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How to Recover Deleted Messages on a Mac

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You no longer have to restore your Mac from a backup to retrieve the messages you accidentally deleted.

Did you accidentally delete a message in the Messages app on your Mac? We’ve all been there at some point, but don’t worry—you can get it back.

As long as your macOS is up to date and you’re quick enough, you can recover the message threads you accidentally deleted. Here, we’ll show you how to recover deleted messages on a Mac.

Before You Start

The Messages app for Mac lets you restore both regular SMS messages, iMessage texts, and attachments. But before you start retrieving deleted messages on a Mac, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the following limitations:

  • You can only recover deleted messages if your Mac runs macOS Ventura or later.
  • You have only thirty days to restore deleted messages.
  • You can’t restore individual messages from a conversation; you can only restore the whole message thread.

How to Restore Deleted Messages on a Mac

To restore deleted messages on your Mac, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Open the Messages app on Mac.
  2. Select View > Recently Deleted from the macOS menu bar. Or, press Control + Command + 5. That should bring up a list of conversation threads and the number of deleted messages in the sidebar; you can’t view the deleted messages.
  3. Select the conversation thread you want to restore and choose Recover.
  4. Repeat the steps for any other conversations you want to restore. To restore multiple threads simultaneously, hold down Command while clicking on them.
  5. Select the Back icon on the top left of the Messages window to return to your main messages list.

If you use Messages in iCloud, any messages you restore will also appear on other Apple devices you own, like the iPhone and iPad.

Message Recovery Made Easy

So long as you run macOS Ventura or later on your Mac, you should have no trouble restoring deleted messages on your Mac. The new Recently Deleted folder is definitely a handy addition to the Messages app.

Just remember the 30-day time limit, and you should be good. And if you use an iPhone or iPad, you may also want to learn how to recover deleted messages on iOS and iPadOS.

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