Have you mistakenly deleted a message or an entire conversation from the Messages app on your Mac? Don’t worry just yet; we’ve all been there. The good news is that there are a few effective data recovery methods that can help you recover deleted iMessages on Mac.
Read on to learn about how to manually find the messages database on your computer and get a step closer to restoring the needed messages.
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Mac’s Messages App Explained
Messages is a built-in app that comes with every Mac. To use it, all you need to do is sign in with your Apple ID. This allows you to access the history of all your iMessages and keep track of them in real time from any connected Apple device.
When synced, you’ll be able to open and send new messages from your Mac and they’ll automatically come up on your iPhone or iPad.
Where Are iMessages Stored on Mac?
So where should you look for your messages on Mac? The first place that you should check is, of course, the Messages app. You can find it by going to Launchpad and typing in Messages in the search bar at the top.
How to Find Deleted iMessages on a Mac
Just to be clear — no, you can’t access the deleted iMessages from the Trash folder on your Mac. That would be nice if it was possible, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way with messages.
If you noticed that some or all of the messages disappeared from the Messages app, you can use finder to get the deleted iMessages.
Follow these steps to access the iMessage archive on your Mac and check whether they are still physically present on the drive:
If you’ve noticed that your older messages started to disappear, it’s best to check your Message settings. It’s possible that you chose to keep your messages only for 30 days (if that’s the case, then they will automatically get removed after that time has passed).
To check your message settings, open the Messages app and click Messages > Preferences from the top menu. You’ll see the selected option near Keep messages. To change it, click the arrows for a drop-down menu to appear and click Forever.
3 Methods to Recover Deleted iMessages on a Mac
No luck finding the deleted messages on your Mac? Don’t lose hope just yet. There are a few data recovery methods that may help you restore the accidentally deleted iMessage conversation.
Use Data Recovery Software
Using data recovery software is the quickest and easiest way to restore iMessages on Mac. For this job, we’ve tested the Disk Drill app and it has performed the task successfully.
Follow these steps to retrieve deleted iMessages from your Mac using Disk Drill:
Check Your Other iOS Devices
If you’ve recently deleted an important message from the Messages app on your computer, it’s possible that the other devices that use your Apple ID and are synced haven’t noticed this change just yet, and you’ll be able to still find it there.
Since time is of the essence in such a situation, the best option for you would be to locate the needed message on your device and simply copy and paste it into Notes (or any other word app), send it to someone, or take a screenshot.
Use a Time Machine Backup
Time Machine is a built-in app that comes with every Mac and was designed specifically for backing up data. If you’ve been using it and have configured this tool to make regular backups of your Mac, you should be able to quickly find the needed backup version and restore deleted iMessages on your Mac.
This data recovery method is especially effective in case you wish to recover old iMessages on a MacBook.
Follow these steps to recover deleted text messages on Mac via Time Machine:
- On your iPhone, head to Settings > General.
- Scroll down and tap Reset.
- Choose Erase All Content and Settings.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your phone. When you see the Apps & Data screen, tap Restore from iCloud Backup.
- Log into your iCloud account and choose the backup containing your missing messages.