How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac with Four Effective Ways

Roxanne updated on Sep 18, 2020 to Mac File Recovery | How-to Articles

Learn how to recover deleted iMessages on Mac using [1]Apple iPhone and iPad devices, [2]Time Machine backup, [3]iCloud backup, and [4]third-party EaseUS messages recovery software for Mac. The four ways are proved to be helpful to recover deleted iMessages. In case that you didn't back up or sync your text messages, the EaseUS software solution is the only chance for deleted message recovery.

"I have accidentally deleted contents of an iMessage on a specific contact on my Mac. And after that, all the messages from the person were gone. Is there any way to recover deleted iMessages on Mac? I really want to get the conversations back!"

iMessage is a free instant messaging service from Apple. Along with text messages, iMessage allows you to send unlimited pictures, videos, contacts, etc. to other Apple users anywhere anytime for free. Have you ever accidentally deleted iMessages? Do you know how to recover deleted messages, especially when those messages record some unforgettable memories? When you deleted iMessage text messages by mistake on your MacBook, iMac or Mini, stay calm. Learn carefully how to recover deleted iMessages on Mac with the below four effective solutions.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Method 1. Recover on iPhone/iPad Generally speaking, for Mac users who use Apple iPhone or iPad at the same time...Full steps
Method 2. Recover from Time Machine Sign out all iMessage accounts and quit Messages, open Finder...Full steps
Method 3. Recover from iCloud Sign out of iMessage on your Mac and locate the library...Full steps
Method 4. Recover with Software Run Mac data recovery software, select the location where messages were deleted...Full steps

Is It Possible to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac

Can you bring back a deleted iMessage? To some degree, yes. Apple provides customers with Time Machine, a comprehensive backup solution to macOS operating systems, which you can find it in macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, and other versions as well. As long as you turned on Time Machine backup, you can easily recover everything, including the deleted iMessages, from its backup. Meanwhile, the other data sync solution of iCloud backup is also quite helpful in retrieving lost data across platforms. What if the mishap happens and you didn't have a backup at hand? Then grab the last chance of using iMessage data recovery software to recover deleted messages without a backup.

Next, let's walk you through each guide of how to recover deleted iMessages on Mac one by one.

#1. How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac Using iPhone or iPad

Generally speaking, for Mac users who use Apple iPhone or iPad at the same time, the chances of deleted iMessage recovery are greater. Apple users of the macOS system and iOS system are using the same Apple ID, so their received messages and sent messages will show up on every device. When you carelessly lost important messages on Mac, you can try to look for them on an iPhone or iPad. 

#2. How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac Using Time Machine 

As long as you back up Mac data regularly with Time Machine, follow these steps to easily recover deleted messages from the Time Machine backup:

Step 1. Sign out all iMessage accounts and quit Messages.

Step 2. Press and hold down the Option key and select 'Go' > 'Library' from the Finder menu bar.

Step 3. Locate the Library section and click on Messages

Step 4. When the messages folder comes up, locate a file with the ‘chat.db’ name and a date that is before the date the files you are looking for were deleted. 

Step 5. Select the file and click Restore.

Note: This method restores the whole iMessage database and will replace the current database with an earlier version.

#3. How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac Using iCloud

To recover iMessages from iCloud:

Step 1. Sign out of iMessage on your Mac and quit the app.

Step 2. Open the Finder.

Step 3. Select Go from the Finder menu.

Step 4. Locate your library.

Step 5. Find a file named [messages] from an iCloud backup date that is before the day the files you are looking for is deleted.

Step 6. Open this messages folder.

Step 7. Click restore.

#4. How to Recover Deleted Messages on Mac Using Mac Data Recovery Software

Can you bring back a deleted iMessage when there is no backup at all? First of all, you need to figure out where the deleted iMessages stored.

By navigating to the ~/Library/Messages folder on your Mac, you will see the Archive folder, Attachments folder, and a file named 'chat.db'. The archive folder contains all your past messages that you have closed or saved, the Attachments folder contains the images, videos, audios, and other files that you have sent or received on your Mac via iMessage, and the file 'chat.db' is the database file where all of your messages are stored.

How to recover deleted iMessages on Mac

When you delete a conversation from iMessage on your Mac, the content of the chat.db file is changed but the file still exists on your computer. That's why you can't use data recovery software, which can only recover deleted files, not the deleted content of the file, to retrieve data. (Use EaseUS free data recovery software for Mac, and it will be quite helpful if you accidentally deleted the chat.db file on your Mac.)

Follow three simple steps to get back the deleted iMessage database with EaseUS data recovery software:

Step 1. Select the location where your important data & files were deleted and click the "Scan" button.

select the location where data was deleted and click scan

Step 2. The software will run both quick scan and deep scan and work hard to find as many deleted files as possible on the selected volume.

scan the selected disk to find deleted files on your Mac

Step 3. The scan results will be displayed in the left pane. Just select the file(s) and click the "Recover Now" button to get them back.

click recover now button to recover deleted files on your Mac

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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