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Recovering Deleted Text Messages


Recovering Deleted Text Messages

As mobile phones become further integrated with our lives and we rely on text messages more we tend to keep more important information on them. Sometimes this can be sensitive or sentimental information and other times it can be bank details or the time and date of a meeting. This is all fine until you accidentally hit the delete button or something goes wrong with an update forcing the phone to delete your important messages.

I’m going to assume that because you are reading this you have already been through the panic, dread and/or technology hating rampage and now you are looking to recover your deleted text messages. Well, I can help you there.

First of all – nothing is guaranteed. There’s only so much we can do and a lot of factors at play. Try to keep your expectations managed but I’ll do my best here to help you recover your messages.

Secondly use your phone as little as possible. In fact I’d suggest if you have anything other than a BlackBerry you turn the phone off for now. The deleted message is still stored in your phones memory but because it has been marked as deleted your SMS app ignores it and the memory location where it is stored is not reserved. Any kind of usage which requires memory could overwrite your message and if that happens there is no comeback. A BlackBerry still has deleted messages in the cache so don’t restart it or turn it off but use it as little as possible – other phones should be turned off as soon as possible or at least used as little as possible.

And thirdly this really does depend on the model of your phone. This is where the major limitations come in. Now older phones can be easier or harder to retrieve deleted messages on but I can’t possibly cover all of the models out there. So I’m going to cover the main three – the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry and if you have a different model you can try to apply the same principles to them. Obviously app specific techniques won’t work but the general technique should give you ideas to try. You can also drop me a comment about specific models and I’ll see if I can help with that model.

Recovering Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

If this is the section for you then you’re in luck. Out of any of the phones I’ve dealt with the iPhone has it the easiest for text recovery. It stores messages the longest and has a lot of techniques for restoring them.

  1. First is the more obvious one. Check your iTunes to see if your computer has made a recent backup of your messages. Check the backup date and see if it compares to when you had the message. If you don’t know when you had the message you can open the backup file with a text editor to check it before restoring it to your phone.
  2. If you don’t have a backup then we go to the source directly. There’s a lot of tools out there for viewing the files on an iPhone grab your favourite and copy the SMS.db from the phone to your computer. In there you’ll see all of your texts including deleted ones still on the memory. It might not be pretty or formatted but the information is there.
  3. If you have a jailbroken iPhone you can get an app from Cydia called ‘SMS Undelete’ which does exactly what you’d expect it to. Recovers deleted text messages back on to the phone but is limited still by what is left over in the memory.

Recovering Deleted Text Messages on Android

Android users have it the hardest. There’s no easy way to access the SMS files or tools which recover things for you so we have to rely on bugs that exist in the system. Now these have been patched out of some versions but it is worth checking for.

  1. Find the person who sent the deleted message and select the ‘show messages’ option. In some versions this will display deleted text messages as well.
  2. In some versions if you delete an entire thread at once and then send a new text message it will show all of the deleted messages – including the one you want to restore. Be sure to test this with a new conversation thread first.

Recovering Deleted Text Messages on BlackBerry

BlackBerry users only have one technique however it is quite possibly the most effective and easiest to do.

Open your SMS application and hit the menu button. Search for the name of the sender or a keyword from the message itself. BlackBerry keeps deleted messages in the cache so the search will show the message and you can move it to a new folder.


Geller on February 22, 2017:

There are tools that can recover lost data from the phone, if you have an android phone, you can use the recovery methods for android, I recommend MobiKin Android Recovery tool.

YVONNE RUTHERFORD on November 11, 2016:


Bthaaky on February 29, 2016:

To solve android phone messages lost problem, Coolmuster Android SMS+Contacts Recovery is the ideal recovery helper for you. No matter your phone is Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony or Motorola, etc. Coolmuster Android SMS+Contacts Recovery enable you to recover the lost data, including contacts, messages, SMS, photos, videos and more.

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mark on July 25, 2015:

I think my wife is cheating on me

Kelly on February 21, 2015:

I need to know if I can retrieve incoming and sent texts from my safelink cell phone?

adrian22 on September 10, 2014:

I have noticed a lot of abnormal stuff that is on every device I own how can I retrieve all of the things that are zipped and find out if my fiancé is cheating?

Candy22 on August 28, 2014:

Hi! The convenient way to recover deleted sms from Samsung Galaxy phone is using backup, if you have backup, you can restore from them. However, if you don`t backup, you need to use program which is so called Android data recovery software to recover deleted files from Samsung phone on computer, you can know more from here:

Johng888 on August 27, 2014:

Im thankful for the post. Great. gakedackefcc

bonnie on August 18, 2014:

Thanks for your passage, it is helpful. I only know how to recover deleted text messages on Android from the guide of Android sms recovery: .

Harry on December 22, 2013:

Myjad Android SMS Recovery Overview

- Directly recover deleted SMS text messages from Android devices.

- Retrieve lost messages for various reasons: restoring factory

settings, deleting, rooting, etc.

- Recover SMS stored in SD cards inside Android devices.

- Preview & selectively recover message contents.

- Support multiple Android phones and tablets include Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei, Motorola and more.

- Risk-free, read and recover only,no leaking for the confidential messages.

april111 on June 04, 2013:

Hi, I'm using General Mobile Dual Sim Q4. Unfortunately, my sent messages have been deleted. It's extremely important that I must retrieve my messages. Would you know, if I can get my deleted messages back?

Many thanks in advance..

fizar on April 21, 2013:

hi. i'm using a nokia C3 model. can i recover those deleted sms? its rather important for me. tq

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