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How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages

Sending text messages has almost become second nature for most of us. Getting in touch with friends, family, and even businesses, we can make everything in life happen with just a few taps of the screen.

If you like to keep your text messages a bit tidy, deleting messages is commonplace. But if you deleted texts that you need to get back again, there are a few ways to do it. After all, you never know when you’re going to need to pull up a few text messages from the recent past.

Woman holding smart phone


Retrieving Texts on Android

There are two platforms – iPhone and Android – so we’ll go through each of them. If you need to retrieve deleted text messages from your Android, the steps are relatively simple. Android users have the capability of storing automatic backups on Google Drive. Just keep in mind that you will need to reset your phone to get your texts back.

Backups are a critical part of owning any piece of technology. Go to your settings, then to cloud accounts, and then backup and restore. You can access Drive for any backups, but you will need to factory reset your phone in order to restore the backup.

Go to your settings, then to general management, and then reset (for older Android phones, it will be under privacy). Tap “reset” and then the phone will restart, eventually entering the automatic setup portion. Make sure that you log into your Google account and click “backup > restore” to get your last backup. With your backup set, go to settings and find storage again. Tap “factory data reset” and log into your Drive to restore the previous backup.

As is the case with the iPhone, it is a good idea to keep regular backups. It might not be a 100% optimal situation but you can avoid major catastrophes by having a fairly recent backup available to access on short notice.

Retrieving Texts on iPhone

Recovering text messages on iPhone is fairly easy as well. Unless you’ve made changes, the iPhone will automatically back itself up to iCloud. It might take a little work to figure out which backup has what you’re looking for, though.

Go to settings, tap your profile, then find “iCloud”. Click “manage storage” and check your backups. Now we’re ready to reset the phone. When the reset has finished, you need to restore from an earlier backup, which will take you back to that save point.

Start by going to “general”, then move to “reset” and “erase all content and settings.” Be patient because this will take a few minutes. Your iPhone will restart, and you will be taken through the setup process. During the setup, you’ll be given the option to access a backup. When it’s done, you will be able to access everything from that save point. It’s a good idea to back your phone up intermittently so that a major incident doesn’t leave you compromised and missing important information and texts.

If you don’t have a backup, there is another way. You’ll need to hook your phone up to a computer and open iTunes. Click the phone icon to find your latest backup. Click “restore backup” from the date you think you last had your texts. This is pretty much the same as above but some people find it easier to back their phones up to their iTunes account rather than iCloud. The moral of the story is to back your phone up intermittently to protect yourself.

Contact Your Carrier

If you don’t feel comfortable going through that kind of process, there may be another way. It is possible to contact your carrier to get those texts, but this is not often an easy option. Some providers don’t store your texts. Even if they don’t, it will probably be days before you get a response.

They will require photo identification and other documents to verify your identity. There is even a chance that you might have to pay a fee. Even if the carrier can access your prior text messages, there might be a limit as to how far back they will go. Backups are the best way to do things but not everyone thinks about backing things up on a regular basis. If you can go that route, it is a far superior option as opposed to contacting your carrier.

Also keep in mind that not every carrier offers this service, so make sure that you check before you go through the process of contacting them. There is nothing as frustrating as reaching out to your carrier for a resolution only to find out that they won’t or can’t help you in any significant way.


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