Fixed! iPhone Text Messages not in Chronological Order

iPhone text messages not in chronological order? You may need this guide to figure it out and get effective solutions to make your iPhone text messages in order.

Demi by Demi Updated August 8, 2023
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The messaging app on our iPhones is an essential tool for staying connected with friends, family, and colleagues. However, there are instances when the order of text messages gets mixed up, making it confusing to follow conversations. If you're facing the issue of iPhone text messages not in chronological order, don't worry – you're not alone.


In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind this problem and provide you with effective solutions to bring your text messages back in the right sequence.

Why are my text messages not in order?

Before diving into the solutions, let's understand why your iPhone text messages might not be arranged in chronological order:
⛔ Timezone Confusion: If you've traveled to a different timezone, your iPhone might not adjust the timestamps of your messages correctly.
⛔ Software Glitches: Temporary software glitches or bugs in the messaging app can lead to messages being displayed out of order.
⛔ iOS Update Issues: A recent iOS update might introduce compatibility problems that affect the chronological order of messages.
⛔ Network Delays: Sometimes, messages might be delayed in reaching your device due to network issues, causing them to appear out of sequence.
⛔ Incorrect Date and Time Settings: If your iPhone's date and time settings are incorrect, it can lead to messages being displayed in the wrong order.

Fixes to iPhone text messages not in chronological order

Now, let's explore effective solutions to address the issue of text messages not being displayed in the correct chronological order. Try the following solutions one after another until you get out of the issue - iPhone messages not in chronological order.

>> Due to the potential risk of text messages disappearing during troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue on an iPhone, as reported by some users, it's strongly advised to backup your iPhone messages with the tool introduced in the next part.

1# Check Date and Time Settings

It looks like iPhone text messages not in chronological order, results from that Apple isn’t strictly using a server-based timestamp. In this case, you can check your iPhone date and time settings to fix the issue.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone > Go to General > Date & Time > Ensure that Set Automatically is enabled to allow your iPhone to set the correct time based on your location.

Date & Time

2# Force quit and reopen Messages app

Your Messages app may be unresponsive or malfunctioning, which can lead to text messages not in order on iPhone. You can try to force quitting the Messages app on your iPhone, which is a regular action you can take to refresh the app and maintain the app functionality again.

quit apps

3# Force restart your iPhone

If force quit Messages app doesn’t work, you can also try force restarting your iPhone. It helps resolve more serious issues and refresh all services. To force your iPhone, follow the process below.

iPhone 8 and later with Face ID: Press and quickly release the Volume + button > Perform the same operation on the Volume - button > Press the Side button and release when you see the Apple logo.
iPhone 7/7 Plus: Press and hold both the Volume button and the Power button > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.
iPhone 6s or earlier: Press both the Power button and the Home button for seconds > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

hard reset iPhone

Check if the messages are now properly ordered.

4# Update iOS

Issues with message chronological order may have something to do with the software glitches, especially if you are using an out-dated operating system. To fix the issue, simply head to the Settings app to check for updates.

Go to the Settings app on your iPhone > General Software Update. If there is a new iOS version, download and install it.

ios software update

5# Contact Apple Support

If none of the above fixes work, it's possible that a more complex issue might be causing the problem. In such cases, contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store for professional assistance is recommended.

Bonus: Selective backup iPhone messages

Before you embark on troubleshooting the iPhone text messages not in chronological order issue, it's wise to perform a backup of your messages. This precaution ensures that your valuable conversations remain safe and retrievable, even if unforeseen issues arise during the troubleshooting process.

FoneTool simplifies the process of selectively backing up your iPhone messages. With this tool, the messages can be restored to any iDevice and will not erase any existing data on the target device.

The followings will show you how to use this powerful tool to backup iPhone messages selectively.

How to backup iPhone messages
Step 1. Download, install and launch FoneTool > Plug in the iPhone to computer > Enter passcode on iPhone to let your computer access iPhone data.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 2. Click Phone Backup from the left pane of FoneTool > Choose Selective Backup and click Get Started.

choose selective backup

Step 2. Check Messages and uncheck the other icons > Select the messages you want to transfer and click OK to confirm.

select messages

Step 3. Choose a place to save your messages > Click Start Backup to make it.

start backup messages


That’s all for the solutions for iPhone text messages not in chronological order. With these insights and solutions at your disposal, hope you can once again enjoy seamless and organized text message conversations on your iPhone. If this guide helps you, share it with others.

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