How to Find (and Scroll to) Old Messages on Your iPhone

Girl messaging on an iPhone

If you keep a lot of old text messages on your iPhone or iPad, here’s what you can do to find your old messages when you need them.

Girl texting on iPhone

Unless you’re running out of space, you likely use the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad as an unlimited chat cache. There is one slight hitch: how to find old text messages on iPhone when there are thousands of them.

Here are two simple ways to quickly access the message you want in iOS.

Scrolling can get boring after a few vertical strokes along the screen. The quickest way to navigate is to tap at the top of the screen and let it scroll instantly a few messages at a time.

  1. open the Messages app in iOS and select the conversation you want to view.
  2. Click once near the clock (or either side of the camera hole) at the top of your iPhone or iPad screen.
    iPhone messages with tap and scroll indicators

  3. The progress indicator appears as the app scrolls up a few messages at a time.
  4. Keep clicking right away to quickly scan through your old message history until you find what you’re looking for, or scroll to the top of iMessage.

It will take a lot of clicking on the top of the iMessage screen to get you back to the beginning of the thread. But it’s more convenient than swiping to swipe, which quickly becomes frustrating.

advice: This method works on every iOS app.

But is there a faster way to find an old message on your iPhone that doesn’t involve scrolling?

You can see old messages on your iPhone if you remember any words someone used. This is the fastest way to swipe to the top or anywhere and can give your fingers some relief.

  1. go to the Messages Implementation.
  2. find Search A bar on the home screen with all threads. You may need to swipe down from the middle of the screen to show it.
  3. Type the words you remember into the search bar, or use your voice with a tap of the microphone.
    iPhone Messages Search Bar

  4. Relevant conversations appear in chronological order, with the most recent messages appearing on top. The words you searched for appear highlighted inside.
  5. Browse the results and click to open the result you are looking for.

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This method only works if you remember part of the original message. So try some variations on different search terms. If that fails, you will have to revert to the cumbersome scroll method.

Find old text messages on your iPhone at any time

Also, you can only find an old message if you haven’t deleted it from the Messages app already. If you have, then you need to research the various ways to recover deleted text messages on your iPhone instead, such as iCloud backup.


How to recover deleted text messages on your iPhone

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