Important iPhone iMessage conversation disappeared

  Sunsetmoon 10:25 08 Oct 2019

Hi, a whole conversation of iMessages on my iPhone between me and my wife that goes back 5+ years has disappeared. I really need these back and I can't believe that they have just disappeared so easily without knowing. They could have been accidentally deleted, but this would have been without intending to.

I've just been speaking to Apple Support and also read this webpage: click here, from the webpage above what must have happened is when Apple updated iOS sometime, my iMessages have not been included in my iPhone backups, but rather have only been syncing with iCloud (the 'message' option in iCloud settings on my phone was toggled to 'on'). Once deleted from one device they are deleted from all and there's no obvious way to retrieve them.

Having said that, looking at my iCloud storage via my phone settings, 5.7gb of data is allocated to iMessages and only 5.11gb of messages are on my phone storage.

Can anyone provide any help?

We message all the time and I remember on Friday that they seemed to be there and everything was ok. On Sunday, there was on trace of any conversation with her in my messages. I had to start a new thread.

Since then, I have restored from iCloud backups (I don't have any iTunes backups) at two points last week when I know the messages were there, but they still have not come back. All other conversations with other contacts are fine.

Incidentally, I've not used my ipad for a few months and have changed wifi so luckily my iPad still has some of these iMessages for now. I now don't know how to continue using my iPad with wifi to keep these messages in tact - as soon as I connect to wifi, what will happen to these? The iCloud menu on my iPad doesn't include an option for 'messages', unlike that of my iPhone, and in the link above.

Can anyone help so that I can still back up my iPad but keep all my iMessages on there? What I don't want to happen is to connect it to wifi and it syncs with my iPhone and deletes all my messages.



  bremner 17:49 09 Oct 2019

I am confused when you say the iPad doesn’t include an option for messages as it has been standard on iOS for years. What versions of iOS do you have on each device

  Sunsetmoon 18:26 09 Oct 2019

Sorry, what I mean is that on iOS on my iPad which is the older version 10.3.3. The following iCloud setting for the Messages app is not available: Settings>[your name]>iCloud - there is no separate menu item called Messages, unlike on the newer iOS versions.

Apparently when this Messages setting is enabled it means that iMessages are only synced with the iCloud and NOT included as part of iCloud backups. So if any messages get accidentally deleted then there is no way of restoring them from iCloud backups.

I have learnt my lesson now. I am disabling this setting. I am also going to do intermittent iTunes backups.

I trusted that I had these backed up safely but the when iOS changed to version 11/12 it must have enabled this setting to sync to the iCloud and not include in the backups.

I had lost all the messages from 6+ years apart from those that are on my iPad. I need to somehow dare to link to Wi-fi to see if they will sync with my iCloud and iPhone. But it’s an iOS 10 before the sync setting existed so who knows?

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