How to Retrieve & Recover Deleted Messages
You deleted some SMS messages by mistake and now you're desperate because you don't know how to recover them? You can't find some chats you saved in WhatsApp or Messenger and you're afraid they've disappeared for good? Don't get demoralized. Not yet at least. Your messages may still be retrievable.
Thanks to the backups of the messages that, perhaps without even realizing it, you have made in the past and some programs that allow you to recover deleted files from the smartphone memory (provided that the deleted information has not yet been overwritten by other data), you may be able to recover your SMS and chat in a fairly simple way.
You don't believe it? Then try it now, on the other hand, trying doesn't hurt! Take five minutes of free time, read carefully the instructions I'm about to give you and find out how to recover deleted messages. With a bit of luck, you'll be able to recover not only your text messages, but also WhatsApp messages, Messenger chats and Gmail emails. All I have left to do is wish you a good read and good luck with everything!
How to recover deleted Android messages
Did you accidentally delete text messages from an Android phone? Then here are a number of solutions that might be just right for you. Between apps to install directly on your smartphone and PC programs, you shouldn't have too many problems finding a solution that's right for you.
EaseUS MobiSaver (Android)
If you don't want to use your PC, you can recover deleted messages from your smartphone using EaseUS MobiSaver: an app that allows you to recover SMS, contacts, photos and other data deleted from the phone's memory (or from the SD inserted in it), even if it doesn't undergo the root procedure (root is required only for photos and videos). It is extremely intuitive but it is not completely free: it allows you to view recoverable messages and recover JPG and MP4 files. To extract the recovered SMS, however, requires an in-app purchase of 6.49 euros.
Having said that, let's get down to business. To use EaseUS MobiSaver, download the application from the Google Play Store and launch it. Then, if you have a root device, give the app administration permissions by pressing the Grant button, press the SMS button and give the app the necessary permissions to access the messages.
When you have finished scanning the smartphone's memory, tap on the messages you are interested in, in order to see a complete preview of them. To retrieve them, if you have purchased the full version of the app, tap the Recover button. Easy, right?
iReparo for Android (Windows/macOS)
If your smartphone has not undergone root or EaseUS MobiSaver has not given the expected results, you can turn to iReparo for Android: a program for Windows and macOS that allows you to recover deleted data from Android smartphones. It's not free, it costs $49.95, but a free trial version is available that allows you to view the text of all messages deleted from your mobile phone.
To download the iReparo for Android trial, go to the program's official website, select Windows or Mac in the middle of the page (depending on which operating system you are using on your computer) and click the Download button below.
If you're using a Mac, open the pkg package that you downloaded to your computer. In the window that opens, click the Continue button twice in a row, then click Install and type the password for your MacOS user account (the one you use to access the system). To finish, click the Install software button, wait for the setup to finish, close the window and choose whether to move the program installation file to the Recycle Bin.
When installation is complete, start iReparo for Android, connect your smartphone to your computer and make sure that USB debugging is enabled on your computer in the Settings > Developer Options menu. If this is not the case or if you don't see the "Developer Options" menu in the Android settings, go to the settings menu (the gear icon on the home screen or the screen with the list of all apps installed on the device), select the Phone Info item and tap 7 times in a row on the Build Version or Serial Number item until the "Developer Options" menu is activated. Then, go to the Developer Options menu and tick the checkmark next to the USB Debug item.
Now, go back to your computer and click on the Contact, SMS, Call log button in the main window of iReparo for Android, wait for the program to "see" your smartphone (you may need to authorize communication between the two devices by responding to an alert on Android) and press Start.
When the scan is complete (it should only take a few seconds), select Messages from the left sidebar and you should be able to see all the recoverable messages on your smartphone. To export messages to your computer (this feature is only available in the paid version of the program), you must click the Recover button at the bottom right.
If iReparo for Android doesn't fully satisfy your needs, you can try Dr.Fone: a paid program where I'll tell you more about it in the iPhone tutorial chapter (the software is compatible with both Android and iOS devices).
Note: in some tests done on smartphones with root permissions unlocked, I noticed that using iReparo for Android led to the removal of the SuperSu app. This is not a very serious problem: just flashare the SuperSu app from Recovery again and everything goes back to the way it was before, but I felt it should be pointed out.
How to recover deleted iPhone messages
The easiest - and most effective - way to recover deleted messages from your iPhone is to take advantage of iTunes backups or iCloud backups. There are, in fact, programs that allow you to navigate through iPhone backups and read the messages contained in them (unless they are encrypted). They do not allow you to bring them back into the iOS Messages app, but they do allow you to retrieve them and view their contents. In most cases they are paid for, but the message display function is available at no cost through their trial versions.
If, on the other hand, you don't have a backup of your iPhone (bad!), you'll have to rely on programs - also for a fee - that allow you to directly scan the smartphone memory. But be warned: the chances of success with these are lower than with iTunes/iCloud backup programs.
iExplorer is a program for Windows and macOS that lets you explore the contents of your iPhone and transfer files to it. Among its functions, there is also one that lets you explore iTunes backups: this means that it can be used to browse the iPhone's backups and to view the messages present in them. As mentioned earlier, it's not free: it costs 39.99 euros, but it's available in a demo version that allows you to view SMS messages contained in iTunes backups without any problem.
To download the free demo of iExplorer, go to the official website of the program and first click on the arrow next to the Download iExplorer button and then click on for Windows or for Mac, depending on the operating system you are using on your computer.
When the download is complete, if you are using Windows, open the iExplorerSetup.exe file and finish the setup by clicking on Yes first and then on Install. If you're using a Mac, open the dmg package containing the program and drag the dmg icon into the MacOS Applications folder.
Now, to recover deleted messages with iExplorer, start the software and click on the Continue with demo/Continue button in demo mode to use its free trial version. Then press the Browse iTunes Backup button, select the iTunes backup from which you want to extract the messages and click on the Messages item in the left sidebar to view the available SMS.
If you've purchased the full version of iExplorer, you can also take advantage of the feature to export all your messages as CSV, TXT or PDF files: simply press the Export to Conversations button and select the option you prefer from the menu that opens.
Dr.Fone is one of the best programs to recover deleted files from mobile phones (iOS and Android). It is available for both Windows and MacOS and is available for a fee: it has prices between 100 and 140 euros, however you can try it in a free demo version that allows you to see a preview (in some cases partial and in others complete) of the recoverable SMS.
To download Dr.Fone on your computer, connect to its official website and click on the Download button for the iOS version of the program. If you use a Windows PC, you must click on the download button located under the heading Download for Windows. If you are using a Mac, click on the download button under Download for Mac.
When the download is complete, if you are using Windows, start the drfone-for-ios_fullxx.exe file and, in the window that opens, click Yes first and then OK. Then tick the box next to I accept the terms of the license agreement and complete the setup by clicking Next three times in a row and then Finish. If you're using a Mac, open the dmg package you downloaded on your computer and drag the program icon into the Applications folder of macOS.
At this point, start Dr.Fone, click on the Recovery item on the left, connect the iPhone to the computer (in order for the device to be recognized, if you use Windows, you must have iTunes installed on the PC) and wait for the program to recognize the device.
Now, put a check mark next to the items related to the content you want to recover from the "melaphonino" (in your case, Messages & Attachments), click on the Start Scan button (bottom right) and patiently wait for Dr.Fone to recover the messages available on the device memory.
Once the phone scan is complete, you can view messages recovered from the iPhone by simply selecting them with the mouse. If you have then purchased the full version of Dr.Fone, you can export them to your PC by placing the check mark next to them and pressing the Export button at the bottom right.
How to recover deleted messages from WhatsApp
Have you deleted messages from WhatsApp and are desperate because you don't know how to retrieve them? Don't worry, you may be able to recover them all using the backups that the application automatically generates. You should know that WhatsApp creates automatic backups of all chats and saves them daily to the cloud services your smartphone is associated with: Google Drive on Android, iCloud on iPhone and OneDrive on Windows 10 Mobile.
I beg your pardon? Did you check the date of the last backup made automatically by WhatsApp (going to the Settings > Chat > App Chat Backup menu) and it is more recent than the date you accidentally deleted the messages you are interested in? Don't despair here either. If you use an Android terminal, you can retrieve your messages using the local backup files generated by the app (files that unfortunately cannot be used on iOS). Here are all the details.
If you want to restore a backup of WhatsApp from the cloud, simply delete the app from your smartphone and reinstall it by following a few simple rules.
- Uninstall WhatsApp from your smartphone.
- Reinstall WhatsApp on your smartphone making sure it is associated with the same phone number and cloud account (i.e., the same Google account if you use Android, the same iCloud account if you use iPhone, or the same Microsoft account if you use Windows 10 Mobile) as when you backed up to restore.
- Launch WhatsApp and activate the application by following the on-screen wizard. After the phone number is verified, the application should detect the backup and ask you if you want to restore it, you accept and it will be done.
Restoring previous backups
If you have an Android smartphone and the WhatsApp backup on Google Drive is more recent than the date you deleted the messages you want to recover, take advantage of the local backup files that the app saves to your smartphone's memory.
- Install a file manager on your Android smartphone. I recommend Total Commander.
- Use the file manager to access WhatsApp's backup folder, which should be HomeWhatsAppDatabases.
- Locate the backup file you are interested in. The most recent WhatsApp backup file is the one named msgstore.db.crypt12, then there are other older files named msgstore-[date]. If you want to restore an older backup, you must rename the msgstore.db.crypt12 file to something like msgstore.db.crypt12.old and the msgstore-[data] file of your interest to msgstore.db.crypt12.
- Create a backup copy of the msgstore.db.crypt12 file, outside the WhatsApp folder.
- Uninstall WhatsApp. If you do not know how, read my guide to uninstalling WhatsApp .
- Reinstall WhatsApp on your smartphone ensuring that it is associated with the same phone number and Google account as when the backup to be restored was made.
- Return to the WhatsApp backup folder and make sure that the msgstore.db.crypt12 file is still inside it. Otherwise, copy the backup you created earlier.
- Connect to this Google account management page and remove WhatsApp from applications that are allowed to access your account. This will force WhatsApp to look at local backup instead of Google Drive.
- Activate WhatsApp and, after verifying your phone number, accept the recovery of the backup files.
If some of the steps are unclear to you, you can get more details on how to restore WhatsApp backups by reading the tutorial I have dedicated to the topic.
Other useful solutions
If none of the above procedures allowed you to recover deleted messages from WhatsApp, try following these other tips.
- Check archived chats. In some cases, chats that you believe have been deleted have simply been archived and are available in WhatsApp's archived chat menu. If you do not know how to archive WhatsApp messages and how to remove them from the archive, please read my guide to the topic.
- Connect your phone to your computer and use data recovery software, such as Dr.Fone for Windows and macOS, which I told you about in the iPhone tutorial chapter (by selecting .
How to recover deleted messages from Messenger
- Check archived chats. Very often, messages that you think you have deleted on Messenger are only archived. To view them, connect to Messenger from your PC, log into your Facebook account (if necessary), click on the gear icon at the top left and select Archived Chat from the menu that opens.
- Retrieve Messenger cache files from your smartphone. If you have an Android smartphone, Messenger may have saved parts of your conversations with your friends to your device's memory. To recover them, open any file manager (I recommend Total Commander or File Manager +) and go to the Main memory location (or Internal memory > Android > data > com.facebook.orca > cache > fb_temp.
If some steps are unclear and/or you want more information on how to recover deleted Messenger messages, read my tutorial dedicated to the topic.
How to recover deleted Gmail messages
Have you deleted emails from Gmail and don't know how to retrieve them? Don't worry, they probably ended up in the recycle bin of the famous Google webmail service and can be recovered in a couple of clicks.
All you need to do is log into your inbox on Gmail, log into your account (if necessary) and section the Trash item from the left sidebar. Then locate the messages you want to retrieve, check the box next to their title and return them to your inbox by first clicking the Move to (top) button and then the Inbox item in the menu that opens.
If there was no trace of the emails you want to recover in the Gmail Trash and you use your email account in a client like Outlook or Thunderbird, try installing a data recovery program like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition and use it to scan your computer hard drive.