Ever asked your child to hand over their iPhone, only to discover they’ve deleted important texts or photos? You’re not alone—many parents of teens and preteens have faced this issue.

Kids, especially teenagers, love their privacy and can be pretty secretive about what they do on their phones. And while it’s crucial to respect their boundaries, as a parent, you’re also responsible for their safety and well-being. That’s got to come first.

In this article, we’ll chat about some effective ways to stop your child from deleting texts on their iPhone. Plus, we’ll share some handy resources to help you monitor and save their messages.

Is There a Way to Prevent Messages from Being Deleted on iPhone?

The short answer is no. Apple doesn’t offer an option to lock or prevent a child from deleting text messages on their iPhone.

However, there are some workarounds and tools you can use to monitor and save their texts.

Using the methods below, you can:

  • Save copies of their text messages for future reference
  • Backup recovery

We think the best option for any parent is to keep copies of your child’s texts, just in case. This way, you can quickly skim through their messages if needed, and they’ll understand that deleting texts won’t help them much.

Now, let’s dive into the details.

Can Parents See Deleted Texts?

If your question is about texts your kid has already deleted, the answer is yes, but it’s a bit complicated.

First, let’s clarify that we’re talking about standard text messages here. If your kid uses a third-party messenger or app like WhatsApp, you’ll need to use specialized tools to recover deleted chats.

Apple has a built-in feature called “Deleted Messages” right in the Messages app. This feature lets you recover deleted texts within a limited time.

However, your child can turn off this option by going to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages and selecting either 30 days or 1 year instead of Forever.

To find those deleted messages, just open the Messages app and use the search bar at the top to type in a keyword or contact name. You’ll see a section called “Deleted Messages” with any relevant results.

Another great option is using third-party software. Advanced parental control apps have keylogging features, which means they can record all the texts typed, including unsent messages. We’ll explore these apps further later.

Why Should You Prevent Child From Deleting Texts iPhone?

Texting is harmless, right? Not entirely. As a parent, it’s essential to recognize the potential risks associated with texting and social media.

Some of these risks include:


Deleting texts can be a way for your child to cover up any cyberbullying that may be going on in their lives.


Teens are more likely to engage in sexting or sharing inappropriate content through text messages. By preventing them from deleting texts, you can monitor for any concerning behavior.

Inappropriate content

Your child might receive or send inappropriate content via text messages. Keeping copies of their texts can help you identify if they’re engaging in risky behaviors.


Kids are often not as cautious as adults when it comes to online scams. By monitoring their texts, you can protect them from falling for a scam or giving out personal information.

Reputational Damage

Even text messages can have long-term consequences if they contain damaging or hurtful content. By having copies of your child’s texts, you can intervene and prevent any potential reputational damage.

How to Prevent Your Child from Deleting Texts on iPhone?

Now, let’s get to the good stuff—how to stop your child from deleting their texts on an iPhone. We’ll go through a few options, so pick the one that works best for you and your family.

Way 1 . Using Spy App

Remember that third-party software we talked about before? You know, spy apps, monitoring apps, parental control apps—they’re all just different names for the same thing. They let you see all sorts of things on your kid’s phone, even their deleted texts.

mSpy is a popular and reliable parental control app. It has two amazing features for this purpose: Keylogger and Screenshot.

The keylogger records all the keystrokes made on a device, including unsent messages or deleted texts. Meanwhile, the Screenshot feature captures all the activities on your child’s phone screen, including deleted messages, self-destructing messages, and more.

What does this mean? No more “delete.” Your kid’s texts will stay in your control panel forever. If they delete a text, you’ll have it saved in your mSpy account.

Speaking of text monitoring in general, mSpy lets you see:

  • All incoming and outgoing messages, including the date and time they were sent or received
  • The names of all contacts involved in the conversation
  • The full content of every message, even if it’s deleted

And that’s not all mSpy can also monitor:

  1. Calls: Get details on all calls made and received by your kid’s device.
  2. Location Tracking: You can see where your child is at any given time.
  3. Social Media Activity: Monitor activity on popular apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. Read chats, view media files, and more.
  4. Web History: See what websites your child visits on their phone.

And there’s so much more! With mSpy’s “Stealth Mode,” your child won’t even know they’re being monitored. Since it’s a third-party app, you won’t find it on the App Store, but you can easily download it from their website at mspy.com. It takes just a few minutes to set up.

Way 2. Use “Deleted” Folder

As we mentioned earlier, the Messages app has a built-in feature that saves deleted messages for a limited time. To use this option:

  1. Open the Messages app and tap on “Search” at the top.
  2. Type in a keyword or contact name to find relevant results.
  3. Scroll down until you see a section called “Deleted Messages.”
  4. Tap on any message you want to recover, and it will be restored.

Remember, your child can turn off this feature by going to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages and selecting either 30 days or 1 year instead of Forever. So, if they are tech-savvy, this option may not be reliable. You’ll see deleted messages only if they haven’t been permanently erased.

Tip: you can log into your child’s iCloud on another device to access their deleted messages if necessary. Just keep in mind that your device’s name will pop up in the settings on your child’s device, so they may notice if you do this. 

Way 3. Use iCloud Backups

If your child uses iCloud to back up their device, you can restore deleted texts from a backup. Note: This method only works if the messages were backed up before they were deleted.

To use this option:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset and tap on “Erase all content and settings.”
  2. Follow the prompts to erase the device.
  3. When prompted, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup” and select a recent backup to restore from.
  4. Once complete, all of the messages in that backup will be restored, including any deleted ones.

That’s the most time-consuming and effort-intensive option. To avoid getting caught, make sure to save the latest backup before you proceed. Otherwise, they’ll notice something’s missing from their phone. Also, you’ll have to repeat this process every time you want to check their deleted messages. We recommend using one of the other options instead.

Final Thoughts

All in all, texts can reveal a lot about your kid’s life. We wish it were just school gossip and some harmless flirting, but teens do make mistakes. And sometimes, they might not feel comfortable sharing those mistakes with you, which can make things even worse. That’s where mSpy comes in handy.

Using parental control apps like mSpy can help bridge that gap between you and your kid, letting you keep them safe and guide them through any challenges. Sure, monitoring their texts might feel a bit intrusive, but remember, as a parent, it’s your job to protect and guide your child while they’re growing and learning.

So, don’t hesitate to set boundaries and use tools like mSpy to keep your child safe online. Better safe than sorry!  Stay vigilant, stay informed, and keep your child’s future safe.  Happy parenting!

Wesley Robinson

Wesley Robinson is a seasoned investigative journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth in the digital age. With years of experience delving into topics like infidelity and online deception, he brings a keen eye and meticulous research to his work, shedding light on the complexities of modern relationships.

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