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Step by Step Guide on How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac 2024

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Apple offers iMessage, a complimentary instant messaging service. In addition to text, iMessage facilitates the unlimited sharing of pictures, videos, and contacts with fellow Apple users worldwide, at no cost.

Have you ever mistakenly deleted iMessages? Wondering how to retrieve these precious messages, laden with unforgettable memories? Remain composed if you accidentally erase iMessage texts on your MacBook, iMac, or Mini. Delve into the four effective solutions below to recover deleted iMessages on a MacBook.


iMessage, a free instant messaging service from Apple, enables users to exchange not only text messages but also unlimited pictures, videos, contacts, and more with other Apple users worldwide, free of charge. Accidentally deleted iMessages can be distressing, especially when they contain cherished memories.

However, there’s no need to panic if you’ve mistakenly deleted iMessage text messages on your MacBook, iMac, or Mac Mini. Learn how to recover deleted iMessages on MacBook using the four effective solutions outlined below.

How to Find iMessages on Mac via Message Archives

To locate iMessages on your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Locate Message Archives: Begin by navigating to the ~/Library/Messages folder on your Mac. Here, you’ll find the Archive folder, Attachments folder, and a file named ‘chat.db’.
  • The Archive folder stores all your past messages that you have closed or saved.
  • The Attachments folder contains images, videos, audio, and other files sent or received via iMessage on your Mac.
  • The ‘chat.db’ file is the database file where all your messages are stored.
Deleted iMessages on Mac
  1. Enable Message History: Open the iMessage application and click on “Preferences”. Ensure that you’ve enabled the option “Save history when conversations are closed” in the General settings.
  2. Navigate to Message Folder: Launch Finder, click on “Go” in the menu bar, and select “Go to Folder”. Type in ~/Library/Messages to access old iMessages on your Mac.
Deleted iMessages on Mac

By following these steps, you can easily locate and access all your iMessages on your Mac, including deleted ones.

Is It Possible to Recover/Find Deleted iMessages on Mac

Wondering if it’s possible to bring back a deleted iMessage on your Mac? To some extent, yes. Apple offers Time Machine, a comprehensive backup solution for macOS operating systems, available in versions like macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, and others.

As long as you have Time Machine backup enabled, you can effortlessly recover everything from its backup, including deleted iMessages. Additionally, iCloud backup, another data sync solution, proves helpful in retrieving lost data across platforms. But what if you don’t have a backup handy? In that case, consider using iMessage data recovery software as a last resort to recover deleted messages without a backup.

Next, we’ll guide you through each method on how to recover deleted iMessages on Mac.

How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac Using Software

Wondering if you can retrieve a deleted iMessage when there’s no backup? Despite deleting a conversation from iMessage on your Mac, the chat.db file’s content is altered, but the file remains on your computer. This allows data recovery software to recover deleted files effectively. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is one such tool capable of recovering deleted files on macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, and more. It proves particularly helpful if you accidentally delete the chat.db file on your Mac.

Follow this detailed guide to retrieve the deleted iMessage database with EaseUS data recovery software:

Note: Before proceeding, consider creating a backup of your Mac by clicking “Disk Backup” on the left. This way, the software will recover deleted files from the backup image, reducing the risk of further disk and data damage and ensuring a safer and more reliable recovery process.

  1. Select Location and Scan
  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac and choose the disk where you lost data.
  • Click “Search for lost files” to initiate the scanning process.
  1. Filter and Preview Lost Files
  • After the scan, use the file format filter on the left or upper right corner to locate the deleted files you need.
  1. Recover Lost Data or Files
  • Double-click a file to preview its content or select multiple files for simultaneous recovery.
  • Click “Recover” to restore the lost data to a local or cloud drive.

How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac Using iPhone or iPad

To recover deleted iMessages on your Mac using your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps. Since Mac users often use Apple iPhone or iPad concurrently, there’s a higher likelihood of recovering deleted iMessages. This is because both macOS and iOS systems are linked to the same Apple ID, meaning sent and received messages are synced across all devices. If you accidentally lose important messages on your Mac, you can attempt to retrieve them on your iPhone.

How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac Using Time Machine

If you regularly back up your Mac data with Time Machine, you can easily recover deleted messages by following these steps:

  1. Sign Out and Quit Messages: Begin by signing out of all iMessage accounts and quitting the Messages application.
  2. Access the Library Folder: Press and hold the Option key, then select “Go > Library” from the Finder menu bar.
  3. Locate the Messages Folder: In the Library section, navigate to the Messages folder.
  4. Identify the Chat Database File: Within the Messages folder, look for a file named “chat.db” with a date preceding the deletion date of the messages you want to recover.
  5. Restore the File: Select the identified file and click “Restore” to retrieve it from the Time Machine backup.

Note: Keep in mind that this method restores the entire iMessage database, replacing the current database with an earlier version.

How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac Using iCloud

If you prefer using iCloud to recover deleted messages on your Mac, follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign Out and Quit iMessage: Begin by signing out of iMessage on your Mac and quitting the app.
  2. Open Finder and Access Library: Launch Finder and select “Go” from the menu bar. Then, locate and access your library.
  3. Find iCloud Backup: Look for a file named “[messages]” from an iCloud backup.
  4. Open Messages Folder: Navigate to the messages folder within iCloud backup.
  5. Click “Restore”: Select the desired messages and click “Restore” to recover them.

Alternatively, if you prefer using iCloud online, you can log in to your iCloud account and restore your messages from there.

Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions to provide additional help for Mac data recovery:

1. How to recover deleted messages on iPhone?

To recover deleted messages on iPhone:

  • Connect your iPhone to your PC and launch EaseUS MobiSaver.
  • Click “Recover from iOS Device” on the left, and then click “Start.”
  • EaseUS MobiSaver will automatically scan your iPhone and find lost messages and message attachments.
  • Select the messages and attachments you want to recover, then click “Recover to PC” or “Recover to Device” to decide where to restore them.

2. Can you get iMessage back once deleted?

Yes, you can restore deleted text messages on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac by restoring them with an iCloud backup.

3. How to set up iMessage on iPhone?

To enable iMessage on iPhone 8:

  • Go to the Settings app on your new iPhone.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Messages.”
  • Slide iMessage to On and wait for it to activate.

4. How do I see old iMessages on my Mac?

To see deleted iMessages on Mac:

  • Navigate to Finder > Go Menu.
  • Type in “~/Library” and press the Go button.
  • In the Library folder, choose the Messages Folder.

5. Can I recover iMessages without a backup?

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a backup of your iMessages, it’s challenging to recover them. However, you can try using third-party data recovery software, but success is not guaranteed.

6. Does iCloud save deleted messages?

Yes, iCloud saves deleted messages if you have enabled iCloud Backup on your device. You can restore these messages from an iCloud backup.

These steps should assist you in recovering deleted iMessages and setting up iMessage on your devices.


In conclusion, recovering deleted iMessages on your Mac is indeed possible, even without a backup, thanks to advanced data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. Despite deleting conversations, the chat.db file containing the messages remains on your computer, allowing such software to effectively retrieve deleted files.

However, it’s always recommended to maintain regular backups of your Mac using tools like Time Machine or iCloud to prevent data loss and ensure a smoother recovery process. By following the detailed guides provided in this article, you can confidently recover deleted iMessages on your Mac and avoid the loss of cherished memories.

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Christian Maximilian
Christian Maximilian

I am a Software Engineer, technical writer, and overall tech enthusiast. For me, utilizing my skills as a Software Engineer to perform Technical Search Engine Optimization is not just a job, but something I gladly incorporate into my pastimes as well, and I have been doing this for over 3 years.

When I'm not coding or writing technical documentation, I enjoy listening to music and exploring new genres.

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