[Can't-Miss] 4 Effortless Ways to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac


iMessage, a crucial part of Apple's messaging service, encompasses vital text, photos, and videos exchanged between users. Losing important iMessages due to inadvertent deletion can happen to anyone using a Mac. This includes critical communications with friends, family, or colleagues. To prevent data loss, it's essential to understand how to recover deleted iMessages on Mac efficiently. In this article, we will explore various methods to help you retrieve deleted messages on MacBook and ensure you don't lose valuable conversations.


Part 1. Where Are iMessage Stored on Mac?

To view old iMessages on Mac, it's essential to locate the storage location of iMessages. Whether you've deleted them or not, an archive file retains the message content. To explore or retrieve old iMessages on your Mac at no cost, a preliminary step involves inspecting the archive file. Here is how to view old iMessages on Mac:

Step 1. Open the iMessage application on your Mac and navigate to "Preferences". Ensure that the "Save history when conversations are closed" option is enabled under the "General" settings. This setting allows you to view previously deleted iMessages.

enable save history when conversations are closed

Step 2. Launch Finder, go to the menu bar, select "Go", then click "Go to the folder". Enter the path "~/Library/Messages" to locate old iMessages on your Mac.

how to view old imessages on mac

Step 3. Inside the folder, you'll find the Archive, Attachments, and a file named "chat.db". The Archive contains past messages, Attachments include photos and videos sent or received, while the "chat.db" file encompasses the complete history of all active conversations.

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Part 2. How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac

After learning where iMessage is stored on Mac, how can you recover deleted iMessages on Mac? We will introduce four ways in this part to help you resolve this problem. Keep reading to find the method.

Method 1. How to See Recently Deleted Messages on Mac via Recently Deleted Folder

Apple introduced the Recently Deleted folder in the Messages app, providing a safety net for deleted messages. If you removed your message in the past 30 days, it's likely residing in the Recently Deleted folder. Here is how to undo deleted text on Macboo using this feature:

Step 1. Access the "Messages" app on your Mac by navigating to "Finder" > "Applications".

Step 2. In the Apple menu bar, select "View" > "Recently Deleted".

access resently deleted feature on mac

Step 3. Locate the desired message in the left sidebar, then click "Recover". Confirm the action by clicking "Recover Message".

how to get old imessages back via resently deleted folder

Method 2. How to Restore Deleted iMessages on Mac from Time Machine Backup

If you regularly use Time Machine to back up your Mac, there's a good chance that your deleted iMessages are restorable. Here's how to recover deleted text messages on MacBook Air using Time Machine:

Step 1. Log out of all iMessage accounts and close the Messages application.

Step 2. Hold down the "Option" key and choose "Go" > "Library" from the Finder menu bar.

Step 3. Navigate to the Library section and access the Messages folder.

Step 4. In the messages folder, identify a file named "chat.db" with a date earlier than the deletion date of the desired files.

Step 5. Choose the identified file and initiate the "Restore" process.

how to recover deleted imessages on mac via time machine

Further Reading:

How to Recover Deleted iMessage on iPhone? [2024 Tips]

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Method 3. How to Get Old iMessages Back via iCloud

An alternative method to recover deleted iMessages on your Mac involves utilizing iCloud. However, it's important to note that this data recovery approach is effective only if you had previously activated Messages in iCloud and enabled the iCloud Backup feature before the messages were deleted from your iPhone or Mac. Here is how to find old messages on Mac via iCloud:

Step 1. Go to "Messages" > "Preferences" > "iMessage" >"Enable Messages in iCloud" to ensure Messages in iCloud is enabled.

enable messages in icloud

Step 2. Log out of iMessage on your Mac and close the application.

Step 3. Open the Finder on your computer. Navigate to the Finder menu and select "Go".

Step 4. Locate your library in the options provided. Identify the [messages] file within an iCloud backup.

Step 5. Access the contents of this messages folder. Opt for the "Restore" option to recover your messages.

Alternatively, if you prefer an online approach using iCloud, you can log in to your iCloud account and initiate the message restoration process.

Method 4. How to Retrieve Old iMessages on Mac from Other iOS Devices

If you've deleted a crucial message from the Messages app on your Mac computer recently, there's a chance that other devices linked to your Apple ID, which are synchronized, may not have registered this alteration. In such a case, you might still locate the message on those devices.

Since time is crucial in this situation, the best option is to locate the necessary message on your device and then duplicate or store it locally or in an alternative location. Subsequently, you can re-upload it to your Mac.

Note: It's crucial to emphasize that once you become aware of accidentally deleting a message on your Mac, promptly disable Wi-Fi and mobile data on your iPhone or iPad.

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Bonus. How to Recover Deleted Messages on iPhone/iPad

Coolmuster iPhone Data Recovery is a software designed to recover lost or deleted data from iPhones/iPads. This user-friendly program enables users to retrieve various types of files, including contacts, messages, photos, videos, and more. With Coolmuster iPhone Data Recovery, users can conveniently restore their valuable data without the need for technical expertise, providing a seamless and reliable data recovery experience for iPhone users.

Key Features:

  • Recover deleted messages from iPhone/iPad without backup.
  • Offer three modes of recovery – recover from iOS device, recover from iTunes backup, and recover from iCloud backup.
  • Preview both current and deleted data and select the files you wish to recover or back up.
  • Efficient iOS data recovery, ensuring data integrity and maintaining the original file format and quality.
  • Compatible with all iPhone, iPad, and iPod generations, including iOS 17.

Here is how to use Coolmuster iPhone Data Recovery to recover your messages:

01Download and install the software on your computer. Then, initiate it from your desktop and select the "iOS Recovery" module.

02Connect your iOS device to the computer using a USB cable. Once connected, the interface will be displayed as shown below. Choose the desired data types on the interface, and then click "Start Scan" to proceed.

scan the file you want to recover

03Once the program completes scanning the chosen data types, you can preview comprehensive details on the interface, encompassing both deleted and existing files. Navigate to "Messages" in the left panel and choose specific items on the right side. After selecting the desired data for recovery, click on the "Recover to Computer" icon. This action allows you to retrieve deleted data from the iPhone to the computer and transfer existing files to the computer.

recover deleted messages from iphone

Final Words

Accidentally deleting iMessages on your Mac can be a stressful experience, but with the mentioned methods above, you can recover deleted iMessages on Mac with ease. In addition, we also introduced an iPhone data recovery software - Coolmuster iPhone Data Recovery, to assist you in recovering deleted data on your iPhone/iPad. It supports various data types, and with just one click, you can recover deleted data from your iPhone to your computer. If you encounter similar issues, you might want to give it a try.

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