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Can You Search iMessages by Date Directly on iPhone?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. Currently, no native features on iPhones allow you to search iMessages by date. However, several traditional methods are just as effective. We’ll talk about them later in another section.
For now, let’s learn how we can use search messages by date using our computers.
Method 01: Using the iOS Data Recovery Tool to search iMessages
iOS Data Recovery is a management tool that lets you export your messages to a computer so that you can search them by date. If this method suits you, head here to download the Leawo iOS Data Recovery application.
The application was initially designed as a recovery software to recover lost data. However, it also has backup and export capability, allowing you to export and save videos, notes, photos, call logs, text messages, and iMessages from an iPhone to a computer.
1. Connect iPhone to Computer
First, you must connect your iPhone via the lightning cable to your computer. Launch the iOS Data Recovery application on the computer after connecting the phone. Choose the “Recover from iOS Device” option from the main page.
Your iPhone should be visible at this point on the main screen. Select your phone from the options and click on the “Start” button.
2. Scan the iPhone
Let the software scan your selected iPhone for compatible data and files. It only takes a moment, and the software can even list lost or deleted files. After the scan is complete, you will see an extensive list of neatly sorted files, with categories present on the left sidebar menu.
3. Select iMessages to Back Up
After the scan is complete, you must navigate to the left sidebar panel and select the “Messages” option. All messages, including deleted ones, will become visible on the main screen as sorted files.
You can also view the details, such as phone number, address, and email, on the right panel. Select the messages you want to export to your computer.
4. Export iMessages to Computer
After selecting the messages, you want to export, select the “Recover” option on the bottom right-hand side of the computer screen.
From the pop-up option that displays, select the output directory where you want to save your messages, and then click on the “Go” option.
After the data management tool has saved the files, you can quickly head to the output directory you chose and search iMessage by date on your computer!
Method 02: Using a Third-Party App to Search iMessages by Date
Chatology is only available for Mac devices. Although the original developers have discontinued the software, it is still widely available on different Mac forums. It is still considered the best third-party tool to compete with Apple’s iMessage app. You can download the software from any reputable website and follow these steps to search iMessages by date:
- Launch the Chatology application on your Mac device.
- Allow Chatology to download and save the message logs to the Mac device.
- Chatology will display the conversations using a similar interface to Apple’s Messages app.
- A panel to your left will show different dates when you received messages.
- Tap on a date of your choosing and conveniently view the messages sent and received between the time period.
However, it is essential to mention that Chatology only allows users to view messages between different time periods and not specific dates. Hence, the crown still goes to Leawo’s iOS Data Recovery tool. However, if you want a crisp UI on your Mac, Chatology is the way to go.
Searching iMessages on your iPhone Using Traditional Methods
While you can’t search iMessages by date on your iPhone, you can still look them up quickly using two popular ways.
Method 01: Using the Messages App
You can open the Messages app to search for iMessages. Follow these steps:
- Tap on the Messages app to launch it.
- Swipe down on the main page to access the search box.
- Enter the search string in the search box. The application will update the message list according to the search input.
You can use this method to look up messages from different dates only if you remember part of the text. It won’t let you search iMessages by date.
Method 02: Using Spotlight
Spotlight is an impressive and powerful native feature in iPhones. It can also search for messages present on other messaging apps like WhatsApp. Follow these steps to search message threads using Spotlight:
- Swipe right on the iPhone’s main screen to access the Spotlight search box
- Tap on the search bar to enter the information. You can enter words to open message threads, search by contact names, and even display results using phone numbers.
- Tap multiple times on the top panel of your iPhone’s screen, and Spotlight will scroll to a message thread’s beginning.
- Select the message by tallying the date on the right side to find what you were looking for quickly.
Spotlight is an intelligent feature made for you to search for things. While it does not let you search iMessages by date, it can help you quickly sift through multiple threads to find the target message easily!
Both alternative methods are convenient for searching messages, given they haven’t been deleted or overwritten if you don’t want to use the computer or your Mac device.