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Question: Yesterday on our iPhone 5c we suddenly lost all text messages, history and attachments. According to the 5c there are still 8.1 Gb used. How do we recover these?

  • iPhone 5c - 32 Gb - IOS 10.3.2
  • Phone storage was full; usage: about 12 Gb of Photos (about 6,000 photos), 12Gb of "Documents and Data", 58 Apps using 2.63 Gb, and maybe 600-700 Mb of Music. Thought maybe this (lack of available storage) was causing the problem.
  • Had been using iCloud storage for backup (had upgraded to 50Gb a few months ago) but that had filled several months ago and as a result no backups have been taken since the last one (dated October 2017).
  • Connected iPhone to our mac mini. Checked iTunes; saw all "Sync" items already unchecked except Music. Unchecked "Sync Music" and re-synced in iTunes. Freed up 600-700 Mb.
  • Opened "Photos" app on mac mini and "Imported" all photos that it could see/find on the iPhone into a new Album for the 5c = 3,955 photos imported. Checked "Delete photos from device after Import". Done. Freed up just under 11 Gb on the iPhone. Interestingly, iTunes still shows "2,000 photos".
  • Ran iTunes backup on iPhone 5c. Updated the IOS to 10.3.3. Updated successfully.
    • Opened up Messages on iPhone 5c. Still no text messages showing up before yesterday. Checked iPhone General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Storage > Manage Storage. Used = 18.08 Gb, Available = 10.47 Gb.
    • Messages app is largest usage (by far) = 8.1 Gb. Breakdown only shows "Messages (Saved)" = 8.1Gb. No further details. Assuming most of this is the photo attachments trapped in all of the text messages?? Where are these "Messages (Saved)" stored? How do I access them? How do I recover them? How do I back them up/import them off of the iPhone 5c?
    • Photos & Camera app 2nd largest usage = 1.82 Gb (breakdown: Photo Library = 174.4Mb, Synced from iTunes = 895.7Mb, My Photo Stream = 753.1Mb, Shared Photo Stream = 6Kb)

iPhone 5c, iOS 10.3.2, 32Gb

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Dec 13, 2017 11:31 AM in response to Voiceman1000 In response to Voiceman1000

Voiceman1000 wrote:


  • iPhone 5c - 32 Gb - IOS 10.3.2
  • Phone storage was full

That's what cause it, right there. Running it completely out of storage can result in some very bad things happening to the data on it.

The only way to recover the messages is to restore the phone from a backup made when they were still present.

Dec 13, 2017 11:31 AM

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Question: Yesterday on our iPhone 5c we suddenly lost all text messages, history and attachments. According to the 5c there are still 8.1 Gb used. How do we recover these?