Search Text Messages Iphone By Date

3 Tips to Quickly Find a Text Message by Date on iPhone

find a text message by date

Your iPhone can store an unlimited number of text messages. As a result, searching for a specific text message on your iPhone has always been a pain point, if you send or receive hundreds of messages a day. If you want to search for an old message by the exact date, what should you do?

In this article, we will show you 3 tips to search for text messages on iPhone: using the Spotlight Search, using the built-in Messages app search function, and using a third-party data recovery app. Let’s get started.

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#1. Using Direct Search from iMessage on iPhone.

Search Text Messages Iphone By Date

Let’s be honest, searching for a message by date isn’t possible from within the Messages app on the iPhone itself. However, we can consider using 2 workarounds: searching for text messages with the built-in Message app (iMessage) and using the Spotlight Search. Here we will go through the first workaround – search for messages in iMessage with these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the Messages app.
  • Step 2: Swipe down so that the Search box will appear at the top of the conversation list.
  • Step 3: Enter a specific keywords/phone number/string in the search box. The matching results will be listed automatically below with the keywords and the respective date.

#2. Using the Spotlight Search Function.

Search Text Messages Iphone By Date

The second workaround is to search for messages using the Spotlight Search function. Spotlight Search is a feature that allows you to quickly find apps, contacts, music, and other items on your device. Instead of searching by date, you can find messages from a specific contact or with a certain word in them.

  • Step 1: Open the Spotlight search function by swiping down from the middle of your home screen. This will bring up a small search box at the top of your iPhone screen and keyboard. For iOS 10 or later users, you can swipe down from the middle of the home screen to bring up the Spotlight search bar.
  • Step 2: Type in the specific word or phrase of the text message that you are looking for in this bar, you will get all the related results displayed in the search results.
  • Step 3: Scroll up/down and see their timestamps on the right side of their bubbles to find the right message with the respective date.
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The method works only with text messages stored on your device. If you have iCloud backup enabled and have lost some of your text messages, this method won’t help.

#3. Using a Third-Party Data Recovery App.

  • Search and export text messages by date from iPhone directly without backup.
  • Preview your lost SMS and select those you want to recover.

These steps below will help you to search, select and restore the messages by date using these apps:

Search Text Messages Iphone By Date

  • Step 1: Download and install the third-party app, for example: PhoneRescue.
  • Step 2: Launch the program on your computer and connect your iPhone with the computer. Click Trust this Computer when the pop-up appears.
  • Step 3: Choose Recover from Backup > Right Arrow > Select Messages to recover the list of old and current messages on your phones.
  • Step 4: You will see a list of old messages and attachments. Choose Sort by Date to see the list from old to new message. Then choose the respective date to view all the messages on that date.


Above are the common methods and workarounds that we might want to use in order to search for the text messages by date instead of scrolling down or pressing “load earlier message”. We hope these tips work for you! If you have any other useful tips on how to search for messages by date, don’t hesitate to share with us in the comment section below.

Search Text Messages Iphone By Date

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