Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on Android

Whether you’ve accidentally deleted one (or all) of your text messages or you can’t get to them because your phone was reset or (worse) broken, don’t panic! Retrieving deleted text messages on an Android is as easy as it gets. You’ve actually lucked out big time because Android has the best recovery rate of any phone we’ve tried.

Important: Try and use your phone as little as possible for now.

The more you actually use your phone at the moment the higher the chances of the message being lost for good.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on Android Phones

Below (ranked in order from best to worst) are tools and methods you can use to recover deleted messages for Android.

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Method 1: Dr.Fone for Android

retrieve deleted text messages android

100% the best of its kind this tool can recover anything from text messages and contacts to WhatApp messages and photos.

The easiest to use (since it does everything for you) all you have to do is connect your android handset and click “scan”. It finds all deleted data, you choose what you want to restore and click “recover”. And it gets the best results. It can also restore data straight back to the phone.

You can see our quick guide and download the tool by clicking here.

android SMS recovery download
To be honest there’s no reason to use anything other than Dr.Fone but we’ll include the other methods for historical purposes at least. Currently it is by far the best text message recovery tool.

Note: Following the guide should make things easy enough but if you find yourself having trouble finding the deleted data check the box for “Deep Scan” at the phone scan stage. It’ll take longer to run but it has a better chance of finding your messages.

Method 2: The LALLPT Tool

retrieve deleted text messages iphone

NEW for 2014: The LALLPT SMS Retrieval Software!

The LALLPT retrieval tool is free to download and designed to retrieve deleted text messages and is fully compatible with nearly all Android versions and models.

You can download the LALLPT tool for free here:

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Note: The quicker you start the retrieval the higher the chance of full recovery. Run the tool as quickly as you can and avoid using your phone as much as possible before doing so.

Your phone contains memory locations which can still be holding the deleted messages. But because they’re marked as deleted your phone is happy to overwrite them. We want to get there before it does so we can safely move the messages back to safety.

It is important you use your phone as little as possible for the moment. The more data is moved around on your phone, the less you’re going to be able to recover. There’s quite a degree of luck to this and you won’t know what you can recover until the end but the less you use your phone for the moment the better the chance you can retrieve your messages. This includes everything from sending more texts to playing games. If you’ve already used it don’t panic. It won’t instantly overwrite the same part of the memory but just try and use it as little as possible. The recovery won’t take long so you won’t be stuck without a phone for long.

  • To start restoring your text messages you’ll need to look at which app you use. If you’re using anything other than the default for your handset check for a deleted folder and check the original messages app to see if the message has been kept there.
  • If you sync or create backups of your phone check the backups or re-sync your phone to a point where you still had the required messages.

Method 3: Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on Android SIM Card Reader

android sim readerYou can always check your settings to see if messages are being stored on the SIM card. Not stored here by default but if you’ve changed the settings then you’ll find your texts there as well as on the normal memory storage. It’s a long shot that you’ve already changed this but if you have then it’s a lot easier because SIM recovery is pretty simple.

I’ve covered SIM card data recovery pretty extensively in the past and while it used to work well a couple of years ago it’s rarely an option these days. You’ll find people touting this from time to time as a recovery method but their advice or software will usually come with a price tag – and no results.

The only time you should be looking into this method is if you’re 100% sure the data is stored in the SIM card (which usually means you’ve manually selected the option for your Android phone to do so). Even then there’s not a lot of room on there so it won’t be able to recover many messages and it’s even more important for you to stop using your phone as much as possible until you have your messages recovered. Your abosolute first step right now should be swapping that option so it stops storing more data on the SIM.

If you receive more text messages then it becomes harder (bordering on impossible) to retrieve deleted text messages from that memory location. If you can’t stop them saving to the SIM my suggestion is disable your phones ability to retrieve messages. Turning on airplane mode or killing the signal works. Ideally you want to have it on so you can work on recovering the messages without actually running the risk of getting more messages.

Update: This method has become a little more feasible and moved to the 3rd spot. It’s still unlikely you’ll have any data there worth recovering but if you check the Android app store (Google Play) and search for ‘SIM reader’ you’ll find apps which can access the data direct from the phone. It means you don’t need to waste money on a USB reader but it’s still not really going to do much to get your text messages back.

Method 4: Recover Deleted Text Message on Android With Bugs

No, I’m not talking about covering your phone in slugs here. Depending on your phone and the version of Android you’re using there is a bug which allowed deleted messages to still appear. You’ll need to be lucky enough for your phone to be the right version but it is worth trying.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on AndroidGo to your phone contacts list and select the contact whose message you deleted. If you scroll to the right you can see a list of messages. If your phone is the right version you will still see the deleted messages and you can copy them over. It essentially is an accidental ‘deleted folder’ and existed prior to the 2.2 update.

There’s a second bug you might want to check as well:

This one works with some of the SMS apps and not the others but it is worth a try. If you delete an entire thread of messages from the contact and add a new message to that thread it will restore everything including the originally deleted texts.

Note: It’s a good idea to test this with someone else first. Someone who you wouldn’t mind losing their messages. Delete their thread then send them a message and see if your entire thread restores including the deleted message. If it works then you can do it with your main thread.

These are bugs because they’re not supposed to be there and are patched out in the new versions. If these techniques didn’t work for you then check out our retrieving deleted messages pack.

Interestingly (or not depending on your point of view I guess) it was my old Android HTC accidentally deleting all of my messages that led to the creation of this website and this tool. It amuses me that a bug led to the creation of this site where I suggesting using another bug to recover deleted text messages android might have deleted.

Prevention

Once you can restore your deleted text messages you might start to relax a little too much around your phone.  You need to remember that if a memory location is overwritten you won’t be able to retrieve any data from it and that can happen randomly as the phone is used. This is why, even with the best tools, nobody can ever 100% guarantee that you can retrieve deleted texts every time. There’s always a chance that something has used that memory location and its’ gone for good.

So start thinking backup. Learn your lesson!

If you look on the app store you’ll find backup apps like this which you can use to stop yourself getting into this position again.