How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on Android Phones in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

Text messages have become one of the most common ways we communicate and store important information. However, mistakes happen and you may end up deleting a text that you wish you still had access to. The good news is, even if you have deleted a text message on your Android device, it can often still be recovered with the right tool.

This guide will provide an overview of the leading methods and apps to retrieve deleted texts on Android phones in 2024. We will cover how data recovery works, manual recovery techniques, the top text message recovery apps, and steps to help prevent mistakenly deleting texts in the future. Read on to ensure you have the knowledge to rescue important deleted messages!

What is Retrieve Deleted Text Messages?

Retrieve Deleted Text Messages refers to the ability to recover SMS text messages and conversations that were deleted from your Android smartphone or tablet, often by mistake.

When you delete a text message on an Android device, it is not immediately erased from the phone’s internal storage. The space where that deleted data resides is simply marked as “available to write new data”. The original deleted text message actually remains intact in that spot of memory until new data overwrites it.

This means there is a window of opportunity to use data recovery software that scans an Android device’s internal storage and extracts text messages marked as deleted but still physically residing in the memory unharmed. The text recovery app allows you to search, preview and restore accidentally deleted texts before they get overwritten.

Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on Android involves using data scanning and recovery technology to rescue deleted SMS texts, conversations, and message attachments that otherwise would have been permanently lost after accidental or mistaken deletion. It gives users a second chance at recovering important text history.

Is it Possible to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on Android?

Yes, it is often possible to retrieve deleted text messages on Android phones and tablets, as long as the data has not been overwritten by new content.

When a text message is deleted on an Android device, the space where that data resides simply becomes marked as “available to write new data”. Importantly, the original deleted text itself still physically exists in the phone’s storage memory until getting overwritten by something else.

This leaves a window of opportunity where data recovery apps can scan an Android’s raw storage memory, find messaging data marked deleted but undamaged, and allow the user to restore those text conversations or messages.

Success rates for recovering deleted SMS texts average over 90% in most cases when using a reputable recovery app shortly after deletion, before too much new data writes over the lost messages. However, the chances do steadily decline over time.

Yes, retrieving deleted Android text messages is often possible if you act quickly and use the right data scanning and recovery software. Top apps like PhoneRescue, FoneDog and EaseUS MobiSaver make the SMS restore process relatively straightforward in just a few clicks. Just don’t save anything new to your device until running the text rescue!

How Data Recovery Works on Android Devices

Before diving into the various options to retrieve deleted texts on your Android, it helps to understand a bit about how data recovery works at a high level.

When you delete a text or any file on your Android device, it is not immediately erased from the phone’s storage at first. What happens is that the spot where that text is stored is marked as available space to write new data. The original deleted text remains intact and recoverable until that section of storage space is overwritten by new files.

This means there is a window of opportunity between when a text is deleted and when the phone saves new data to that same location. Retrieving deleted texts involves scanning the phone’s storage for text data that is marked as deleted but still residing in the memory unharmed. Data recovery apps allow you to search and restore these texts before the phone writes over the deleted data.

Key Types of Storage Scanned During Data Recovery

There are a few key storage types that Android text message recovery apps and techniques focus on scanning:

  • Internal Phone Storage: Where many residual deleted text messages hide out
  • SIM Card: Especially important for recovering deleted SMS texts
  • Memory Card: If you have an SD card installed
  • Phone Cloud Backups: If the texts were backed up to the cloud

Generally, the quicker you use an Android data recovery method after deleting a text, the higher your chances of retrieving it intact before it gets overwritten.

Can You Recover Deleted Texts Without Software?

While it is possible to manually undelete Android text messages without a dedicated app in some cases, it is extremely complex. Methods would involve accessing arched file systems through Android’s Linux command line interface. One small mistake could cause irrecoverable data loss and damage to your device.

For most users, the easiest and safest way to retrieve deleted texts on an Android phone is to use data recovery software or mobile apps made specifically for this purpose. We’ll explore the top solutions next. However, it’s good to understand a bit about manual techniques as well.

Manual Android SMS Recovery Methods

Tech savvy users may attempt manual Android text recovery through adb commands and digging into internal archived storage systems:

  • ADB Data Recovery: This uses Android’s linux command line interface to execute advanced data recovery commands with a computer connected to the Android phone via USB.
  • Extracting Recovery.log: Directly access the recovery log system file that temporarily logs deleted files.
  • Scour App Cache Files: App cache data and files may contain deleted text message data.

However, all these manual approaches require advanced technical skills, have high failure risks, and can easily cause irrecoverable data loss if not done properly. That’s why in most cases an Android text message recovery app is the far simpler and safer way to go.

Best Android Text Message Recovery Apps in 2024

Data recovery technology and mobile apps are advancing rapidly. The top text message restore apps for Android combine high recovery rates, intuitive and easy workflows, affordable pricing, and advanced capabilities to search across various phone storage sources.

Based on extensive testing and research, below are among the leading Android text recovery solutions as of 2024:

1. PhoneRescue for Android

PhoneRescue is consistently a top recommendation from industry experts and editors. It stands out with a unique smart scan algorithm that achieves high SMS and text message recoverability from Android internal storage, SD cards, and SIM cards quickly and easily.

With a simple 3-step process of connecting your Android, scanning, and selectively restoring, even tech novices can handle PhoneRescue smoothly. Preview any found deleted texts, and backup the important ones to your phone, computer, or cloud platforms.

Key Features:

  • Simple 3-click workflow to find and restore deleted Android text messages
  • Smart Scan algorithm for industry-leading recovery rates
  • Pulls residual deleted texts from internal storage, SD card, and SIM card
  • Allows text message preview before recovery
  • Backs up rescued messages to device storage, computer, or cloud platforms like Google Drive
  • Works for Android phones, tablets from Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, Lenovo, etc.
  • 30-day money back guarantee


  • 1-Year subscription: $49.99
  • Lifetime License: $99.99

Recommended For: Both regular consumers and tech professionals seeking a full-scale Android text and data recovery solution for phones and tablets. Easy to use with top-rated performance.

2. DiskDigger Photo & File Recovery

As one of the longest tenured Android recovery apps, DIskDigger provides a free basic text recovery option along with affordable Pro upgrades. It focuses specifically on scanning your phone’s internal memory and SD card for lost or deleted text messages and files.

The user interface is dated but simple to use. Key capabilities include previewing recoverable text messages, saving them back to your device storage, sd card support, uploading restored SMS messages to Dropbox accounts, and more. Worth trying as a freemium tool for quick text and photo recovery operations.

Key Features:

  • Recovers deleted SMS text messages from internal Android storage and SD card
  • Preview found deleted texts before restoring
  • Save rescued messages back to your device
  • Upload restored files and texts to Dropbox (premium)
  • Support for 6000+ Android device models
  • Basic version is free


  • Free Version: Limited functionality
  • Premium (Pro): $2.99 one time purchase

Recommended For: The free version makes this a nice first app to try for basic text message recovery on Android devices. Affordably priced unlock for additional features.

3. FoneDog Android Data Recovery

Another long-time specialist in Android file rescue and recovery, FoneDog Toolkit has grown into an entire platform over the years. Its flagship Android Data Recovery module focuses on scanning internal and external storage sources for residual deleted text messages.

FoneDog also provides a toolbox of additional capabilities for backup & restore, WhatsApp recovery, photo recovery and more – which is unique. The user interface is dated but gets the job done for finding and restoring deleted SMS messages and call logs.

Key Features:

  • Scans Android internal storage and SD card for recoverable deleted text messages and SMS conversations
  • Preview deleted texts before choosing which to recover
  • SMS Export for saving messages to your computer
  • Additional modules provide well-rounded backup, transfer, restore, and recovery functionality
  • Support for 10000+ Android device models and various Android OS versions
  • 1-Year subscription plans


  • 1-Year Subscription: $39.95

Recommended For: The combined recovery capabilities make FoneDog Toolkit a nice value. Best for those wanting an all-in-one Android file recovery and management toolbox.

Other Notable Apps:

Beyond the top recommendations above, a few other decent Android text recovery apps to consider are: EaseUS MobiSaver, iMyFone Android Recovery, Jihosoft Android Phone Recovery. Each of these provide the core functionality of scanning and restoring deleted text messages from Android device storage and memory cards. They may be worth evaluating for your specific needs.

Key Criteria in Choosing an Android Text Recovery App

With various decent options now available for Android text message recovery programs and software, it can still be tricky to determine which is right for your needs. These key criteria can help narrow down the ideal app choice:

  • Text message recovery success rate – The most important factor – does the app reliably find and restore deleted SMS and texts from Android internal storage, SD cards, and SIM card? Recovery algorithms and scan quality vary widely.
  • Functionality – Can you preview found deleted texts before recovery? What storage sources are scanned (internal, SD, SIM)? Where can you export restored messages to (back to device, computer, cloud storage)?
  • Compatibility – How many Android manufacturers, models, and OS versions are officially supported? This ranges widely among apps from just popular phones to 10,000+ devices.
  • Pricing – Consider one time purchase costs or 1-Year subscription options. Some have free versions with in-app upgrades. Value differs widely from $3 to $50+ range.
  • Ease of use – Is the app intuitive and simple enough for even non-technical users? Or do you need advanced tech skills? User interface designs and quality range from excellent to very dated.

By evaluating Android text recovery apps based on these key factors, it becomes much easier to determine the best match for your deleted text rescue needs. Be sure to leverage free trials and money-back guarantees where available as well.

Step-By-Step Guide to Retrieving Deleted Texts on Android

Now that you understand the various methods and top texting recovery apps, it’s time walk through the general process to rescue deleted SMS messages on your Android mobile device:

Step 1. Don’t Use Your Phone

First, if you just recently deleted a text that you now want to recover, it’s crucial to avoid using your Android phone further until you can attempt rescue with a recovery app. The reason is that using your device can generate new data that overwrites where that deleted text still resides. Every new photo, text, app download etc, increases risk of permanent overwrite.

Step 2. Select an Android Text Recovery App

Based on the recommendations and insight earlier in this guide around leading solutions, choose an Android text recovery app to handle scanning and restoring your deleted SMS conversations or messages. The PhoneRescue, DiskDigger and FoneDog Toolkit apps mentioned are all solid options to consider.

Step 3. Install and Connect Android Device

Install your selected text recovery app on a Windows PC or Mac computer, and have both the app and your Android device handy. Connect your Android phone or tablet to the computer using its charging USB cable. This allows the recovery app to interface with Android’s internal storage file systems.

Step 4. Scan Android for Deleted Text Messages

Open your chosen Android text message recovery software on the connected computer. Follow any setup prompts that appear to allow USB debugging connections with your device. Then launch a scan of your phone’s storage system for deleted SMS messages and text conversations. The app will automatically dig through internal memory, SD cards, SIM card etc searching for deleted texts.

  • Scanning times can range from a few minutes to over an hour depending on how much storage space is being searched through and the volume of deleted files discovered.
  • For partially deleted text conversations, scanning may find and restore only a portion of the texts depending on how much data is still recoverable.

Step 5. Preview and Restore Deleted Texts

Once scanning completes, the Android file recovery app will display all text messages and conversations it could find that were marked as deleted but still residing in the storage memory unharmed.

  • Carefully review both the content preview and metadata like date & times to identify the SMS texts you wish to restore.
  • Select only the specific text messages and conversations to rescue rather than blindly recovering everything scanned.
  • Finally, choose to export, backup or restore the text messages back to your Android device internal storage, SD card, computer hard drive, or sync to a cloud storage platform.

Following these steps, you should successfully retrieve and regain access to deleted text messages – even SMS conversations or messages that were mistakenly erased from your Android mobile phone or tablet!

Alternative Ways to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on Android

Here are the step-by-step instructions to retrieve deleted text messages on Android:

1. Using a Data Recovery App

  1. Download and install a data recovery app like PhoneRescue or DiskDigger on your computer
  2. Connect your Android phone to the computer via USB cable
  3. Open the data recovery app and select your phone
  4. Start a scan of your phone’s internal storage and SD card
  5. Once the scan completes, preview and select the deleted text messages you want to recover
  6. Save or export the rescued text messages back to your phone’s storage or another location like your computer

2. Checking Messaging App’s Trash/Recycle Bin

  1. Open your messaging app on your Android device (e.g. Messages, WhatsApp)
  2. Locate the Trash, Recycle Bin or Deleted folder
  3. Long press on the deleted text conversations you need to restore
  4. Select “Restore” or “Recover” to rescue deleted texts back to your messaging inbox

3. Using Google Drive Backups

  1. Open the Google Drive app on your Android
  2. Tap on Backups
  3. Select the backup for your Android device
  4. Tap on SMS backup and select Restore
  5. Confirm to restore SMS backup and rescued deleted texts

4. Connect Phone to Computer and Scan Storage

Using data recovery software on a computer connected to your Android via USB, you can scan the phone’s files system and extract recoverable deleted text files. This requires more tech skills but can work.

5. Use Local/Online Backup Files

If you actively backup your SMS messages to local storage or cloud platforms, restoring from these backup files can retrieve your deleted text messages and conversations.

Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions! Providing the step-by-step sequence makes the instructions easy to follow.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages Android FREE

Here are some ways to retrieve deleted text messages on Android phones for free:

  1. Use Your Messaging App’s Built-in Restore Function

Many Android messaging apps like Messages and WhatsApp have a built-in recently deleted or trash folder where texts are stored temporarily before being erased. You can often restore deleted messages from here without any additional software.

  1. Leverage Google Drive Backups

If you have SMS backup enabled in your Google Account, you can restore deleted texts and conversations from your Google Drive backups. Just log into Drive on your phone, tap Backups, and restore the SMS backup file.

  1. Try DiskDigger Photo Recovery App

DiskDigger offers a fairly robust free text and photo recovery app for Android. While limited compared to the premium, it can scan and retrieve recently deleted texts, attachments, and pictures that aren’t overwritten.

  1. Root Your Device for Data Recovery

There are some free root-only SMS recovery apps like SMS Recovery and Undeleter Recover Files that users have reported success with if comfortable rooting. However, risks apply.

Relying on messaging app restore functions, Google Drive backups, rooting carefully with free apps, and tools like DiskDigger provide free deleted Android text recovery options to restore those mistake deletions!

How to Recover Deleted SMS in Google Messages

Here are the steps to recover deleted SMS messages in the Google Messages app:

  1. Open the Google Messages app on your Android phone.
  2. Tap on the 3-line menu icon in the top left corner.
  3. Go to Settings > Delete conversations.
  4. Tap on “Recently deleted conversations”.
  5. Here you will see a list of any conversations you have recently deleted. Tap on the conversation you want to restore.
  6. On the next screen, tap “Restore conversation” at the bottom.
  7. The deleted SMS conversation with all its messages will now be restored and appear again in your Messages inbox.

Alternatively, if the conversation has been deleted for more than 30 days:

  1. Go to Settings > Back up & restore.
  2. Tap “Restore from backup”.
  3. Select a backup that contains the deleted conversation you want to restore.
  4. Tap “Next” and then “Restore” to retrieve the deleted SMS messages from backup.

This will allow you to recover deleted text messages in Google’s official Android Messages app without any third party software.

How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on Samsung Galaxy Devices

Here are the steps to recover deleted text messages on Samsung Galaxy devices:

  1. Use Samsung Cloud Backups

If you have Samsung Cloud backup enabled, you can restore deleted texts and conversations from your Samsung account. Open the Settings app > Accounts and backup > Samsung Cloud > Restore data.

  1. Download Android Data Recovery Software

Use data recovery software like FoneDog or PhoneRescue to scan your Galaxy device storage and find recoverable deleted text messages not yet overwritten. Connect your phone to a computer via USB to scan.

  1. Check Messaging App Trash Folder

The default Samsung Messages app saves recently deleted texts and conversations in a Trash folder for up to 30 days. Open the app and check if your deleted texts exist here to restore them.

  1. Use Google Drive Backups

If you have SMS backup enabled in your Google Account, you can restore deleted Samsung text messages from your Google Drive backup. Just log into Drive app > Backups > SMS backup for your device.

In most cases, combining scanning software with app trash folders and cloud backup restoration provides the best chances to recover deleted texts on Samsung phones. Act quickly before new data overwrites the deleted messages!

How to Recover Deleted Texts Through Your Mobile Carrier

Unfortunately, recovering deleted text messages through your mobile carrier is typically not possible. Here’s why:

  1. Carriers have limited text message storage and retention times – usually only 48-72 hours. So any texts deleted longer ago are erased from their servers.
  2. For privacy reasons, carriers do not allow access to view or retrieve deleted text content that may still be available on their servers.
  3. Text message storage and backup is on the individual user’s device and account systems like Google Drive – not maintained by the carrier.
  4. Customer service reps for carriers generally have very limited capabilities to restore data like deleted texts.

So in summary, your mobile network provider does not offer any way to access or recover deleted text messages from their systems, unfortunately. Retention times are very limited before permanent deletion as well.

Instead, your best options for recovering deleted texts include:

  • Data recovery apps to scan your phone’s internal storage memory
  • Messaging app trash folders that temporarily retain deleted texts
  • Cloud backups like Google Drive or Samsung Cloud if you have SMS backup enabled

But the carrier network itself provides no pathway to retrieve deleted historical text messages once they have been erased from their short-term system caches. Just wanted to clarify the limited capabilities available there.

How to Retrieve Deleted Messages Android from Recycle Bin

Here are the steps to retrieve deleted text messages from the Recycle Bin on an Android device:

  1. Open Your Messaging App Launch your default messaging app on your Android phone – usually the Messages or SMS app.
  2. Locate the Recycle Bin Folder Look for either a “Recycle Bin” or “Recently Deleted” folder. In Android Messages, go to Menu > Deleted messages.
  3. Tap the Deleted Conversation
    Browse the list of recently deleted conversations and tap on the one containing the text messages you want to restore.
  4. Choose Recover or Restore You will see options to “Recover”, “Restore” or “Undelete” that conversation’s messages. Tap whichever option is available.
  5. Confirm Recovery A popup will have you confirm restoration of the deleted texts. Tap OK or Recover to complete retrieval from the Recycle Bin back into your main messaging screen.

Once restored, those resurrected text messages will appear again in your regular messaging inbox as if never deleted. This takes advantage of temporary Recycle Bin storage before permanent erasure.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Text Messages without Backup on Android?

Here are the steps to recover permanently deleted text messages without backup on an Android device:

  1. Download and Install Data Recovery Software The first step is to download and install a reputable Android data recovery and scanning software. Some top options are PhoneRescue, EaseUS MobiSaver or DiskDigger. Install on a Windows or Mac computer.
  2. Connect Android & Deny Permissions Next is a little trick – when connecting your Android via USB to the computer do NOT allow access to OS functions when prompted on your device. Denying access forces the phone into recovery mode for deeper scans.
  3. Scan Storage & SIM Card Run the recovery software and initiate a scan of your Android internal storage and SIM card hunting for recoverable deleted text messages marked as permanently deleted. The software will pull residual data from archives.
  4. Preview & Recover Texts Once the scan finishes, preview found text messages in the recovery software interface. Carefully select those important deleted text conversations and messages that you want retrieved and recovered.
  5. Export Text Messages Finally, choose to export the resurrected text messages back to your local device storage or sync to cloud platforms like Google Drive to regain access in a messaging app.

The key for recovering permanently deleted Android text lies in that initial denial of OS permissions combined with data recovery scanning pulling residual data from hidden storage. Give it try!

Where are Text Messages Stored on Android?

Text messages on Android devices are stored in a few different potential locations:

  1. Internal Phone Storage Many Android phones will save SMS and MMS messages to internal phone storage in the system data folders. The path is usually something like: /data/data/
  2. SIM Card If you still use a SIM card on your Android phone, it’s common for incoming and outgoing text messages to be stored here as a backup. The SIM has a storage file that retains SMS data.
  3. Messaging App Data In addition to the system storage areas, many messaging apps like Android Messages will store your text conversations within the app’s own data files and databases either locally or in synced cloud storage if enabled.
  4. Google Drive Backups If you have SMS backup enabled in your Google Account settings, Android text messages are usually included in your Google Drive backups on a recurring basis, providing off device storage.

Text messages reside in internal system storage, the SIM card, messaging app data, and cloud backup files. When attempting to recover deleted texts, data recovery apps scan across all these potential locations hunting for recoverable message data.

How to Restore SMS from Google Drive without Factory Reset?

Here are the steps to restore SMS messages from your Google Drive backup without doing a factory reset on your Android device:

  1. Open the Google Drive App Launch the Google Drive app on your Android device. Make sure you are logged into the right Google account that has the SMS backup.
  2. Tap on Backups In the Google Drive app, tap on the “Backups” option in the side menu. This will display backups associated with your Google account.
  3. Find Your Android Backup & Tap SMS Locate the backup for your Android device. When you tap it, you’ll see backup details like “Photos”, “Contacts” etc. Tap on “SMS”.
  4. Tap the 3-Dot Menu & Select Restore With SMS messages selected next, tap the 3-dot menu button in the top corner and choose the “Restore” option from menu.
  5. Confirm SMS Restore A popup will ask you to confirm restoring SMS messages from Google Drive Backup. Tap Restore.
  6. Verify Restored Messages Once completed, open your default text messaging app on your Android device to confirm your SMS messages have been successfully restored from the cloud!

This allows you to retrieve deleted or lost text conversations from your Google Drive backup without needing to wipe your device. You skip the factory reset approach.

Pro Tips to Avoid Deleting Important Texts

While the above text recovery tactics empower you to rescue deleted messages when needed, avoiding unwanted text message loss in the first place is obviously ideal. Here are some pro tips that can help prevent accidentally deleting important SMS conversations:

  • Back Up Your Texts – Configure your Android to regularly auto back up SMS messages and conversations to your Google Drive or device cloud storage. This provides a safety net if texts are ever deleted.
  • Use Recycle Bin Features – Some Android messaging apps provide a Recycle Bin feature where deleted texts are stored temporarily before final deletion, allowing rescue if deleted prematurely.
  • Disable Swipe Delete – In your Android SMS app settings, disable the Swipe Text to Delete function, forcing yourself to tap a Delete confirmation button instead for added safety.
  • Extra Attention to Partial Deletions – When attempting to delete a single bad text, it’s easy to accidentally swipe away extra messages. Slow down and carefully confirm texts being deleted.
  • Add Text Message Protect – Look into apps like Text Message Protect that prevent permanent deletion allowing recovery of erased texts within the app’s Recycle Bin.

Staying mindful with the above tips will help you avoid the need for text recovery in the first place – keeping all those important messages and special conversations safe!

Conclusion: Full Control Over Your Deleted Android Text Messages

Accidentally losing special text conversations or important SMS messages can be utterly frustrating. Thankfully with the right Android data recovery app and following the steps in this guide, you can now feel empowered to rescue deleted texts on any Android phone or tablet.

Between leveraging residual storage memory scans, previewing texts before restoring, and backing up recovered messages to various destinations – you have full control. Take advantage of the best text recovery apps for Android and implement preventative measures for keeping texts safe, avoiding unwanted permanent data loss!

Also Read:


What are the chances I can recover a deleted text message on Android?

If you act quickly before the data is overwritten, your chances of recovering a deleted text on Android are very good – over 90% in most cases if you use a data recovery app within a couple days. The sooner you scan your device after the deletion, the higher your odds.

How long are deleted texts recoverable on Android phones?

It varies on your phone usage but most deleted Android text messages remain intact but marked as deleted in the system data for 1-2 weeks typically. Extensive phone usage that writes new data has a chance to start overwriting older deleted files.

Can you recover permanently deleted text messages?

It depends on the definition of “permanently deleted”. If a text is overwritten by new data, then it is likely unrecoverable through scanning techniques. However, data recovery apps can often still find and rescue text messages even if you manually hit “Permanently Delete”.

Can deleted texts be recovered from the SIM card?

Absolutely. A key part of recovering deleted SMS text messages is scanning the SIM card, as it often contains text data marked as removed but not yet overwritten. Android data recovery apps pull deleted text messages from SIM cards if still intact.

What happens if I overwrite or reset my Android – can texts still be recovered?

If you factory reset your Android or upgrade the operating system, it mass overwrites much of the existing data – including any deleted files – making text recovery very difficult and unlikely. Your best bet would be restoring any available backups from the cloud or external storage.