How to Recover Deleted Pictures From iPhone Text Messages

Kelly Heffner Wilkerson, Co-Founder of Decipher Media
Kelly Heffner Wilkerson
(Updated: )
Categories: Data Recovery | View Comments

Author's update 二月 13, 2017: This deleted text message photo recovery post relies on the old buggy attachment deletion that was fixed in iOS 8 and later. You may still have very old attachments lurking on your iPhone if you setup your iPhone from iTunes or iCloud backup since the iOS 7 and earlier days. We have a new article about previewing and saving all of the Messages app photos and videos, which also talks about looking for old lurking deleted Messages app photos, if you want to take a look.

Accidentally deleting text messages can be devastating, especially if you have photos or videos in those messages that you treasure. Thankfully, deleting photos and video text-message attachments doesn't always work correctly on the iPhone1 (or iPad & iPod Touch,) and sometimes we can get those images back.

Back in 2014, I wrote an article about why photos, videos, and other attachments in text messages might be recoverable. This post builds on that article to discuss how to use Decipher TextMessage to recover those deleted photos.

Decipher TextMessage is going to look through your iPhone backups, to find text-message attachments that haven't been fully deleted from your phone.

步骤0:请勿触摸手机!

Before we do anything with your phone, we're going to search your computer (automatically) for any existing iTunes backups. Even if you don't think you've backed up recently, iTunes occasionally runs a backup when you sync your phone, so it's worth a look. If the photos you erased are sitting not-erased in a backup already, our job gets significantly easier!

步骤1:下载并运行免费试用版 Decipher TextMessage

Download the free trial of Decipher TextMessage from https://deciphertools.com/download-decipher-textmessage.html, install it, and run it once. As Decipher TextMessage starts up, it will scan your iTunes backup directory automatically and look for any backups you already have on your computer.

In the main program window, you'll see all of your iOS devices2. Click on the device you're interested in if it is there2 and click on the contacts for which you want to view photos you've sent via text message. If the messages were not deleted when this backup was taken, then you'll see the photos here!

(If you don't see your phone listed here at all, we'll be adding it to the program in steps 2 and 3.)

(如果消息已在上次备份时被删除,请不要担心,我们会在步骤3中查找它们。)

Browse your iPhone text messages in the main Decipher TextMessage window.

主要快速浏览一下 Decipher TextMessage 窗口中查看您删除的邮件是否位于较旧的备份中。

步骤2:在iPhone中进行新的备份 iTunes的

Decipher TextMessage gets its data from your iPhone backups, so we need to make a new backup to get the latest data from your iPhone. To make a new iPhone backup, do the following:

  • Plug your iPhone into your computer using the USB cable3.

  • 打开 iTunes的 在你的电脑。

  • In iTunes, select your iPhone from the list of devices. Your devices will appear either on the left side of the window, or in the upper-right corner as a button like in the following screenshots:


iTunes with the iPhones listed on the left side of the window.


iTunes with the iPhones listed in a button in the upper-right corner of the window.

(If this is your first time using this phone with iTunes, you may be asked to "trust" or "authorize" this computer. If so, unlock your phone from the home screen and press the "trust" button on the dialog that appears on the phone.)

(如果这是您第一次使用此手机 iTunes的 ,您可能会看到一个很大的欢迎屏幕,询问您是要将手机设置为新手机还是从备份恢复。您应该选择将其设置为新设备。可怕的选择听起来,这不会擦你的手机,它只是增加了iPhone iTunes 。如果你有疑问, 请随时与我们联系,我们将为您提供指导 !)

  • Once you've selected your iPhone, the summary screen will appear in iTunes. In the Backups section, uncheck the "Encrypt iPhone Backup" option if it's checked and press the "Back Up Now" button.

  • 耐心等待备份完成,如果自上次备份以来已经过去了一段时间,这可能会持续几分钟。您可以在顶部查看备份的进度 iTunes的 窗口。

Step 3: Use the NEW Attachment Recovery Feature of Decipher TextMessage

Close Decipher TextMessage if it's still open from step 1, and reopen it. After the new backup is imported into the program and the main window appears, select your iPhone from the list of devices on the left side of the window2 and then press the Recover button. In the drop-down menu that appears, select to "Recover Deleted Attachments."

Press the recover button in Decipher TextMessage to view your erased text messages.
Use the recover button in Decipher TextMessage to search for deleted text messages.

A new window will open with the results of our search for deleted text attachments. This results page is brand new, so we hope you'll contact us if you have questions or see issues!

The deleted text-message attachment recovery screen in Decipher TextMessage.The deleted attachment recovery screen in Decipher TextMessage.

We hope this guide helps you find the important deleted photos! If you have questions, please leave a comment below, or contact us directly. We know your text-message communications are important, and we're happy to help as best we can!


  1. From here on out, I'm going to just refer to all devices as iPhones for brevity. All of these techniques work equally well for iPads and iPod Touches, and for SMS, MMS, and iMessages messages alike. 

  2. If the phone you're recovering from has ALL of the messages erased, click the Preferences button in the top bar and uncheck the option "Hide Empty Devices." 

  3. You can also take backups wirelessly if you're unable to plug the phone into the computer often. You can read about how to set up wireless syncing (and backing up) in one of my previous articles