How to recover deleted text messages in iOS 16

With iOS 16, your text messages only go the graveyard when you really want them to.

How to recover deleted text messages in iOS 16
Oliver Haslam / Input

Deleting chats in the Messages app on your iPhone is a great way to clear out old conversations, but sometimes it’s easy to get carried away and delete something you shouldn’t have. Traditionally, those texts would be gone for good, but in iOS 16 you can recover those deleted chats in no time at all.

If you’ve downloaded the iOS 16 beta, or are just getting prepared for the update’s full release in September, here’s how to get those crucial messages back.

How to recover texts in iOS 16

Recovering a deleted chat couldn’t be simpler, and you only have 30 days to do it.Oliver Haslam / Input

Recovering a deleted chat might be the one easiest thing you could do in the Messages app, including marking them as unread. And it takes just a couple of taps, too.

  • Open the Messages app on your iPhone running iOS 16 and tap “Edit” in the top-left corner.
  • Tap “Show Recently Deleted.”
  • Select the chats you want to recover by tapping them. You can recover multiple chats at once or tap “Recover All” to recover every message that was deleted within the last 30 days.
  • Tap “Recover” and then tap the “Recover Messages” button to confirm the action.

Want to permanently delete all of your chats instead? Follow the same process but tap “Delete” instead of “Recover.” All messages will be deleted for good, but Apple warns it could take up to 40 days for them to be fully removed from its servers.

More iOS 16 guides