How to Recover chat.db Deleted Messages on a Mac

Have you accidentally deleted important messages from your chat.db file on your Mac? Don't worry! This guide will walk you through the steps to recover those deleted messages and restore them back to your chat application.

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If you've stored your iMessages in iCloud, deleting them on your Mac will remove them from all your connected devices. In this post, you'll find some practical techniques for locating and recovering chat.db deleted messages on your Mac.

Here, we've compiled four methods to recover chat.db deleted messages on your Mac. Before learning how to recover them, you should understand what the "chat.db" file is on a Mac.

What Is chat.db File on a Mac

The chat.db file on a Mac is a SQLite database file that the Messages application uses to store chat and message data. It contains information about your iMessages and text messages, including message content, attachments, and other metadata. If you want to access the chat.db file, you can do so by following these steps:

You can find the format file, which stores your chat history within your Message folder. If you've experienced the loss of messages or the accidental deletion of crucial parts, restoring chat.db on your MacBook Air or Pro becomes a viable solution.

To initiate the process of accessing chat.db on your Mac, follow the following steps:

Step 1. Open "Finder". Click "Go > Go to Folder" from the top menu.

Step 2. Type ~/Library/iMessages to open the Messages folder in the provided space.

go to message folder

Step 3. Within the Messages folder, identify the file named "chat.db", which serves as the repository for your chat history.

message folder

When you lose chat.db on your Mac, it results in the loss of vital conversation data. We present four effective methods to restore chat.db on a Mac, the repository of message history, on your Mac. Continue reading to delve into the comprehensive details.

Fix 1. Recover chat.db Deleted Messages Using Software

If messages are deleted on your Mac, the chat.db file may also be erased. To regain access to the deleted chat.db on your Mac, consider installing EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac as your data recovery software.

This tool ensures the security of recovering deleted messages on MacBook Air and Pro. EaseUS data recovery software boasts user-friendly operation, making it accessible for individuals without prior data recovery experience.

Check out the following steps to recover deleted messages on a Mac and return chat.db file on your Mac:

Step 1. Search for lost files

Select the disk location to search for lost files (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) on macOS Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura, and the latest Sonoma. Click the "Search for lost files" button.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your Mac to avoid further data loss. After backing up, the software can recover data from the Mac backup, and your computer can wirte new data again.

Recover Data Step1

Step 2. Go through the scanning results

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results.

Recover Data Step2

Step 3. Select the file(s) and recover

In the scan results, select the file(s) to preview and click the "Recover" button to have them back.

Recover Data Step3

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Fix 2. Recover chat.db Deleted Messages with Mac Trash Bin

For Mac users, the macOS Trash Bin serves as an exclusive folder designed to temporarily retain recently deleted files. In the event of accidental file deletion, the Trash Bin is the primary location to explore for potential data recovery.

To recover your deleted files from the Trash on Mac:

Step 1. Click the "Trash" icon and select the deleted files or folders.

open Trash

Step 2. After this, perform a Right-click or Control-click on the item, prompting a drop-down menu to appear.

Step 3. Opt for "Put Back" from the menu to initiate the restoration of files.

put back from trash bin

Suppose the "Put Back" option is grayed out or not working; read this post to solve the error.

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Fix 3. Restore chat.db Deleted Messages from Time Machine Backup

Time Machine, an integral application inherent to every Mac, is specifically crafted for data backup. If you've configured Time Machine to back up your Mac routinely, this tool becomes a valuable resource for swiftly locating the necessary backup version and restoring deleted iMessages.

This data recovery approach is particularly practical when seeking to recover old iMessages on a MacBook.

Follow these steps to recover deleted text messages by restoring Mac with Time Machine backups:

Step 1. Connect the drive containing your backup to your Mac.

Step 2. Click the "Time Machine" icon in the menu at the top of the screen and enter Time Machine.

click Time Machine icon

Step 3. Utilize the timeline on the right to select the required backup version.

Step 4. Navigate to "Library > Messages".

Step 5. Click on the chat.db file to highlight it and initiate restoration by clicking the "Restore" button.

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Fix 4. View chat.db Deleted Messages from Other Apple Devices

When you utilize an iPhone or iPad alongside your Mac and share the same Apple ID, an alternative method involves using other Apple devices to retrieve your deleted iMessages.

The steps to restore deleted iMessages are outlined below:

Step 1. After deleting a message from your Mac, promptly turn off Internet connectivity to prevent the synchronization of the iMessage application with other devices.

Step 2. Disable Internet connectivity on your iPhone or iPad, then access the iMessage app.

With this approach, you may successfully visualize the deleted iMessages.


In conclusion, the recovery of deleted messages within the chat.db file on a Mac demands careful consideration of practical solutions.

The discussed methods, ranging from utilizing specialized data recovery tools like the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to exploring the Mac Trash Bin and leveraging Time Machine backups, offer diverse options for users in various data loss scenarios.

You can select the recovery method that works best for you depending on your specific circumstances and preferences to ensure optimal results. For a seamless and efficient recovery experience, we strongly recommend downloading data recovery software, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

Its user-friendly interface, robust scanning capabilities, and swift operation make it ideal for restoring deleted messages on Mac.

Remember, acting swiftly is key to maximizing your chances of recovering lost data successfully. Download our recovery software today and regain control over your valuable chat history on your Mac.

How to Recover chat.db Deleted Messages FAQs

Be sure to check out the information below about chat.db deleted messages to learn more.

1. Does chat db store deleted messages?

The chat.db database serves as a repository for both past and ongoing chat histories. To locate deleted iMessages, you can access the Chat.DB file using applications like TextEdit. If necessary chat.DB files are not found, and a trustworthy third-party program can be employed to recover the messages.

2. Where can I find deleted chat messages?

Deleted chat messages can be examined and recovered from the Recently Deleted folder for a duration of 30 days. Following this period, the messages are eliminated from all your devices. After 40 days, the messages are permanently erased from iCloud. To access the Recently Deleted folder in the Messages app on your Mac:

Step 1. Go to "View".

Step 2. After that, choose "Recently Deleted".

3. Can I restore deleted chat messages on a Mac?

Yes, you can. After deleting a message or conversation, it is transferred to the Recently Deleted folder. Items in this folder can be viewed and recovered within a 30-day window. The deleted messages are then moved to the Mac Trash bin.

To access them:

Step 1. Click the trash bin icon on the Mac Dock.

Step 2. Locate the messages folder in the Trash bin and control-click on it.

Step 3. Choose the "Put Back" option to restore it to its original storage location.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her game experience on Facebook or Twitter.

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