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This question is related but different to this question.

Apple says that all iMessages are end-to-end encrypted, but how can a newly enrolled apple laptop read my phone's iMessages that were sent before my laptop's time, without a private key leaving my phone and traveling across Apple's servers to my laptop?

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Maybe I am not understanding something about this encryption process.

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    If you use iCloud backups for message history, then messages will be backed up in plaintext to iCloud. If you don't use iCloud, then only new messages will be available for all devices (each device has a unique key that is registered to your account). – Natanael Apr 12 at 16:24

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