A few days ago my messaging app started acting really weird.

  • All old conversations have lost all but 1 single text (I think this was the most recent text but I'm not sure )
  • New Messages are coming in but he preview message is showing a much older message.
  • Messages no longer sort by date they seem to be stuck in the order they were in when this problem began, eg if I get a new message it doesnt appear at the top of the list.


I am running 10.02, I have tried to update to 10.3.2 but everytime I try to install it verifys the update and then tells me something went wrong, I have tried to to delete download and do again with same problem.

I was having trouble with storage on my phone and at one point had 0 bytes free until I deleted some photos, at the same time my GMAIL app got itself stuck in a non working loop, so had to delete and redownload.

With any other app I would delete it and redownload it but you cant do that with messages.

I could turn off imessages but am worried I might loose the few messages I have (though it probably makes little differnce now).

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Is there a fix?


I spent about 5 hours backing up and restoring my Iphone 6+ 64GB.

  • Upgrade to 10.3.x No change to message app sorting incorrectly
  • Full reset back to factory settings. Messaging App sorting correctly
  • Restore backup of my phone. Messaging app not sorting correctly again.

Anyone know where I might be able to log a bug ? LOL

  • Please do try disabling and re-enabling iMessage. It only takes a few moments so the message loss toll should be very small. Jun 26, 2017 at 16:17
  • No luck I'm afraid.
    – Toby Allen
    Jun 26, 2017 at 17:48
  • Sounds like you have a problem with many things on your phone. Is restoring an option for you? You can still restore from an iCloud backup, which keeps your data but reinstalls the OS Jun 26, 2017 at 17:49
  • Maybe I can restore from an itunes backup
    – Toby Allen
    Jun 26, 2017 at 17:50
  • That works too. Give that a try. I'll migrate to an answer if this works Jun 26, 2017 at 17:51

5 Answers 5


Restore from a backup.

It looks like your phone has some serious issues with its OS. Something probably went wrong with the installation, so you should restore from a backup, or just start fresh. Here's how to do that:


  1. Make an iCloud Backup. Go to Settings - Apple ID (big thing with your name at the top) - iCloud - iCloud Backup - Back Up Now

  2. Disable Find My iPhone. Go to Settings - Apple ID - iCloud - Find My iPhone and turn off the switch. You will have to enter your Apple ID password.

    • If you have forgotten your Apple ID password, go to iForgot
  3. Wipe your phone. Go to Settings - General - Reset - Erase All Content and Settings.

  4. Wait for your phone to do a full wipe.

  5. In Setup Assistant, select that you'd like to restore from an iCloud backup. Choose your desired iCloud backup.

That's it! See if it worked.


  1. Make an iTunes backup. Connect your phone to your computer, and open iTunes. Select Your iPhone (in the top bar) - Summary - Back Up Now.

  2. Disable Find My iPhone. Go to Settings - Apple ID - iCloud - Find My iPhone and turn off the switch. You will have to enter your Apple ID password.

    • If you have forgotten your Apple ID password, go to iForgot
  3. In iTunes, click Restore iPhone.

  4. Wait for the restore to complete
  5. In Setup Assistant, select that you'd like to restore from an iTunes backup and follow the directions from there.
  • Thank you for the comprehensive answer. Unfortunately this has not solved my issue.
    – Toby Allen
    Jun 29, 2017 at 9:14

Working solution for iOS 11.0.3 works for iOS 14.4 issue too. Great fix

  1. General -> Date & Time -> Disable Set Automatically. Change the time zone to something else.

  2. Force Quit Messages app (Double-tap the home button and swipe the Messages app upwards).

  3. Launch Messages. Your messages should now be sorted by time of arrival.

  4. Change Date & Time back to Set Automatically.

You're welcome.


First, make an iTunes backup. As you told, you have some filesystem inconsistencies on your device, so they will being backed up, too.

Then find your iTunes backup folder:
Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
Windows: \Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

There will be one randomly named folder, except you have backed up more devices
(something like 9182749a9879a8798a798e98798798f9879877c98798)

You can find your messages databese file with exactly this filename 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28 or sms.db

You can open that file using SQLite database viewer and export the contents to CSV format. Then you will be able to open it in Nubers or Excel for example. There is no way to fix sms.db if you can not find some logical error in this file by yourself, but you will be still able to have it in readable form back on your iPhone.

For my personal experience, I strictly recommend to upload all your content to iCloud and use
DFU mode to restore fresh copy of iOS! tutorial here

  • I know a full wipe works but then I don't have my data on my phone. Thanks
    – Toby Allen
    Jul 1, 2017 at 10:15
  • If you uncheck messages from restore, their database will be created from scratch after flashing fresh iOS. So messages will be blank, but fixed. And you will still have access to your sms.db backup in Numbers app. Jul 1, 2017 at 10:27
  • Maybe try to find some misspelling in that database, I believe it can be manually fixed. This was only an easy way to get things done asap, while I know this works for sure :) Jul 1, 2017 at 10:32

Solved: Installing IOS 11 finally reset messages on my phone. All working now.


Disable group message option in setting>message

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