I seem to have lost the SMS/TXT messages on my iPhone 6 128GB (iOS 9.3). This iPhone is not jailbroken. I have the passcode. It's close to full with only about 3GB of storage left.

Suddenly, a few days ago, I realized that about 75-80% of my SMS/txt message conversations had disappeared.

This is a big problem for me as it may look real bad in an upcoming divorce.

Can anyone shed ideas on how I can recover these? What about my iTunes backup? (I can decrypt output). Anything else I can try?

I've also had on this iPhone a problem with lots of photos/videos disappearing, too (when the iOS update added the separate "Screenshots" photo album (I have many screenshots)


Are you sure your SMS/Text Messages are gone? Assuming you have iOS configured to keep them, they should be there.

If you're not sure, here is how to check:

  • Tap on your iPhone Settings
  • Swipe up until you see the Messages option
  • Tap on Messages
  • Swipe up until you see the Keep Messages option. This should show either 30 Days, 1 Year, or Forever.

If it shows Forever you should be okay. Likewise, if it shows 1 Year you may be okay depending on how far back you need to go. However, if it's only set at 30 Days then you're going to be out of luck unless you have backups for the period you need (which you may do if you have a good backup regime in place).

In terms of accessing past messages, may people don't realise they can do this quite easily by using the following procedure:

  • Open Messages
  • Tap on your spouse's name
  • When the messages appear, tap at the top centre of the screen to load more messages.

NOTE: It's easiest to tap where the Time is displayed. Each time you do this more messages will load. Depending on how far back you want to go, you may need to tap many times to load them all.

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