How to Look For Deleted Messages

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2022-01-24
Carl Paige

How to Look For Deleted Messages

If you perform a factory reset, carry out an Android OS update, or tap your phone’s screen wrongly, you can delete text messages inadvertently. If you know how to look for deleted messages on a smartphone, you can easily get your precious messages back.

Files on a computer don’t disappear from your system totally after deleting them, but they’re hidden in a certain folder on the hard drive and can either be retrieved or replaced. Interestingly, the same thing applies to messages deleted from an Android phone.

Don’t know how to look at deleted messages on the phone? Let’s look at tips to find deleted SMS on an Android device.

Ways to look for deleted messages on the phone

Here are different methods you can use to search for a deleted text message on your smartphone:

First Method: Contact your phone carrier

Lots of cellular network providers keep users’ text messaging records and other information for long periods. Though they may not readily release the data on your phone to you just because you mistakenly deleted a message, some network carriers can cooperate with the police if required.

Such tech companies have assisted their customers with legal issues when some messages on their phones are needed as evidence in a court of law.

Besides, some phone carriers have their own messaging app, which is backed up on the cloud. These message apps regularly back up your messages and sync them across your devices.

With such software, you can easily find deleted messages on your Android phone.

Second Method: Use Google Drive

One of the most secure and most popular cloud services out there, Google Drive is also an excellent tool to find accidentally deleted messages on the smartphone.

If you’ve backed up your device to Google Drive, you might be able to recover deleted text messages from the backup.

  • Log in using your Google or Gmail account on a different smartphone
  • When the device setup starts, tap on Restore once a prompt shows up asking if you want to restore your Android backup
  • Finish the setup and open the messages folder to find the deleted messages

Going through these two techniques, you can master how to find deleted messages on the phone. You can also use a third-party app (explained below) to get your lost SMS back.

Note: The data backed up to Google Drive on Android can only be restored when you sign in on a new mobile device. So, you’ll need another phone to recover the deleted text messages.

How to retrieve deleted text messages on Android

Apart from learning how to look for deleted messages on your Android, you also need to know ways to retrieve deleted text messages on the phone. If you deleted the text not quite long ago, there’s a possibility you’ll be able to recover it.

While not guaranteed, we encourage you to recover such deleted messages as soon as possible because the faster you try to retrieve them, the higher the chances that you’ll get the back.

Here are the steps for recovering deleted texts on Android:

  • Put your device in Airplane mode. When you’ve done this, you’ll be able to avoid creating any new data that might overwrite the text messages you just deleted. When you delete a message on your smartphone, the system doesn’t remove it from your handset immediately. It will mark the data as inactive till you create new data that will then overwrite the deleted message eventually.
  • Open Google Drive on a computer to know the last time you created a backup. If you completed the setup process when you first bought your Android smartphone, it’s possible you’re making use of Google Drive to back up your phone’s data. You can confirm the last time your text messages were backed up by opening Google Drive.
  • Open Google Drive: These are the steps to open it:
  • Launch Google Drive in your app drawer
  • Head to the Menu > Settings > Google Backup
  • You should see your phone’s name listed if it has been backed up
  • Select your smartphone’s name
  • You should see messages together with a timestamp that indicates the last time a backup was created, and that backup must contain the deleted text messages
  • Carry out a factory reset of the device. You can’t restore your texts from Google Drive just like that because you’ll still need to perform a factory reset which will allow you to restore the data created in your last backup on your Gmail account.
  • Factory Reset: Open your phone’s Settings > Reset option > Factory reset

Once the reset is complete, you can now restore your phone. All you need do now is to follow the prompts to sign in to your Gmail account to restore the last backup.

How to recover deleted text messages on Android without a computer

With the free Android data recovery app called GT Recovery, you can easily retrieve deleted messages from the handset without the need to connect your phone to a PC:

  • Download the GT Recovery app from Google Play and install it
  • Open the app and tap Recover SMS to retrieve your texts
  • Press Start new scan to scan the phone for your deleted messages
  • Once the scan is complete, select the text messages and tap Recover selected SMS to retrieve them
  • Tap View the Result to see the messages retrieved

Note: You should first root your phone before using the data recovery software.

Another crucial aspect of learning how to look for deleted messages on a smartphone is to know where they’re stored on Android.

Where are deleted text messages stored on Android?

On the Android OS, there’s no recycle bin, and the undo button for undeleting text messages on the phone only works for a few seconds after deleting the messages. Still, it’s possible to recover your texts from the smartphone after deleting them.

When you delete a message from your mobile device, the handset doesn’t delete the text immediately from its memory space. But it changes the memory space the deleted SMS occupied to unused.

When you keep on using the device and new data is created, this new data will then overwrite the deleted texts and occupy that space. That means without creating new data, it’s still quite possible to recover a deleted text message.

Final thoughts

By going through this guide, we believe you’ve now learned how to look for deleted messages on Android. Using the tips above, you’ll find it easy to retrieve texts messages you deleted — either deliberately or mistakenly —from your mobile device.