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gixxermike Level 1 Level 1
To all apple iPhone owners! Beware !! Apple iOS software stores every text message ever made on your phone.
You may think you've deleted them but there still there. I found out myself when I was using spotlight search to find something and noticed that some text conversations I made months ago were showing up!
These text messages were deleted a long time ago or so I thought.
When I contacted apple customer support, they told me the only way to permanent remove all text messages and ooh yes also emails , is to do a master reset, or restore to factory setting on iTunes. This intern removes all data from your phone. The downside to this is all your contacts , apps, and settings are erased. You also can't backup from previous because then it puts it back in ur phone. I know I have done it.

imac, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
Reply by Lily from townsville on Nov 16, 2011 11:53 PM Helpful

Hi there - can you help me.

I want to RECOVER text messages ACCIDENTLY deleted from my 32G i phone 4. The tried the spotlight thing and nothing showed up. When I did the deleting, I did the DELETE AND SWIPE METHOD. Please help if possible.

Reply by molotovito on Sep 28, 2010 8:35 AM Helpful
Don't let any iPhone forensics people get close to that phone!
Reply by kbiz on Oct 27, 2010 3:56 PM Helpful
I'm running 4.1 and I can still pull up old deleted text messages in spotlight search by typing in the area code of the phone number... it's not every one of them but it's a lot of them... I can't always reproduce it but there's a bunch of deleted texts that come up with previews of the text I can read... I really don't like this issue.

All replies

  • Leigh Hounsome Level 1 Level 1
    not good security that!!!! especially if the wife knows how to use spotlight!!!!
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10
    Settings are lost when restoring as a new iPhone or not from your iPhone's backup, but all iTunes content on your iPhone - all music, movies, tv shows, and 3rd party apps should be in your iTunes library on your computer, and contacts are designed to be synced with a supported address book application on your computer and should be available on your computer with or without an iPhone or any cell phone. Not a good idea to depend on your iPhone or any cell phone alone for contacts, which can be lost or stolen.

    I have nothing to be worried about - mainly since I have nothing to hide. If I discovered someone I allowed to use my iPhone doing a spotlight search for something in particular on MY iPhone, that would be the last time they would use it.
  • gixxermike Level 1 Level 1
    I just wanted to make people aware of the fact that all!!!!!! Emails and text messages ever made are store in an internal file inaccessible to us to remove ourselves.
  • DCGOO Level 3 Level 3
    Honestly, I could believe that about local text messages, but I don't think that is true for e-mails. I would eaten up all of my storage years ago
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10
    Not necessarily.

    OS X on your Mac includes a secure erase feature when emptying the Trash, but not when deleting email from within an email client. If you don't use the secure erase feature on your Mac when emptying the Trash, the data can be recovered with a data recovery utility until the area on the hard drive where the data was stored is overwritten with new data, or until the hard drive is securely erased when being reformatted.

    This applies to email deleted with the email client used on your computer since there is no secure erase for this data.

    The same applies to the iPhone with the Spotlight search feature being overzealous with finding data that was deleted. Until the area on the flash drive where the data was stored is overwritten with new data or unless Erase All Content and Settings on the iPhone is used which is a secure erase, the data will be picked up by Spotlight which can be important to some users when data is accidentally deleted from the iPhone.
  • molotovito Level 1 Level 1
    I just tried to do this, and I don't see any text messages on the spotlight search after I delete them.
  • gixxermike Level 1 Level 1
    I wouldnt have posted this thread if i didnt see it for myself and speak with apple customer care!
    Type a text message with a certain sentence to somebody , delete that message and go into spotlight search. type in any word from that text or the persons phone number or the persons name in your address book.
    The only way it will not show up in spotlight is if your settings has messages unchecked!! ( goto ) settings/general/spotlight search/
    If messages is checked you will see every text message you have sent in spotlight search
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7
    I just sent myself a text message, went to Spotlight, search found it, deleted the message, went to Spotlight. It still had the search results showing. I pressed the ⓧ at the right of the search bar and reentered the search word. It did NOT find it.

    Do you have the latest firmware (4.1)?
  • KTjazz Level 1 Level 1
    I checked this morning. I've looked in settings and I have the tick next to messages. I did a search, like the person above. deleted one of the messages found and did the search again. The message was gone.

    I think if that was a problem before 4.1 has fixed it.
  • imnoapplefan Level 1 Level 1
    tested today on my device, iPhone 4 iOS 4.1, search in messages enabled in spotlight, deleted message was completely erased.
  • DCGOO Level 3 Level 3
    I think if that was a problem before 4.1 has fixed it.

    All that means is the constraint of a spotlight search has been limited to undeleted messages. The messages are very likely still buried in flash somewhere. It probably eliminates the prying eyes problem, but not necessarily the security implications. Just depends on what you are trying cover up, and from whom.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10
    Yep - until the area on the drive where the deleted data was stored is overwritten with new data or until the Erase All Content and Settings option on the iPhone is used which is a secure erase, data can be recovered if someone goes to the trouble and expense to try to recover it.
  • Igor_G5 Level 2 Level 2
    I tried it on my iPhone sending a message with a word that I know I never texted before. After deleting the text Spotlight didn't find the word.

    I also tried sending an email from a different account to my iPhone. After deleting the email from both my inbox and the trash Spotlight didn't find that either.

    I think your confused. Yes, like on a computer, the information is still there. But your average person cannot access it.
  • Igor_G5 Level 2 Level 2
    DCGOO wrote:
    Just depends on what you are trying cover up, and from whom.

    Yes the authorities can probably recover it if they are suspicious of you. If you're involved in illegal activities, don't do it with text or email. BTW your email can be retrieved from your ISP as well as a record of where you've been on the web.

    Maybe an experienced hacker could retrieve it. Don't let any hackers have access to your iPhone.
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