retrieve deleted texts

How To Retrieve Deleted Texts On Android and iPhone

Text messages are this modern age’s version of hand-written letters. Though the methods are different, the purpose remains the same – to convey messages, thoughts, ideas, and feelings. 

In the same way that our ancestors piled their letters in a safe storage box, we keep SMS messages for future reference, as some sort of proof, or due to their sentimental value.

This is why it could be challenging when we have to erase all content and settings on our phones. Not to mention how frustrating it could get if we accidentally deleted important files like photos, contacts, or messages. 

Recovering Deleted Messages on an iPhone

There’s a space that marks recently sent or deleted messages as “unallocated” on iPhones. So, you have a slim chance to retrieve deleted texts. We say “slim” because the said space is constantly being taken up by newly fed data. Meaning, while the device can temporarily hold onto the message you’ve deleted, it will eventually be permanently overwritten by a new one. This is why you should immediately stop texting as soon as you realize you’ve deleted a text that was not meant to be. 

There are two other options for you to recover messages on an iPhone.

iCloud Backup

When setting up your iPhone, it’s highly recommended that you enable iCloud backup. If your device is regularly backed up via iCloud, it’s more likely that you can retrieve deleted files or restore your iPhone when the needs arise. To do so, navigate to the General Settings. Scroll down and click Reset, tap on Erase All Content and Settings, then tap on Erase Now

Choose Restore from iCloud backup once the reset is completed.

macOS Catalina Backup

It’s also possible to recover your text messages if you’re backing up data using your MAC computer. To do so, follow these quick and easy steps:

  • Using your phone’s cable, plug it to your Mac.
  • Open Finder, then navigate to Locations.
  • Click on your iPhone.
  • Select Manage Backups and it should prompt a list of all your available backups.
  • Click on which backup you want to restore to (anytime after you sent/received the message and before you deleted it).
  • Confirm selection, and hit on Restore iPhone.

Recovering Messages on Android Phones

An Android device doesn’t immediately remove the deleted text messages from the phone. It marks data as “active” until new data is created and marks it as “inactive.” As soon as you realize you didn’t mean to delete messages or files on your phone, switch to Airplane mode. The new data can come from anywhere, so by doing so, you prevent creating any new data, reducing the risk of overwriting the data you need to retrieve. 

If you’ve enabled Google Drive to back up your data, you can possibly undo any deletion you’ve initiated. Here’s a quick guide on how to go about it.

  • On the Settings Menu, click on Google Backup.
  • Select the name of your device. 
  • Look for SMS Text Messages then validate the timestamp; you’d want that to be before you deleted the text.
  • Once you’ve confirmed there’s an available backup of the messages you need, perform a factory reset.
  • Once completed, restore the data from your last backup on your Google Drive account. 

Other Tips To Recover Deleted Texts

If you don’t have any available backups  or the message you wish to retrieve has already been overwritten, there are other options you can resort to.

Data Recovery Software

Certain software or third-party apps can do the recovery for you. Well, it certainly comes with a price, but if the message you’re trying to recover is more precious, then this is your best option.

Cell Phone Service Provider

Your mobile or network service provider could have a backup that hasn’t been overwritten yet; give them a call. If you’re recovering texts from third-party messaging apps, you may contact their support as well.

Ask The Recipient 

Unless you’re using private messaging apps, deleting the text on your device does not remove it from your recipient’s phone. Though this could be tricky, your only option for possibly retrieving the text messages is to ask the recipient to send you a copy.

It’s a great thing to always have a backup not only in emergency cases like when you unintentionally deleted the texts or files, but also in cases where you need to reset your device due to malware. There are reliable third-party apps that also offer great storage and backup features. Aside from restoring data without resetting your phone, these also offer cool features. If you opt for monitoring apps, for instance, you can effectively check all activities on your phone in real-time. This can be an efficient way of identifying any compromise or hack attempt to your device.

Liam King

Author: Liam King

I am a tech writer looking to share with the world all of the latest gadgets, apps, and news.