Just out of curiosity, was reading through old forums and came across this thread:

I've established iMessage on a new device, did not restore from a backup, and many months of old iMessages were downloaded when I began a new conversation with a person with whom I'd had a past thread.


I was able to pull iMessages from old deleted message threads on a new device.

Is still something that occurs through Apple? Seems like a security issue if you can setup a new device with your iCloud and all your deleted old message history populates? Can you restore deleted iMessage history to a new device, or the same device set as new?

Has anyone tested this?

1 Answer 1


The thread you posted and information are from 2013. Old information relevant for older iOS versions. If you restore from an iCloud backup, messages are restored to the device.

With the latest iOS, you can also backup iMessages to iCloud separately from an iCloud backup. Now you can save iMessages to iCloud, but it's a feature that you have to enable separately through settings.

Go to Settings app → Apple ID → iCloud → Messages and enable the switch. You can also back up to iTunes to save/restore that kind of data. If you do not have the Messages in iCloud feature enabled and/or do not restore from an iTunes/iCloud backup, no iMessages will be restored to the device.

Here are a couple related Apple Support documents for reference:

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