5 Ways to Fix iPhone Messages Lost After iOS 16/17 Update

How can you get back the lost text messages on iPhone after update? 4 effective ways in this guide can be a nice try. You can also try the third-party app in this guide to find and backup lost messages and restore to iPhone.


By Demi / Updated on February 5, 2024

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Lost messages after updating new iOS

Hi, I lost my messages after updating iOS. How can they be restored?

- Question from Apple Community

To releasing new functions and optimizing its services, Apple asks you to update the iOS from time to time. The latest iOS brings better an experience, however, brings some troubles at the same time. For example, you may find iPhone messages lost after updating to iOS 16/17. To get rid of this issue, this guide provides you with 5 effective ways.

iPhone Messages Icon

Part 1. 4 Ways to fix iPhone messages lost after iOS 16/17 update

To get back lost text messages on iPhone after updating iOS, you can follow the detailed steps below.

2 quick tricks to fix iPhone messages disappeared after iOS update

The two quick tricks can be helpful sometimes when iPhone text messages disappeared after updating the iOS. You can try them one after another to see if your issue can be solved.

Switch off/on iMessage
If you find you lost text messages on iPhone, but they still take up space, you can try to refresh the iMessage app by switching it off and on in Settings.

On your iPhone, go to Settings app > Tap Messages > Switch off and on again the iMessage.

Enable iMessage Settings

Force restart iPhone
Chances are that your iPhone is slow after iOS update, which you may think that messages are deleted after iOS update. You can try to force restart iPhone to get your lost messages back.

You may need to follow specific steps to force restart iPhone, since the steps differ from the type of iPhone you’re using.

iPhone 8 or later: Press the Volume + button and release it quickly. Press the Volume - button and release it quickly. Press the Power button and release it when you see the Apple logo.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Press both the Power button and Volume - button for seconds until the Apple logo appears.
iPhone 6s or earlier: Press both the Power button and the Home button for seconds, release it until the Apple logo appears.

Hard Reset iPhone

After restarting iPhone, you can head to the Messages app to check if your messages are restored.

Restore lost messages from backup

If the two tricks above don’t work, hopefully, you can restore them from backup. The following instructions elaborate on you details to restore from iCloud and iTunes backup. You can also go to Part 2 to backup and restore iPhone messages via a third-party tool.

Restore disappeared messages from iCloud sync
If you have backed up iPhone Messages with iCloud, it’s an easy way to restore your deleted messages without losing any data.

Step 1. On your iPhone > Go to Settings app > [your name] > iCloud > Toggle off Messages.

iCloud Messages

Step 2. When a prompt window appears, choose Keep On My iPhone > Toggle Messages on again > Select Merge.

Now, wait for a few minutes before checking whether the disappeared messages reappear on your iPhone.

Retrieve lost messages from iTunes backup
If you used to back up iPhone with iTunes, you can choose to restore iTunes backup. However, you may need to know what iTunes backup includes because iTunes can just full backup your iPhone, which means when you try to restore iTunes backup, you can only restore all data and erase all current data on your iPhone at the same time.

Step 1. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on your computer > Connect your iPhone to computer.

Step 2. Click the Device tab > Click Restore Backup to choose the most relevant one.

Step 3. Click Restore and wait for the restore time to finish.

Restore Backup

When the task is finished, you iPhone will restart, then disconnect it to computer.

Part 2. Suggested: Find lost messages by backing up iPhone to computer

Chances are that messages still exist on your iPhone, but cannot be visible currently, so that you may think that iPhone messages were lost after iOS 16/17/14 update. You can try the professional backup software - FoneTool to scan and backup selective messages to computer and restore them to your iPhone later.

What you can benefit from FoneTool
✓ Simple interface and operation. With a few clicks, you can finish backing up iPhone to computer. You can master FoneTool in a short time.
✓ Selective backup process. You’re able to preview and select the wanted files to backup them to computer.
✓ Wide compatibility. FoneTool supports iPhones from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 14 series, iPad, and iPod. It can also work well with different versions of iOS, like iOS 16/17.

Now, free download FoneTool by clicking the icon below, and follow the tutorials to backup iPhone messages to computer.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect iPhone to computer with USB > Launch FoneTool and choose Phone Backup on its homepage > Locate Selective Backup and click Get Started.

Custom Backup

Step 2. Uncheck other icons, and only keep Messages icon clicked.

backup Messages

Step 3. Double click the Messages icon to find lost messages and select them > Click OK to confirm.

Select Messages

Step 4. Choose a storage path to save the backup file > Click Start Backup to start the task.

Change Path

When the task is finished, you can go to Backup History screen to browse, restore, and delete the backup files with no effort.

Restore To Device

As you can see from the pictures above, you’re also able to backup photos, music, videos, and contacts to PC. Besides, FoneTool also enables you to transfer music, as well as photos, videos, contacts, etc. among iOS devices and Windows PC, try to discover more by yourself.


That’s all for iPhone messages lost after iOS 16/17/14 update. Hope this guide can help you out. Besides, it is highly suggested you backup iPhone to PC regularly with a more powerful tool - FoneTool.

For more queries, suggestions, or feedback, please feel free to contact us.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.