How to retrieve deleted text messages on Android

Learn how to recover deleted text messages on Android devices. Explore methods and tips for successful message retrieval.

Accidentally deleted important messages on your Android phone? Don’t worry, you might still be able to get them back! The chances depend on factors like how often you back up your data and the messaging app you use.

If you use Google Messages, there’s no recycle bin, so once you delete messages, they’re gone for good. But if you have a Samsung or another brand’s default messaging app, you might have better luck. Here’s a simple guide to help you retrieve deleted text messages step by step.

Is it possible to retrieve deleted text messages on Android?

Depending on your messaging app, you can recover deleted text messages on Android.

Google Messages doesn’t have a recycle bin, so once deleted, texts are gone unless backed up to the cloud.

However, if you use Samsung, OnePlus, or other custom Android versions, your message app might have a bin. It’s wise to activate it to store deleted texts for 30 days before permanent deletion.

In case of urgency, you can reach out to the other party as they might have a copy of the conversation.

Be cautious with data recovery software like PhoneRescue and Dr.Fone, as some may contain harmful malware.

Recover deleted SMS in Google Messages

In Google Messages, there’s no trash bin, so when you delete a message, it’s gone for good. However, you might have accidentally archived the texts instead. Archiving a conversation removes it from the main list but keeps the messages. It’s easy to archive and unarchive texts on Android devices and also with Google Messages on other devices like Windows or Mac computers.

To unarchive texts in Google Messages on computers:

To unarchive texts in Google Messages on computers:

  1. Visit and follow the instructions to connect your mobile and computer.
  2. Click the menu icon at the top-right, then choose “Archived.”
  3. Next to a message, click “Unarchive.”
  4. Finally, click “Done.”

To unarchive texts in Google Messages on Android phones and tablets:

  1. Open the Google Messages app on your device.
  2. Click on your profile icon located near the search icon.
  3. Select “Archived.”
  4. Press and hold on the messages you wish to retrieve, then tap the “unarchive” button found in the top-right corner.

Recover deleted text messages on Samsung Galaxy devices

Samsung phones and tablets have special features for recovering deleted messages. They use Samsung Messages, a custom app with a recycle bin option in the Settings menu. When activated, deleted messages stay in the bin for 30 days before being permanently erased.

You can also use Samsung Cloud, similar to Google Drive, for backing up and restoring messages.

Another option is Samsung Switch, a PC-connected software for transferring data between devices.

Recover deleted texts through your mobile carrier:

Mobile carriers typically keep records of your conversations as billing statements, but they don’t provide detailed content of text messages. Some carriers may retain the actual text for a short period or require a court order for access.

Many carriers offer additional text messaging apps for Android phones, like AT&T Messages Backup & Sync or Verizon Messages, which support backup features for easier message recovery and access on other devices.

Alfred Demirjian, CEO of TechFusion, suggests that law enforcement and government agencies may use forensic tools to recover deleted data. If the deleted message contains crucial information, this might be an option to explore.

If all else fails, consider contacting the sender or recipient of the deleted message. They may still have a copy and can forward it to you.

Tips to avoid permanently losing your text messages:

Keep your important text messages safe from accidental deletion with these tips:

Archive messages instead of deleting them:
Utilize Google Messages’ archive feature to hide irrelevant or sensitive conversations from the main menu. Simply long press the messages you want to conceal, then tap the archive button at the top of the screen. You can recover archived conversations easily using the steps mentioned earlier.

Back up your text messages on Google Drive:
Activate Google Drive backup on your Android phone to keep your texts safe from permanent deletion. Google Drive stores app data, media files, SMS messages, call history, device settings, and Google account data. You can access recent backups from other devices too.

Keep in mind, during setup, you’ll need to factory reset your device and restore the Google Drive backup. Also, remember that your backups use up space in your Google Drive storage. If you run out of space, you might need to free up some or consider subscribing to Google One plans.

Consider using third-party apps to manage text messages:
If you’re not keen on cloud backups or don’t want to go through a factory reset, there are third-party SMS apps available on the Play Store. These apps offer features for organizing, backing up, and recovering texts.

One example is Pulse SMS, which comes with various features like theme selections, a web version for desktops, Wear OS support, web link previews, password protection, text backup and restoration, and automated replies. Some advanced features are available with the Pulse+ subscription, starting at $1 per month.

Safeguard Your Text Messages

Android devices utilize a storage management system that can overwrite deleted information with new data, making recovery difficult.

Backup Your Messages: Save yourself the trouble by backing up your messages. You can retrieve them on any device linked to your Google account.

Consider Printouts: If you’re wary of SMS backups or recovery apps, consider preserving texts with printouts.


Accidentally deleted important messages on Android? Depending on your app, recovery is possible. Google Messages lacks a recycle bin, but Samsung and others offer options. Use Google Drive for backup or third-party apps like Pulse SMS. Always consider printouts for extra security.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Recovering Deleted Text Messages on Android

1. Can you recover deleted text messages on Android?

Yes, depending on several factors including the messaging app you use and whether you’ve backed up your messages, it is often possible to recover deleted text messages on Android devices.

2. Can I get deleted text messages back?

In many cases, yes. If you act quickly and have a backup solution in place, such as Google Drive or a third-party app, you can often retrieve deleted text messages.

3. Are deleted text messages permanently gone?

Not necessarily. While deleting a text message may remove it from your device’s interface, the data may still be recoverable until it’s overwritten by new data. So, if you act swiftly, there’s a good chance you can retrieve deleted messages.

4. Can text messages be deleted on Android?

Yes, you can delete text messages on Android devices. Most messaging apps provide options to delete individual messages or entire conversations.

5. Where is Recycle Bin on Android phone?

Unlike computers, Android phones don’t typically have a recycle bin where deleted files, including text messages, are stored. However, some custom Android skins or messaging apps may offer a similar feature.

6. Does Google backup your text messages?

Yes, Google offers backup solutions for Android devices, including text messages. If you have Google Drive backup enabled, your text messages may be included in the backup.

7. Where are SMS messages stored on Android?

SMS messages are typically stored in a database on your Android device’s internal storage. The exact location may vary depending on the messaging app you use, but they are usually stored in a directory within the system files.

8. How do I restore SMS from Google Drive?

To restore SMS messages from Google Drive, you’ll need to have previously enabled backup and sync for your messages. Then, when setting up a new device or after a factory reset, you can choose to restore your data from Google Drive, including your SMS messages.

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