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How can I prevent text messages from disappearing?

Asked: Jan 11 2018 | 5:47 am EST 42309 Views 34 Answers View Best Answer

I turn my iPhone off every night. When I turn it on in the morning, I usually have a text from my dad (who has an android) show up on my lock screen, which I can read before I first unlock my phone. Once I unlock my phone, his text disappears from the message app (the “1” badge also goes away) and it’s nowhere to be found. It will also disappear if I slide on the message on the lock screen to open the message app directly - it takes me to the massage app but his message is not there. This has been happening for several weeks now. Other texts/iMessages that I receive throughout the day don’t seem to be an issue. Has anyone seen this before, or know how to fix it?


Best Answer

2,692
Mar 26 2018 | 1:45 pm EDT Sherry_B

To make sure that it is an iOS bug and is not being caused by a 3rd party app that you both share or some corrupt system files, try the following;


1: Make a full backup ; Settings > Tap on your info at the top > iCloud Backup > Backup Now
2: Factory reset the device: Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings
3: Set the device up as new and update any default apps (do not restore from backup, do not install any 3rd party apps)
4: Have that person who's messages are disappearing send you some texts while your device is powered off

If you are still having that same issue, report the bug here: https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphon...47&subId2=vbim

Be sure to include all of the steps above that you took (steps 1 - 4) to troubleshoot before reporting the bug.

If the issue is gone, then its either a 3rd party app or corrupt system files. You'll have to decide whether or not you want to reinstall your backup because you might be adding it right back to the device with your restore.

More Answers

42,974
Jan 11 2018 | 6:23 am EST Ledsteplin

Disappears from where? The lockscreen? From in the messages app? I think it's normal for the text to disappear from the lockscreen once you unlock it. If you did not tap on it, it should still show in notification center, if you have it set to show there.
15
Jan 11 2018 | 6:29 am EST QuezXLV

It disappears from the messages app. I’ve edited my original question to clarify.
51,685
Jan 11 2018 | 7:14 am EST Just_Me_D

Could he be using one of those apps that allows for an app to self-destruct when viewed? Snapchat, for example.
42,974
Jan 11 2018 | 7:28 am EST Ledsteplin

So it's only SMS messages you receive on the lockscreen. You read the message, then unlock the phone and the message is not in the messages app. That sound right? If so, try going to settings > Messages > Toggle iMessage off> wait a minute, and toggle it back on. If it persists, go back and toggle iMessage off again. Then sign out of iMessage and Facetime. Then sign back in to both. Toggle iMessage back on.
Do a hard reset (reboot). Which iPhone is it? Are you perhaps deleting the text on the lockscreen?
15
Jan 11 2018 | 5:42 pm EST QuezXLV

It’s an iPhone 7 Plus with latest iOS. I am definitely not deleting it from the home screen.

I will try the unchecking/checking and log in/out of iMessage and see if that helps.
15
Jan 16 2018 | 5:13 am EST QuezXLV

It seems the only time my dad’s text messages disappear are when he sends me one when my phone is off. If he sends it and my phone is on, no issues. Very strange.
15
Feb 16 2018 | 5:32 am EST QuezXLV

I’ve tried the following (except no. 4) and I’m still having this issue: https://www.imore.com/why-cant-i-sen...-or-6-plus?amp

It seems to only be an issue with non-iMessage texts arriving while my phone is off. I’m a little surprised that this isn’t happening to more people.
3,148
Feb 16 2018 | 7:43 am EST Lee_Bo

I’ve tried the following (except no. 4) and I’m still having this issue: https://www.imore.com/why-cant-i-sen...-or-6-plus?amp

It seems to only be an issue with non-iMessage texts arriving while my phone is off. I’m a little surprised that this isn’t happening to more people.
ANY non-iMessage message, or only your dad's?
15
Feb 16 2018 | 10:03 am EST QuezXLV

My dad's texts are the ones where it happens most consistently; however, I've found at least one other text (that showed up on my iPad 2 but not my iPhone 7 Plus) that must have disappeared.
15
Feb 16 2018 | 9:30 pm EST QuezXLV

My wife’s iPhone 6 Plus has been off all day. When she turned it on this evening, she had some messages on the lock screen including an SMS and MMS message. When she unlocked her phone, those messages disappeared from the Message app. So now I know it’s not just my phone.

No one else is having an issue with messages dissappearing after turning on and unlocking your iphone? Or better yet, does anyone have a solution?
2,807
Feb 16 2018 | 10:01 pm EST SwitchBeach

No one else is having an issue with messages dissappearing after turning on and unlocking your iphone? Or better yet, does anyone have a solution?
I never turn my phone off, so no, I'm not having this issue.

Have you tried just using the "Do Not Disturb" mode at night instead of turning the phone off?
15
Feb 16 2018 | 10:22 pm EST QuezXLV

Have you tried just using the "Do Not Disturb" mode at night instead of turning the phone off?
That might prevent my messages from disappearing, but I’d really like to find a reason why and a solution for my messages disappearing after turning on and unlocking my phone.
15
Feb 17 2018 | 6:17 am EST QuezXLV

The troubleshooting continues - I sent a group message (included my wife) last night before bed then turned off my phone. Two people responded (which I could see on my wife’s phone), but I did not get/receive the responses on my phone once I turned it on. The group did include one non-iMessage person, so I wonder if that mattered. Even worse, I sent a reply to the group from my wife’s phone, while my phone is now on, and I didn’t get her response.

What is going on here?
7,570
Feb 17 2018 | 9:22 pm EST nikkisharif

I never turn my phone off, so I haven’t experienced this issue. Have you tried contacting Apple Support?
2
Mar 25 2018 | 7:11 am EDT lanark

Hallelujah! This has been happening to me for weeks and this is the first time I’ve found someone else with the same issue. I feel validated!!! However I still have no solution. My son recently sent me 12 messages whilst phone switched off. They appeared as notifications on lock screen. Unlock go to messages. Hey presto not there!! Infuriating.
2
Mar 25 2018 | 7:13 am EDT lanark

Btw mine is iPhone 6 Plus
2,692
Mar 31 2018 | 9:42 pm EDT Sherry_B

I and many other people have the same annoying problem as you can see on the apple support : https://discussions.apple.com/message/32927054. I hope apple fixes the situation soon.
Submitting bug reports the right way will help: https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphon...27&subId2=vbim

If you take your phone to an Apple Store and have them look at it, they'll do a backup, factory reset the phone and have you try to reproduce the bug. That's how you troubleshoot.
2
May 13 2018 | 2:42 pm EDT TheJonnyK

I'm having the same issue on my iPhone 6. I've tried factory resetting twice and the issue persists. By any chance is anyone else with this problem on Sprint's network? I wonder if that could have anything to do with it.
42,974
May 13 2018 | 3:34 pm EDT Ledsteplin

I'm having the same issue on my iPhone 6. I've tried factory resetting twice and the issue persists. By any chance is anyone else with this problem on Sprint's network? I wonder if that could have anything to do with it.
Did you restore as new, or from a back up?
2
May 13 2018 | 3:41 pm EDT TheJonnyK

Both, actually. First I tried restoring from a backup, then I tried restoring as new. The problem is still persisting as of today, and seems to even happen when my phone is on. Someone will tell me I never replied to a text, then I'll restart my phone and I'll have a bunch of text notifications on my lock screen with the phone numbers but no contact names. As soon as I unlock my phone, the notifications and messages completely disappear like they were never there at all. I've even tried using iMobie PhoneRescue date recovery software, but the messages are completely gone and I have no way of knowing who has been trying to text me.
42,974
May 13 2018 | 7:20 pm EDT Ledsteplin

Both, actually. First I tried restoring from a backup, then I tried restoring as new. The problem is still persisting as of today, and seems to even happen when my phone is on. Someone will tell me I never replied to a text, then I'll restart my phone and I'll have a bunch of text notifications on my lock screen with the phone numbers but no contact names. As soon as I unlock my phone, the notifications and messages completely disappear like they were never there at all. I've even tried using iMobie PhoneRescue date recovery software, but the messages are completely gone and I have no way of knowing who has been trying to text me.
If it's a hardware issue, it might not be worth the repair on an iPhone 6. I would consider an upgrade.
2,692
May 14 2018 | 10:42 am EDT Sherry_B

Both, actually. First I tried restoring from a backup, then I tried restoring as new. The problem is still persisting as of today, and seems to even happen when my phone is on. Someone will tell me I never replied to a text, then I'll restart my phone and I'll have a bunch of text notifications on my lock screen with the phone numbers but no contact names. As soon as I unlock my phone, the notifications and messages completely disappear like they were never there at all. I've even tried using iMobie PhoneRescue date recovery software, but the messages are completely gone and I have no way of knowing who has been trying to text me.

Perform an iCloud backup, factory reset and set the phone up as new. Do not install any 3rd party apps or restore from backup. Make an appointment with the Genius Bar. They have diagnostic tools and can run tests on your phone, but your phone needs to be set up as new before they run their tests.
1
Jun 13 2018 | 12:22 pm EDT Tania V

I have the same problem and is so aggravating. The messages that come in while phone is off appear on lock screen and then poof, no where to be seen again.

Someone upthread suggested to turn on the Notification option ‘Show in history’. I did last night after it happened AGAIN and this AM I saw the message that I lost appeared.
3
Jul 01 2018 | 10:30 am EDT Crystal Knightshade

Same..... If my phone is powered down some of the messages that come in show up on the lock screen (number only without the contact info) but are not there in my message app. I have an iphone 6 and Verizon is my carrier. I didn't notice this problem until i ported my number to a new carrier. I thought maybe it might have something to do with number porting but after reading this maybe that is not the issue. I don't use the imessage part of messages, it has always been turned off.
42,974
Jul 01 2018 | 5:36 pm EDT Ledsteplin

Same..... If my phone is powered down some of the messages that come in show up on the lock screen (number only without the contact info) but are not there in my message app. I have an iphone 6 and Verizon is my carrier. I didn't notice this problem until i ported my number to a new carrier. I thought maybe it might have something to do with number porting but after reading this maybe that is not the issue. I don't use the imessage part of messages, it has always been turned off.
Why do you not use iMessage? Have you tried toggling it on?
3
Jul 02 2018 | 6:27 pm EDT Crystal Knightshade

I use to have a lot of issues with it years ago between my devices and i just quit using it. Its been like 5 years or so since i stopped using it but thought i would throw that stuff out there in case that might determine or eliminate a common link.
42,974
Jul 02 2018 | 7:06 pm EDT Ledsteplin

I use to have a lot of issues with it years ago between my devices and i just quit using it. Its been like 5 years or so since i stopped using it but thought i would throw that stuff out there in case that might determine or eliminate a common link.
I would think it's improved in 5 years. It has a lot of new cool features. And there's folks here to help. Not sure about the vanishing messages. I never had that issue. What have you tried to fix it?
3
Jul 03 2018 | 9:39 am EDT Crystal Knightshade

Thanks and i might check out iMessage again at some point i am certain it has improved...but i would still like to have my texts show up where they are suppose to be even if i doin't choose to use iMessage. Its very frustrating because i know if i let my phone die i will lose any messages that come in during that time. I have no idea how to fix that and it seems i am not the only one with that issue.
42,974
Jul 03 2018 | 9:54 am EDT Ledsteplin

Thanks and i might check out iMessage again at some point i am certain it has improved...but i would still like to have my texts show up where they are suppose to be even if i doin't choose to use iMessage. Its very frustrating because i know if i let my phone die i will lose any messages that come in during that time. I have no idea how to fix that and it seems i am not the only one with that issue.
Maybe it has to do with porting your number. Have you reached out to your carrier for help? You could try Reset All Settings.

Go to Settings >General >Reset >Reset All Settings. This resets to default everything in Settings, including notifications, alerts, brightness, and clock settings like wake up alarms.
If that doesn't work, try restoring as new, not from a back up.
1
Sep 17 2018 | 6:11 pm EDT Catdelaney

I have the same issue of my texts being on the lock screen when I turn my phone back on but having them not there when I go to the app. Has anyone found a solution to this problem??
1
Sep 19 2018 | 11:46 pm EDT lyh

I've been having the exact same problem since the upgrade to iOS 10.3 in Sep 2017 (I'm using an iPhone 5C, so iOS11 wasn't an option): I turn my phone off at night and when I turn it on in the morning messages that came in during the night appear on the lockscreen, but disappear from my Messages app once I unlock the phone.

I tried everything – backing, hard reset, soft reset, turning iMessage on and off – to no avail.

Then I tried what someone suggested here:

1. Go to Settings > Notifications > Messages
2. Toggle off 'Show in Notification Centre' (or 'Show in History' in iOS11)
3. Turn off your phone and turn it on again.
4. Toggle on 'Show in Notification Centre ('Show in History')

So far it's got the problem licked. Am keeping my fingers crossed.
1
Sep 28 2018 | 8:17 am EDT dryve

So I just noticed this issue a few weeks ago. I have always kept my iPhone 7s on but a few times the battery has gone dead over night. When I charge a text notification appears on the lock screen when I go to messages ( not a 3rd party) there is no notification no message.

Happened today and I find that when I went to settings —-> Apple ID —-> iCloud Unde apps using iCloud. Messages was not selected. I selected it then turned the phone off. I then had someone with an android send me a message. When I powered the phone back on the message was actually there.
Hope this is helpful.