[7 Ways] Fix iPhone Text Messages Disappear from Inbox

What should you do when text messages disappear from inbox on iPhone? This article provides you with 7 ways to solve the problem. You can also back up your messages or free up iPhone with FoneTool efficiently.

Kathy by Kathy Updated March 6, 2024
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Text messages from one person disappeared iPhone 15.

Please help me recover my text messages that disappeared completely tonight.

- Question from Apple Community

Why do iPhone text messages disappear from inbox?

Sometimes the text messages on your iPhone may disappear from the inbox after an iOS software update or after a restart, or they just disappear from iPhone suddenly. Why do these situations occur? Some common causes include:

⛔ You or someone else have deleted messages intentionally or accidentally.
⛔ Your messages are set to auto-delete after a certain period.
⛔ Your iPhone is running out of storage space, it might delete older messages to free up room.
⛔ Some syncing issues with iCloud or other email accounts.
⛔ Software bugs or glitches can lead to messages disappearing.
⛔ If you have applied any message filters or rules that could move messages to other folders.
⛔ The messaging app crashes.

How to fix iPhone text messages disappear from inbox

You can follow these 7 ways to fix the issue, trying them one by one to find the most effective solution. If the problem is due to insufficient space on your iPhone, you can proceed to the next section to free up storage using FoneTool.

Method 1. Restart the iPhone

Restarting the iPhone can sometimes solve issues caused by software glitches or app bugs.

For iPhone X or later: Press and hold either volume button and the side button simultaneously until the power-off slider appears > Drag the power-off slider to the right to turn off your device > After a while, press and hold the side button (on the right side of your iPhone) until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.

restart iPhone

For iPhone 6/7/8 or SE(2nd or 3rd generation): Press and hold the side button until the power-off slider appears on the screen > Drag the slider to the right to power off your iPhone > After that, press and hold the side button again until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone SE (1st generation), 5, or earlier: Press and hold the top button > When the power-off slider appears, drag the slider to turn off the device > 30 seconds later, press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo to turn on the iPhone.

Method 2. Turn on and off Airplane Mode

When you find some new text messages have disappeared from iPhone, you can try to enable Airplane Mode to fix it. And your iPhone will disconnect from Wi-Fi networks, cellular networks, Bluetooth connections, and GPS services.

You can go to the Control Center and tap the Airplane Mode icon which looks like an airplane shape to turn on it. Or launch Settings app on iPhone > Choose Airplane Mode > Tap the option to turn it on.

enable airplane mode

After a while, you can return to the same settings to turn it off, and your text messages may reappear in your inbox.

Method 3. Reset all settings

To address the issue, you can attempt a reset of all settings on your device. Open the Settings app on your iPhone > Select General > Tap on Reset > Choose Reset All Settings > If prompted, enter your iPhone's passcode and confirm your choice to reset all settings.

reset all settings

Note: This process will not erase any of your data but will reset all system settings to their default configurations.

Method 4. Disable iMessage

If there's an issue with iMessage, go to Settings > Messages > Toggle iMessage off, then back on, to check if the messages reappear.

Method 5. Check iCloud Message Sync

If SMS messages are disappearing due to iCloud sync issues, you can try solving the issue by turning off iCloud sync for Messages and then turning it back on. (Go to Settings > iCloud > Messages.)

Method 6. Restore messages from iCloud backup

Some messages may be deleted from iPhone but not iCloud, then you can also restore them using the iCloud backup.

Step 1. Go to Settings > iCloud > Click Manage Storage > Tap on Backups and look for a backup from the list that matches your device and was created before your text messages disappeared. Make a note of the specific backup.

Step 2. Return to Settings > General > Choose Transfer or Reset iPhone > Choose Erase All Content and Settings. This will take a few minutes.

Step 3. Once your iPhone is reset, go through the setup process again. During the setup, when prompted to Restore from iCloud Backup, make sure to select the correct backup that contains your vanished messages.

restore icloud backup

When you switch to a new phone, if you don't know how to download messages from iCloud to new iPhone, this way also works.

Method 7. Restore messages from iTunes backup

You can also recover your messages from an iTunes backup by following these steps:

Step 1. Ensure that you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer > Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable > Open iTunes, and in the top left corner, click on the device icon.

Step 2. Tick This computer, on the right side, you’ll see whether your iPhone has been backed up or not. Then you'll see information about your iPhone's backups.

enlightenedIf it says "Your iPhone has never been backed up to this computer" and the Restore Backup option is greyed out, this method won't work for you. However, you can click Back Up Now to create a new full backup of your current data to prevent further data loss.

enlightenedIf there's a relevant backup available, select it, and click the Restore Backup button to choose it. Then you need to click Restore button to confirm your choice. This will also replace the current data on your iPhone with the data from the backup like iCloud.

restore from itunes backup

How to avoid iPhone text messages disappear from inbox

If your messages were cleared due to insufficient phone memory, you might need third-party software to recover your messages. Before attempting recovery, it's best to free up phone memory, and FoneTool can be a helpful tool for this.

If you have successfully retrieved your messages or need to back up current messages, FoneTool can also assist you in selectively backing up text messages to your computer.

Free up iPhone storage

As a professional iPhone data erase app, FoneTool can help you erase private data or even factory reset your device. With the deep erase technology, you can permanently delete the data, and it can’t be recovered anymore.

You can follow the steps below to erase your data. Here we take erasing photos as an example.

Note: This feature will remove all photos on your iPhone, so if you need to keep some important photos on your iPhone, you can use FoneTool to selectively back up the photos first. (Phone Backup > Selective Backup.)

Step 1. Free download FoneTool to your PC by clicking the icon below > Launch FoneTool > Connect your iPhone to the computer with a reliable USB cable.

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Step 2. Navigate to Toolbox > Click Erase private data > Hit Get Started.

erase private data

Step 3. Check Photos. And if you want to completely delete then, check Enable Deep Erase Technology, then click Start Erase.

erase photos

If there are too many similar photos on your iPhone, you can also use FoneTool to remove duplicate photos. (Go to Toolbox > Choose Photo Deduplication.)

erase similar photos

Back up text messages on iPhone

If the messages have already reappeared on your iPhone, or you want to selectively back up iPhone to avoid data loss in the future, FoneTool can also help you a lot.

This all-in-one iPhone data management tool can help you selectively back up messages, contacts, photos, videos and music to PC or another iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch without any Apple ID limitation.

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Step 1. Click Phone Backup > Selective Backup > Click the Get Started button.

selective backup

Step 2. Double-click the Messages icon to deselect specific messages you don’t wish to back up > Click OK to return to the main page.

select messages

Step 3. Click Backup Storage Path to choose a location on your PC > Click Start Backup to begin.

back up messages


Hope this full guide can solve your problem when your iPhone text messages disappear from inbox. If there is not enough space on your iPhone or you need to selectively back up text messages, you can use FoneTool to accomplish the action.

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