How can I restore deleted messages when Messages in iCloud is enabled?

Historically one would just restore the iPhone to an earlier iCloud Backup however I have attempted to do that but since Messages in iCloud is enabled the deleted messages are not restored.

By paying for increased iCloud storage and having regular iCloud Backups one would hope that there is some way to restore these deleted messages even with Messages in iCloud enabled?

  • Welcome to Ask Different. Messages in iCloud is used primarily to sync your Messages across devices. Are these SMS or Messages you want to restore?
    – fsb
    Jan 7, 2019 at 17:40
  • I understand. I just pointed out that I have Messages in iCloud enabled as it seems that once that is enabled messages are no longer included in iCloud Backups like previously hence the question of how to restore messages once Messages in iCloud has been enabled. I want to restore some SMS and iMessages.
    – user316478
    Jan 7, 2019 at 17:47
  • Apple doesn't back-up SMS messages for all users in all territories due to local laws. Do you have an older backup on your computer that would contain the deleted messages you want to recover?
    – fsb
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:28
  • Ok, forgetting SMS. How can I restore iMessages? Since they are no longer included in iCloud Backup once “Messages in iCloud” is enabled.
    – user316478
    Jan 7, 2019 at 20:42
  • As @daniil-manokhin pointed out in the answer, 'iCloud Message' is for syncing your messages across devices so you can have access everywhere. It does not mean your messages are stored in iCloud. You appear to have a misunderstanding of what the feature actual is. I don't know of a way to retrieve the messages if you don't have local backup copy of your device.
    – fsb
    Jan 7, 2019 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


Messages are not included in your iCloud backup as they automatically upload to iCloud. After you restore to a backup you need to stay connected to iCloud and your messages will download.

From this Apple Discussion:

When you use Messages in iCloud, your text messages automatically upload to iCloud. They aren’t included in your backup. After you restore your device from iCloud Backup, stay connected to Wi-Fi so that your text messages can begin to download.

From this Apple Discussion:

When you delete a message, photo, or conversation on one device, it’s removed from all of your devices. And since all of your attachments are stored in iCloud, you can save space on your device.​

If the messages are deleted it is not possible to recover them:

Correct, my assumption (incorrect it seems) was that because the message history is now stored in iCloud, a message could be deleted from my device, but the message history could be accessed/reloaded again later. It seems that's not the case.

  • The messages don't download since they have been deleted. Hence the question on how to restore them.
    – user316478
    Jan 7, 2019 at 17:56
  • @user316478 edited post
    – user310476
    Jan 7, 2019 at 18:01
  • Surely it is possibly to recover them. I pay for iCloud Backup and this service is “Messages in iCloud” so surely the messages are backed up (somewhere) and can be restored, otherwise what am I paying for?
    – user316478
    Jan 7, 2019 at 20:41
  • @user316478 you're paying for extra storage i.e app backup, photo storage
    – user310476
    Jan 7, 2019 at 20:44
  • Yes extra storage so that I can use “iCloud” backup. This is Messages in “iCloud” so surely included in said “iCloud” Backup. How do I restore?
    – user316478
    Jan 7, 2019 at 21:31

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