I received a normal SMS (GSM SMS, not iMessage) from my friend on my iPhone 4 running iOS 7.1.2. There were lots of messages (more than 10K) in that chat thread before the last message received. When I opened that SMS, I saw that there is only one message in that thread. All previous messages were deleted after receiving that SMS.

I tried reopening the Messages application, restarting my iPhone, scrolling up after more messages received, but no luck.

After that, I logged in to my iPhone with SSH and downloaded the SMS db file (~31MB) located in /var/mobile/Library/SMS/sms.db. I opened the db file with sqlite3, there were 36K SMS/iMessages, but there were no messages before the last message in that thread in the database file.

Is there any reasonable scenario that cause this data loss? How can I recover those deleted messages?

  • Can you confirm that your friend didn't change his phone number or add another email to his iMessage account? – Andrew Larsson Mar 29 '16 at 22:56
  • Yes. None of these are occurred. Note that this question is not related to iMessage. It is a GSM/Cellular SMS issue. In the Message application different numbers/accounts will be appeared separately. Other chat threads there have no problems. – Hamid Rohani Mar 29 '16 at 23:19

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