iMessage is a useful tool to stay connected with your friends and family.
It allows users to communicate with each other using Apple’s online chat system. Since it’s a chatting application, many users believe it can store their documents and data files (log files) on the server.
Many third-party messenger apps do provide this facility to store chatting log on their secured servers.
But does that mean you can access log files of your iMessage messages?
Let’s find out more about this topic in the following post.
Tips To Access iMessage Log On iPhone
To understand the log system, you will need to know how iMessage works on the iOS platform.
Here’s a brief note about iMessage’s basic workflow architecture –
When you activate the iMessage app on iPhone, it allows you to chat with your friends and other known contacts in your contacts list.
Once you start chatting, the app doesn’t involve any third-party element to send your messages. It means your messages won’t be directed to the mobile network provider. You just need an internet connection (Cellular Data or Wi-Fi) to send your messages.
Now that there is no third-party service involved in this type of communication, the network provider can’t save your message history or log files.
And Since your mobile network has nothing to do with iMessage service, you won’t see any message data or log history on your phone bill as well. You will only be able to see the log of text messages.
So, how do you access iMessage log files?
The short answer is – You can’t access iMessage log files directly from your iPhone.
However, you can still have a look at the iMessage history using the following methods –
1. iCloud Backups
Yes, the backups are perhaps the easiest way to recover your lost data on any device.
For iMessage log files, you can use your iCloud backup files to retrieve information accordingly.
Note – You won’t be able to recover iMessage message log files if you have been deleting these messages in the past.
Alright, check out the following steps to access your messages –
- Open the iTunes software on your Mac. (Make sure you download and install the latest software update.)
- Connect your iPhone to it.
- Once your iPhone is available on iTunes, click on the ‘Restore Backup…’ option as displayed below.
- Select the backup file that you wish to restore on your device.
- Click on the Restore button to initiate the process.
During this process, your device might restart a few times, and you might be required to provide your passcode/Apple ID details to complete the task.
As soon as the restore process gets completed, you can open the Messages app on your iPhone. It should display all the previous messages as per the availability.
Make a note of all the lost log data somewhere so that you can access it in the future. This way, you will not have to follow the same process to retrieve the files.
Although this method does work for all iPhone users, there is a downside to it. You will have to restore these backup files each time you want to see the old iMessage log history.
And when you perform the restore of backup files, it’ll ask you to restore the complete device. Of course, it’s an inconvenient thing to do, but there is no other way to fix this issue at the moment.
Let’s hope that Apple allows all iPhone and Mac users to restore individual apps data in their upcoming iOS updates.
2. Messages App on Mac
The Messages application on your Mac can also help in viewing as well as accessing old archive files of the iMessage messages.
Here’s how you can find deleted iMessage messages on Mac –
1. Open the Messages app on Mac.
2. Go to the Messages menu bar and select Preference.
3. In the General section, check the ‘Save history when conversations are closed’ option.
4. Type this location link in the Finder app – ~/Library/Messages
5. Open the Archive folder and go through the historical data of your iMessage data.
Note – This archive information will also contain log files from your iPhone’s iMessage app, so there is no need to look for any other way to find the information. The above trick works for the deleted iMessage messages as well.
3. Third-party Data Recovery Software
As you can see, the above two tips don’t require you to download and install unknown software on your computer.
And in my opinion, that’s the best way to recover your lost data.
Having said that, you can find many applications on the Internet for this task.
All these softwares and services offer different features to get access to your iMessage data as well as other applications’ data. So, choose your software as per the need.
Caution: Some of these softwares/software developers may use your backup files or computer access for malicious purpose. Therefore, it’s advised to gather as much information as possible before trying out such software on your computer.
4. Forensic Department
If you are looking to find old iMessage messages for a legal case or some other official matter, you can take help from the forensic department of your county or state.
Generally, their teams are professionally trained to retrieve data from all types of smart devices.
How does forensic team recover the deleted data?
In technical terms, when you delete some file or message from the screen, it doesn’t get removed from your device. The operating systems store the compressed version of old files in their databases as long as there is some space available on the hard disk.
It means your ‘deleted’ messages will remain intact unless you create a new file that overwrites the old files in the same space of your phone’s hard disk.
This technique allows the forensic folks to access your deleted information.
So, as mentioned above, if you want this data for any legal issues, you can file a complaint with the authorities. They will asses your case and will forward it to the forensic department for further examination of your iPhone or Mac.
On the concluding note, I think these four ways are good enough to access iMessage’s log data. If you know any other easy way or method to do so, share it in the comments section. I’m sure it will help a lot of users.
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