How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac with or without Time Machine

LisaUpdated by Lisa Ou / Dec 31, 2020 09:20
  • - “Can you bring back a deleted iMessage?”
  • - “How do I recover deleted iMessage on my MacBook Air?”
  • - “Is there any way to recover deleted iMessage conversations of the certain contact on Mac?”

It’s OK if you deleted iMessages or conversations on Mac by mistake. Actually, all your previous iMessage on Mac can be recovered without data loss effortlessly here. Just make sure your deleted iMessages are not overwritten by new data.

Thus, do not save or edit any file in the same storage space before iMessage recovery on Mac.

How to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac

Guide List

1. Where Are iMessages Stored on Mac

To start with, let’s figure out where your iMessages files are stored. Actually, all files are saved in the Messages folder. You can view old iMessages on Mac with ~/Library/Messages or ~/Library/Containers/ Later, you can see the “Archive” and “Attachments” folders, as well as chat.db, chat.db-shm and chat.db-wal files.

To be more specific, all your past messages are saved in the Archive folder. You can find your sent and received iMessage attachments including images, videos, audios, GIFs and other files in the Attachments folder.

As for your previous messages, you can find in the chat.db database file. If you want to recover deleted iMessages conversations on Mac, you need to find the data recovery software that can recover deleted app data.

mac imessage folder

2. Best Way to Recover Deleted iMessages on Mac without Backup Selectively

Fortunately, you can run FoneLab Data Retriever to recover deleted iMessages data on Mac with simple operations. You can recover deleted iMessages from hard drive due to formatted partition, system crashes and other problems.

Moreover, you can get back the iMessage file as any format directly. It is also supported to recover iPhone iMessages on Mac with Data Retriever. Just connect iPhone to your Mac computer. Later, the data recovery software can scan your iDevice and recover iMessages conversations smartly.

1. Main Features of the Mac Data Recovery Software

  1. Recover deleted iMessages history from Mac, iPhone and more devices.
  2. Wide support of recoverable data types including documents, images, videos, audios, emails, messages, etc.
  3. Offer Quick Scan and Deep Scan modes for finding your deleted or lost iMessages.
  4. Save the recovered iMessages files as various output formats.
  5. Work on Mac 10.7 and above (macOS Mojave is supported).

Of course, you can use it to recover Mac photos, videos, word file and other file you want.

FoneLab Data Retriever
FoneLab Data Retriever

FoneLab Data Retriever - recover the lost/deleted data from computer, hard drive, flash drive, memory card, digital camera and more.

  • Recover photos, videos, contacts, WhatsApp, and more data with ease.
  • Preview data before recovery.

2. How to Recover Deleted iMessages History on Mac

Step 1Run Mac file recovery software
Launch Mac data recovery software. Click Start to enter into the file recovery interface. If you want to recover deleted messages on iPhone, you need to connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable first.

launch mac file recovery

Step 2Scan for deleted iMessages
Now you need to select the specific iMessage data type and related location. For most users, you can choose Other and Mac options. Then click Start to perform a quick scanning on your Mac computer. You can also choose Deep Scan to get more possible results.

scren imessage on mac

Step 3View deleted iMessages
After scanning, you can see all files and folders displaying in categories. Later, you can search for chat.db, chat.db-shm and chat.db-wal in the search box on the top. In addition, you can use Filter to find your deleted iMessages files too.

filter imessage

Step 4Recover deleted iMessages on Mac
You can double click any file to preview and get the detailed information. Select the file you want to recover freely. Later, you can click Recover to recover deleted iMessages from Mac or iPhone. Remember not to set the same destination folder that your deleted iMessages used to be.

recover imessage

3. Recover the Entire Deleted iMessages History on Mac with Time Machine

If you have backed up iMessages on Mac regularly, you can get back deleted iMessages files with Time Machine too. However, it takes a longer time to complete the iMessages file recovery.

Because Time Machine allows users to recover the entire iMessages database instead of individual message. This is the also main drawback of iTunes and iCloud backup files. By the way, you can run iPhone Data Recovery to recover deleted iPhone iMessages with or without backup freely.

Step 1Sign out of iMessages and quit it on Mac manually.

Step 2Run Time Machine. Open Finder. Choose Go>Library and Messages options.

Step 3Find the chat.db file. Make sure its date is before the iMessages deletion.

Step 4Choose the chat.db file and click Restore to recover iMessages history on Mac with Time Machine.

recover imessage with time machine

Have you recovered deleted iMessages on Mac now? And you are allowed to recover hidden file on mac, restore photos or videos on mac, etc. If you like above methods, you can leave a review or share this post to your friends. Any comment and sharing about deleted iMessages recovery are welcome.

Leave your comment and join our discussion