How To Retrieve Deleted Text Messages On Android

Accidentally deleting text messages (or deliberately doing so and later regretting it) can be a total nightmare. Thankfully, however, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. 

To learn how to retrieve deleted text messages on Android, follow our step-by-step tutorials below. For all other information, or if you have further unanswered questions, direct your attention instead to our FAQ section located at the end of this article.

How to retrieve deleted text messages on Android (Method #1)

  1. On your Android device, open up your Text Message app by tapping the appropriate icon
  2. Locate the chat with the contact which once contained the message you deleted
  3. Open this chat by tapping on it
  4. Send a new text message to your contact explaining which text message(s) you deleted, and why you need them back
  5. In the text you are composing, kindly ask your contact to please look back through their own version of your text message conversation history to locate the texts you deleted on your end
  6. Finish the text by asking your contact to resend the messages to you
  7. Send the text and wait for your contact to hopefully resend you the previously-deleted text messages on Android

How to retrieve deleted text messages on Android (Method #2)

Note: This method only works if you have set Google Drive to backup your smartphone on a daily basis.

  • On your Android device, open up Google Drive by tapping on the appropriate icon
  • Once Google Drive has successfully launched, tap the menu button (hamburger menu/three horizontal lines) located in the top-left of the app screen
  • From the slide-out menu, select ‘Backups’
  • Next, from the list of backups stored on your Google Drive, tap the name of your device
  • On the next screen, look for ‘SMS’
  • Make sure that the most recent SMS backup performed by Google Drive occurred before you deleted the text messages
  • If the backup is from before your deletion, then that’s good news. Exit out of Google Drive
  • Head to your Settings app on your phone
  • Look for ‘System’ settings and tap on it to open it
  • Look for ‘Reset’ settings, and reset your phone (note: this will delete all of your files and settings, etc. but that’s okay, because we’re then going to restore the phone from your Google Drive backup)
  • Once the phone has been reset, open up Google Drive again and log back into your account
  • Finally, restore your phone from the backup located in Google Drive

And there you have two foolproof ways of recovering deleted text messages on Android. If neither works, you could consider a third-party recovery app/software, but should search for one you trust on your own. 

If you need more information, or have more questions, please see our FAQ section below.


Is it possible to retrieve deleted text messages on Android?

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You go to reply to a text message you’ve been sent, copy it, or edit it somehow, and accidentally tap the trash can (‘Delete’) icon instead. Suddenly, you’re confronted by the realization that you’ve absolutely no idea how to get the text message back, or indeed if it’s even possible to do so.

Thankfully, we’ve got some good news for you. It is possible to recover accidentally deleted text messages on Android. There are a few different ways you can do so, too, giving you a little bit of flexibility when it comes to recovery. 

Unfortunately, not all recovery methods will work for everyone who reads this article. Some of these methods require that you already have a backup plan set up, either to Google Drive or some other Cloud storage provider. 

If neither of the two methods described above work for you, then we recommend you resort instead to a third-party app such as Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery, which may still be able to retrieve your deleted text messages, alongside other accidentally deleted files.

How soon do you have to retrieve deleted text messages on Android after accidentally deleting them?

If you’ve just accidentally deleted an important text message which you need to retrieve (be it for professional, personal, or sentimental reasons), then there is one simple rule: the sooner you act, the more likely it is you’ll be able to successfully recover your deleted text messages.

If you opt to try the Google Drive backup recover method, then you must make sure that you perform the backup restoration the same day that you accidentally delete the text message, otherwise the following day your phone will backup a new restore file to Google Drive which doesn’t include the text message (since it’s been deleted).

If you opt to try the method of messaging the original sender, time may also be a key factor, since if you leave it too long then you may find that they can no longer find or access the text message to resend it.

And if you opt for the third-party app method as described in the previous FAQ, then you must act immediately. If you do not, then your phone will overwrite the deleted text message file (thus permanently deleting it) before your backup third-party app has the chance to find it. If you opt for this method, do not download or install or transfer anything new onto your phone until you’ve had a chance to run the app.

What’s the easiest way to recover deleted text messages on Android?

The very easiest way to recover accidentally deleted text messages on Android is simply to message the original sender, describing the text(s) you need to retrieve, and ask them to resend them from their end. 

However, we understand that the text messages you deleted may not be ones you can, or wish to, ask the sender for again. Thus, in this case, the easiest method would be to backup a restore file from Google Drive, provided you have one from before the text message was deleted.