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10 Tips to Solve iPhone Messages Keep Indexing Issue

DoubtUser Concern

“My search messages aren't working because it says still indexing. It has been like that for a month. I tried toggling off and on, etc...very difficult now to find content and contacts in my messages.”

Do you get a notification that says, "More results will show once Messages finishes indexing" on your iPhone? Are you unable to view all your text messages or attachments because messages are still indexing?

iphone messages indexing

You are not alone. May iPhone users have trouble indexing messages, particullarly after updating to the latest iOS version. The good news is that you can solve this issue with a few simple fixes.

In today’s guide, we will let you know what causes the iPhone messages indexing issue and what you can do to fix it. Keep reading!

What Is iPhone Messages Indexing and Why Is It Stuck?

After every major software update, your iPhone will require reindexing some of its content like messages. How long does it take messages to finish indexing? Typically, the indexing process requires a few seconds to be done.

Why are my iPhone messages still indexing? In some cases, the indexing may take a few hours to a day, depending on the network connection, storage space, and the amount of data that needs to be indexed.

When the iPhone faces an indexing error, you won't be able to view the messages. Don’t worry, the text messages are not removed from your iPhone and can still be accessed. If the situation continues for a long time, you can follow the solutions below to solve the problem.

What To Do If iPhone Message Indexing Is Not Finishing?

1. Restart Your iPhone

The first thing you should do is restart the iPhone. It could solve the messages indexing error. Here is how to do this:

  • For iPhones with Face ID: Keep pressing the Side button and either volume button simultaneously, then drag the slider to turn off the device.
  • For iPhones with Touch ID: Keep pressing the Side button, then drag the slider to turn off the device.

restart iphone

2. Turn Messages Off and On in iCloud

Sometimes, the error can be caused by the iCloud syncing. In this case, consider turning off the iCloud Messages and turning it back on again. Here is what to do:

  • Open “Settings” on your iPhone and press your Apple ID. Click “iCloud” on the next page.
  • Find the “Message” option. It should be already enabled.
  • Disable the toggle for Messages and restart your iPhone.
  • Turn on the iPhone and enable iCloud Messages by following the first 3 steps.

messages in icloud

3. Change the Search Indexing Settings

iPhone enables you to update or alter the indexing settings. Updating the settings might help you to get rid of the issue. Here is how to do this:

  • Open the iPhone's Settings and select “Siri & Search.”
  • On the new page, scroll down to find and click on “Messages.”
  • You will see different options under Messages. Make sure they are all enabled.
  • If any settings are disabled under Messages, you need to enable them.

change search indexing settings

4. Change iPhone Language Settings

Incorrect language settings can also cause indexing errors. Check the language settings of your iPhone and make sure that it is correctly set. Here is how to do it:

  • Open the iPhone's Settings and go to General. Then press on “Language & Region.”
  • You will find a list of languages. Select the one you want to use.
  • Once done, go back to the main Settings page and open "Siri & Search."
  • Find and open "Languages" on the new page. Choose the preferred language like earlier.

change iphone language settings

5. Check iPhone and iCloud Storage

If the iPhone storage is almost full, the messages may not finish indexing cause there is not enough space for a message archive.

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Go to General > iPhone Storage and delete files that occupy large space.
  • Then go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud and check iCloud storage.

 iphone storage

6. Update iOS to Latest Version

Is your iPhone running an old iOS version? If so, consider upgrading to the latest version. Follow the below steps to check for updates:

  • Open Settings and go to General. Find and press “Software Update”.
  • Wait a while to let the iPhone check for available updates.
  • If it's available, you will find the "Install Now" button.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the iOS update.

update iphone

7. Sync Messages from iPad or Mac

If you have iCloud enabled on your iPhone, then there is no need to worry about losing the messages. That is because all the data, including the messages, will be backed up in the iCloud server. That means you can retrieve the messages anytime on your Mac, iPad, or other Apple devices that are signed with the same iCloud account.

8. Turn Off iCloud Backup Temporarily

You can temporarily stop iCloud backup to see if it is causing the indexing error. If you want to do so, follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings > Apple ID and then iCloud.
  • Disable the “iCloud Backup.”
  • Now, you will be asked whether or not you want to download all the content. Press “Yes”.

turn off icloud backup

This will make sure all the messages and other content of the device are locally accessible.

9. Restore iPhone from iTunes Backup

If none of the above options works, consider restoring the iPhone from a previous iTunes backup. Here is how:

  • Open iTunes/Finder on your PC and connect the iPhone. Enter the passcode if needed.
  • Press on the iPhone icon from the top-left of the screen on iTunes.
  • After that, press Summary/General and then click “Restore Backup.”
  • Choose the latest backup file to restore. When the restore is complete, all messages will be backed up to your iPhone.

restore iphone from itunes backup

10. View iPhone Messages on PC

If you still cannot sort out the problem, a third-party tool might be the best option. You can utilize the FoneGeek iPhone Data Recovery program to quickly view the old or deleted messages on your computer. It also enables you to access other types of content, including contacts, photos, videos, notes, WhatsApp messages, Safari history, and more.


Step 1: After downloading FoneGeek iPhone Data Recovery to your PC, install it with the on-screen guide. Then, launch it and attach the iPhone to the PC. Press "Recover Data from iOS Devices" on the app interface.

iphone recovery

Step 2: Now select Messages or other types of data you want to recover. Then press “Scan”. This will begin scanning for the deleted files of the device.

start scan iphone

Step 3: Once the scan is completed, you will find all the removed and available data listed as categories. Select "Messages" and click "Recover to PC". That's it; the messages will be downloaded on your PC.

preview photos ios

More FAQs about iPhone Messages Indexing

How to make a messages index on an iPhone?

Messages are indexed automatically on iPhone. However, the indexing process may not finish for network connection or storage issues. In such a situation, you can try the solutions above to make the message indexing process faster.

How long does it usually take to index messages on iPhone?

The time to index messages varies depending on how many texts are indexed. If you decide to index the messages for years, it may take one day.


Being unable to check the important messages on your iPhone can be very frustrating. However, you can now easily solve the iPhone messages keep indexing issue by following the above fixes.

If you are in a hurry and want to view your old messages quickly, consider using the FoneGeek iPhone Data Recovery program. By using it, it can quickly recover the messages and check them.

Edwin J. Parke

As a professional writer who is interested in technology, Edwin J. Parke has helped thousands of users by offering various tips to solve their problems.

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