which is a program that will allow you to read the iPhone's archived files. The program can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet (see Resources).

  3. Open the TextPad program. Select the word "Search" and when a drop-down menu pops up, then select the word "Find in." A box will open that will set parameters of your search with three blank spaces.

  4. Fill in the first blank box, which asks what you want to find, with the phrase "newest_message." Under the second blank, type "."

  5. Fill in the path in the third space so that the search finds your iPhone's files. For those with Windows, the path will be c:\Documents and Settings[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup. Click on the "Find" button.

  6. Browse the search results that show up in the result window. The files will look like long strings of numbers, but if you double-click on each file, the text message will open and you can read it.

  7. Tip

    Sync your iPhone regularly to keep your text messages archived.

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Things You'll Need

  • iPhone
  • USB cord
  • Computer with iTunes installed
  • Internet access
  • TextPad

About the Author

Lottie Goff became a fulltime professional journalist in 2005. She has written freelance content for "Space City Spors" in Houston, Texas and "Coast Magazine" in Galveston, Texas. She earned a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas in 2005. She also worked for the student newspaper, "The Battalion," from 2003 to 2005.

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