How to Recover Erased Messages on an iPad: A Step-by-Step Guide

Accidentally deleted messages on your iPad can be a real pain, especially if they were important. Fear not, for they can often be recovered. Typically, this involves either restoring from a backup or using third-party software. After following the steps provided, you should have your messages back in no time.

After you’ve completed the recovery process, you should see your erased messages reappear on your iPad. If they don’t, you might need to repeat the process or try a different method.


Picture this: You’re clearing out old conversations on your iPad, and suddenly, you delete a message thread that you didn’t mean to. Panic sets in as you realize that there were important details in those messages that you now can’t access. Sounds familiar? You’re not alone. Accidentally deleting messages is a common mishap for many iPad users. But don’t worry, there’s hope for recovering those lost messages.

Recovering erased messages on an iPad is important because our devices hold so much valuable information, from sentimental texts from loved ones to crucial work details. This topic is relevant to anyone who uses an iPad for communication, which, let’s be honest, is most of us. The good news is, Apple has built-in features that allow you to recover deleted messages, and there are also third-party applications that can help with recovery. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to retrieve those lost messages and get you back on track.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Recover Erased Messages on an iPad

The steps outlined below will help you recover your deleted messages on an iPad, either through iCloud or iTunes backup, or with the help of third-party software.

Step 1: Check if Messages are in Recently Deleted

First, check the “Recently Deleted” folder in your messages app.
Apple’s Messages app has a feature that temporarily keeps deleted messages in a “Recently Deleted” folder for up to 30 days. If your messages were deleted recently, they might still be there. Simply go to the Messages app, tap “Edit” in the top-left corner, and select “Show Recently Deleted.” If you find your messages there, you can move them back to your main inbox.

Step 2: Restore from an iCloud Backup

If you regularly back up your iPad to iCloud, your deleted messages may be recoverable from a past backup.
To do this, you’ll need to erase your iPad and then restore it from a backup made before the messages were deleted. Go to “Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.” After your device restarts, choose to “Restore from iCloud Backup” during the setup process and select the relevant backup.

Step 3: Restore from an iTunes Backup

Similar to iCloud, if you’ve backed up your iPad to iTunes, you can restore your messages from there.
Connect your iPad to the computer you normally sync with, open iTunes, select your device, choose “Restore Backup,” and pick the backup that predates the deletion of your messages. Keep in mind that this will also restore all other data from that backup, replacing what’s currently on your iPad.

Step 4: Use Third-Party Recovery Software

As a last resort, you can use third-party software to attempt to recover deleted messages.
Numerous third-party applications claim to retrieve lost data from iOS devices. Look for reputable software with positive reviews, download it to your computer, and follow the instructions provided by the software to recover your messages. Be cautious and make sure you trust the software, as it will need access to your personal data.


No Need for BackupWith third-party software, you may be able to recover messages without having a prior backup.
Recovery of Other DataIn addition to messages, recovery methods can often restore other types of data that may have been lost.
Control Over What’s RestoredRestoring from iCloud or iTunes allows you to choose from multiple backups, depending on what data you want back.

Third-party software can often recover data directly from your device without needing a backup, which is great if you haven’t backed up your iPad in a while. However, their effectiveness can vary, so it’s important to choose a reliable tool.

Besides messages, these recovery methods can also bring back lost photos, contacts, and other important information. This is especially handy if you’ve lost more than just messages.

When restoring from a backup, you can choose which backup to use based on the date and what data it contains. This gives you some control over the recovery process and ensures you’re bringing back the right information.


Potential Data LossRestoring from a backup can overwrite existing data on your iPad, which may lead to further data loss.
Time-ConsumingThe recovery process can be lengthy, especially if you’re restoring from a backup or using third-party software for the first time.
Not Always SuccessfulThere’s no guarantee that you’ll recover all your deleted messages, as it depends on when the backup was made or the effectiveness of the software.

Restoring your iPad from a backup can potentially overwrite new data that wasn’t included in the backup, leading to additional data loss. It’s important to consider what you may be sacrificing by going through with the recovery.

The process of recovery can take a significant amount of time, particularly if you need to reset your device or if the software takes a while to scan your iPad.

Unfortunately, recovery isn’t always successful. If the messages were deleted a long time ago or if the software doesn’t work as expected, you may not be able to get your messages back.

Additional Information

When attempting to recover erased messages on an iPad, there are a few supplementary details and tips to keep in mind. For one, timing is crucial. The sooner you attempt to recover the messages, the better your chances of success. If you wait too long, the messages may be permanently overwritten by new data. It’s also worth noting that while third-party software can be helpful, it’s important to research and select a trusted application to avoid any potential security risks.

Furthermore, maintaining regular backups of your iPad can make the recovery process much smoother in the future. Whether you choose to back up to iCloud or your computer via iTunes, having a recent backup means you’re less likely to lose important data. It’s also a good idea to back up your iPad before attempting any recovery steps, just in case something goes wrong.

Lastly, remember that prevention is always better than cure. Be mindful when deleting messages and consider archiving important conversations instead. That way, even if you accidentally delete a thread, you can easily retrieve it from the archive without going through the recovery process.


  1. Check “Recently Deleted” folder in Messages app
  2. Restore from an iCloud backup
  3. Restore from an iTunes backup
  4. Use third-party recovery software

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recover messages that were deleted a long time ago?

It depends on whether a backup that contains those messages exists. If not, it might be difficult to recover them, especially if they’ve been overwritten by new data.

Do I need to erase my iPad to restore from a backup?

Yes, restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup requires erasing your iPad first. Ensure you’ve backed up any new data before proceeding.

Is third-party recovery software safe to use?

It can be if you choose reputable software with good reviews. Always do your research before downloading and granting access to your personal data.

Will restoring from a backup bring back all my other data as well?

Yes, restoring from a backup will recover all the data included in the backup, not just messages.

Can I choose specific messages to recover?

When restoring from a backup, you’ll recover all the data from that backup. Some third-party software may allow selective recovery, but this varies by application.


Losing messages on your iPad can be distressing, but with the right steps, recovery is often possible. Whether you’re restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup or using third-party software, it’s important to act quickly and follow the instructions carefully. Regular backups are your best defense against data loss, so make sure to back up your iPad often.

If you find yourself in this situation, remember that while there’s no guarantee of success, the chance to recover those important conversations is worth the effort. Keep calm, follow the steps, and with a bit of luck, you’ll have your erased messages back on your iPad.

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