You type out a long thoughtful message hoping that it saves as a draft only for it to get deleted and no where to be found. That’s the true definition of frustration. This has been the joint experience of so many iPhone users and irrespective of the iPhone model or the IOS version in use.
This issue has persisted for quite a long time but surprisingly has not received much light from Apple as to why this may be happening or even a fix to end the problem. In this article, I’ll be nailing at a spot the reason this may be happening to you as well as a fix so it never repeats again.
Why iPhone Draft Text Message Disappeared
A draft message doesn’t have a meaning that’s far from the word draft. It only represents a message you’re still composing and yet thinking about words to add. In most devices other than the iPhone, it’s common to find a folder designated for draft messages and users can go back at any time to add or remove from their ongoing message draft.
However, that’s not applicable for iPhone. And let me say it the way it is, the iPhone default messaging app iMessage has no draft folder or any place designated for messages you started to type out but were never sent.
It’s important to understand this because it forms the foundation of the fix you’re going to be applying.
iMessage normally will not delete any message you started to compose. If that happens then it’s a problem, and this is what my focus in this article is. Below are a few reasons this may be happening;
1. iCloud Is Disabled For iMessage
With the way your iPhone is arranged, everything was built to have a retrievable data if an unfortunate even occurs. Same thing with your iMessage, messages you send and receive somehow are stored to cloud and can be recovered anytime.
However, it’s a little different for draft messages, they’re not particularly stored on iCloud, but iCloud retains them on the iMessage app right in the chat box within the conversation.
2. iCloud Running Low On Storage
iCloud is a great way to store away things that you do not want anything to tamper with. But then, it can get full, the fact that it’s on the cloud doesn’t make it unlimited, rather iPhone apportions to every user an exact size of that storage.
When draft messages on iMessage are not retained in the chat box, it could be you’re beginning to run out of available iCloud space.
You’ll often notice that messages you type out will disappear the moment you leave the iMessage app to attend to something else on your iPhone. That’s one way to know you’re beginning to run low on iCloud storage.
3. iMessage Bug
iMessage on its own could begin to put up an attitude that makes your draft messages unsafe within the app. To many, this usually comes unannounced and so less obvious. The most probable cause of this could include bugs and some times an outdated IOS.
How Do I Recover A Draft Text Message On iPhone?
A draft message can be recovered if it where to be on apps where messages can be drafted like the iMessage app. An example will include the Mail app. Its easier to recover a draft message if it were to be on the mail app, but not the iMessage app. The reason being that theirs not folder dedicated to draft messages as messages you draft only are retained in a chat box within a conversation.
Up until date theirs no way to retrieve lost iMessage drafts, not even a tweak that can either be performed on iCloud or the iPhone default messaging app, iMessage is available.
However, in the guide below, I’m going to show you step by step how to prevent your iMessage draft messages from disappearing again.
1. Enable iCloud Storage For iMessage
Draft messages are only retained in the chat box if you configure iMessage to sync to your iCloud storage. To ensure draft messages are retained in the chat box within the conversation, follow the below guide to enable iCloud for iMessages;
- Open iPhone settings
- Tap on Apple ID
- Tap on iCloud
- Find messages and toggle it on
2. Release More iCloud Space
It’s unlikely for the text content of your messages on iCloud to be responsible for taking up space on your iCloud storage. However other large media files like videos, music and photos are the usual culprits. But that doesn’t matter at all, the only thing that matters now is that iCloud can’t any longer retain your draft messages because theirs not enough space for that. Yes, it can get that bad.
To see if your iCloud storage is already full, do the following;
- Open iPhone settings
- Tap on Apple ID and
- Open iCloud
- Tap on manage storage to view the storage gauge
If you find that your iCloud storage is full, you have two options;
- Delete unwanted media files
- Or, tap on upgrade to add more gigabytes to your iCloud storage.
3. Turn Off Contact Photo
You don’t have to worry about this if you have already made more space available on iCloud. However, if you were only able to free little to no space on iCloud, probably those files are so dare to you, then turn off contact photos on iMessages.
For those contact images to show, they rely a little bit on iCloud and will take quite some space. Turning it off will free up this space for more draft texts to be retained. The only downside is the effect may not last long as only negligible space was freed.
To turn off contact photo, follow the below guide;
- Open iPhone settings
- Open messages
- Scroll and find show contact photos
- Toggle it off
4. Relaunch iMessage And Restart iPhone
This is a two way fix. It’s not an uncommon thing for bugs to pull a stunt and prevent or completely stop a feature. Good thing they’re relatively easy to be rectified and have everything working as normal again.
To relaunch the iMessage app;
- Exit from the iMessage app completely by scrolling down from the top of the screen. Do the reverse if you’re on lower iPhone models
- This reveals the multitask window
- Swipe the iMessage app away from the tap.
Secondly is to restart your device;
- Press and hold the side power button
- The slider button appears
- Swipe the button towards power off.
- Turn your iPhone back on by pressing and holding the power button until the Apple logo appears
Now is to relaunch the iMessage app. Just tap on it and verify if it can now retain draft messages when you leave to another app from iMessages.
5. Update IOS
Still on bug fixing, this is a deeper kind of bug clearing and fixing. Once Apple becomes aware of this and identifies it as a software issue, they’ll immediately add the fix to the IOS version that will be released in the future. To upgrade your iPhone, do the following;
- Open iPhone settings
- Click on general
- Select and click software update
- It’ll scan for available updates
- Click download. It’ll install afterwards
Where Did My Draft Text Message Go?
Nowhere. I’m sorry to announce this to you but the draft messages that disappeared from iMessages did not hide away anywhere but were actually deleted. Some have said its in like a mysterious folder stored away in iCloud, but I tell you, it’s not in any of those places.
Does iPhone Save Text Message Drafts?
A draft folder has never been a thing on iPhone. However, the moment you open a conversation in iMessage and begin to compose your message, they begin to store, but not to a permanent folder such that even if you close your screen or exit to another app, you can come back and still find them the way you left.
Fixes to iPhone Text Messages Disappear & Shows A Blank and How to Recover Them
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Drafts: Sending Messages (iMessage/SMS) using Drafts
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I seriously think Apple should work on adding a draft folder to iMessages. I understand they want to do things differently but that shouldn’t be at the expense of users. Because a lot have been frustrated by this experience.
While I’ve tried my best to see that your issue is fixed with the above guide, if issue persist, you can revert to making your drafts in a notepad where you won’t worry about loosing them.