How to See Unsent Messages on iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide - Solve Your Tech (2024)

by Matthew Burleigh

Have you ever wanted to see a message that someone sent you on iPhone but then unsent before you could read it? Well, you’re in luck because there is a way to view these unsent messages. It’s not straightforward, but with a few simple steps, you can uncover what was hiding in that quick notification flash.

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Step by Step Tutorial: How to See Unsent Messages on iPhone

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand that this tutorial will guide you through the process of retrieving unsent messages on your iPhone. This can be useful if you’re trying to keep a complete conversation record or simply curious about what was sent.

Step 1: Check Your Notifications

The first step is to look at your notifications.

When someone sends you a message and then unsends it, the message still appears as a notification on your iPhone. If you have your notifications set up to display on your lock screen, you can see a preview of the message there.

Step 2: Use Notification History

If you missed the notification, your next step is to use a notification history feature.

Certain apps and settings allow for a history of notifications to be stored. For instance, if you have an app like Notification History Log installed, it can keep a record of all your notifications, including those from unsent messages.

Step 3: Retrieve from iCloud Backup

The final step is to check your iCloud backup for the message.

If you have your iPhone set to backup to iCloud automatically, it’s possible that the unsent message was saved in a backup. To check this, you would need to restore your iPhone from a backup made before the message was unsent.

After completing these steps, you should be able to view the unsent message. Keep in mind that success may vary depending on several factors, such as notification and backup settings.

Tips: Enhancing Your Chance to See Unsent Messages on iPhone

  • Make sure your notification previews are set to always show, even when the screen is locked.
  • Consider using third-party apps that track and store notification history.
  • Regularly back up your iPhone to iCloud to increase the chances of recovering unsent messages.
  • Be quick to check notifications, as unsent messages may be removed promptly by the sender.
  • Understand that privacy settings and app restrictions may limit your ability to see unsent messages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you see unsent messages on iPhone without any third-party apps?

While it’s possible to see a preview of unsent messages in your notifications, viewing the full message without third-party apps can be challenging.

Does restoring from an iCloud backup always work to retrieve unsent messages?

Restoring from an iCloud backup can sometimes retrieve unsent messages, but only if the backup occurred before the message was unsent.

Will I receive a notification for an unsent message if my phone is off?

If your phone is switched off, you won’t receive a notification until you turn it back on, and by then, the message may have already been unsent.

Are there any privacy concerns with trying to view unsent messages?

Attempting to retrieve unsent messages can raise privacy concerns, as the sender likely unsent the message for a reason. Always consider the ethical implications.

Can unsent messages be recovered on all messaging apps?

The ability to recover unsent messages varies by app. Some apps have stricter privacy protocols that prevent message recovery once unsent.


  1. Check your notifications for a preview of the unsent message.
  2. Use a notification history feature or app to see past notifications.
  3. Check your iCloud backup for the unsent message by restoring your iPhone.


Seeing unsent messages on an iPhone may feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but it’s not impossible. With the right setup and quick action, you can uncover those fleeting messages. Whether it’s for keeping a complete record of a conversation or simply satiating your curiosity, following the steps outlined in this tutorial can help you retrieve what once seemed lost. Remember, though, with great power comes great responsibility. Always respect the privacy of others and think twice before digging into unsent messages. Happy sleuthing, and may your notifications reveal all the secrets you seek!

How to See Unsent Messages on iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide - Solve Your Tech (1)

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.

His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.

Read his full bio here.

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