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How to Recover Deleted Text Messages from Android

By Emily Watson, Thursday, December 21, 2017

Summary: Accidentally deleted text messages on Android? You can still get them back. Stop making changes on your phone and follow this article to recover deleted text messages with FonePaw Android Data Recovery.

You can accidentally delete important text messages because of a wrong tap or lose all the messages after a factory reset, system crash, rooting. But the good news is, you can still recover the deleted or old text messages so long as they are not overwritten. 

The truth is, after you delete a message from your Android phone, the phone doesn't delete the message from its memory, instead, it changes the space the deleted data occupied as "unused" and when you continue to use the phone and create new data, the new data will overwrite the deleted one and occupy the space. 

So to retrieve your deleted texts, the rule number one is - TURN OFFwireless/mobile data on your phone and DO NOT USE the phone, especially not use it to download files, install apps, etc. Therefore, a message recovery app is not an option here since installing a message recovery app might overwrite the recently deleted messages. 

What you need is a computer and a program to recover deleted text messages on Android. Here we recommend FonePaw Android Data Recovery.

TIP: For those who google "how to retrieve deleted text messages", "recover deleted texts", hoping to recover deleted text messages on iPhone, go to How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone.

Also See:

Introduction to FonePaw Android Data Recovery

FonePaw Android Data Recovery is a program that can find deleted, old text messages from Android phone memory and get them back. It is very easy-to-use: all you need is connect your phone to a computer and follow the on-screen instruction of the program to restore the deleted texts messages that you need.

Main Features 

  • Easily recover deleted Android SMS, MMS on Android phone, including the texts, contacts informationdate.

  • Provide a preview of the deleted text messages so that you can select the needed texts to recover;

  • Save that recovered Android messages in HTML, CSV to better view the deleted messages on computer.

  • Supports Android text/data recovery on Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony, Google Nexus, OnePlus, ASUS, HUAWEI, Xiaomi and more, covering most Android brands.

  • Also can recover WhatsApp messages, photos, call logs, contacts and other data on Android phone.

How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on Android

Free download FonePaw Android Data Recovery on your Windows PC or Mac and then follow the steps to recover deleted messages on Android.


STEP 1. Connect Android to Windows

First of all, launch Android Data Recovery on a computer. Connect your phone (HTC or Samsung Galaxy S7/S8/S9/Note 8) to a computer with a USB cable.

Connect Android to Windows Computer

STEP 2. Turn on Android USB Debugging

The program will immediately detect your phone, if USB debugging is off on the phone, it will prompt you to turn it on so that the computer can communicate with your Android phone. Enable USB debugging mode on your phone and then click the "OK" button.

Allow for USB Debugging

For example, if your phone is running Android 4.2 or newer (Android 7.0/8.0/9.0):

  • Hit "Settings" > "About phone". Tab "Build number" for 7 times till the dialogue box "You are under developer mode" occurs.

  • Then go back to "Settings" > "Developer options" > "USB Debugging".

For a mobile phone on Android 4.1 earlier, refer to tutorial on how to enable USB debugging.

Turn on USB Debugging for Android Device

STEP 3. Choose to Restore Text Messages

Once the computer and the phone are connected, the program will show the below screen and you can choose what kind of data you would like to recover from Android. You can choose to recover deleted photos, WhatsApp messages, contacts, videos from Android. In this case, choose "Messages" and click "Next"

Select Deleted Messages to Recover

STEP 4. Analyze Device and Get Privilege to Scan Deleted Messages

Before Android Data Recovery is able to scan out the deleted data, it needs to get the privilege to access deleted SMS data. As shown in the screenshot, there will be a pop-up window on your phone asking for your permission. Go to the Android phone and tap "Allow/Grant/ Authorize" on the pop-up window.

If there is no such prompt on the device, click "Retry" to try again.

Analyze and Scan Android Device Files

STEP 5. Preview and Recover Text Messages from Android

The program will begin to scan your phone and display both the deleted and existing text messages that it find. Deleted messages are written in red font while the existing ones are black. If you want to look at the deleted SMS only, just tap "Only display the deleted items" to ON

Click the text messages you want to restore and then press the "Recover" button; the program will recover the messages to PC. 

Recover Deleted Text Messages from Android

If your Android phone is broken or dead and you need to recover text messages from broken Android, visit How to Retrieve Data from Broken Android Phone.

Have A Look at the Recovered Messages

As it is shown in the following screenshot, FonePaw Android Data Recovery saves the deleted messages on your computer in CSV and HTML formats. You can open the CSV file in Microsoft Excel or in a text editor like Notepad. It is small-sized and easy to be printed out.

Recovered Messages on PC

And HTML file will display the recovered messages in more organized and clear manner. So if you just want to read the messages, HTML might be a better choice for you.

Recovered Messages in HTML Format

One More Thing

It is a good idea to backup Android sms regularly. You can have an extra copy of the important text messages in case they are deleted by mistake.


Video Tutorial: How to View Deleted Text Messages


Above is the whole guide to retrieve deleted messages from Android. If you have any problem, please let us know by dropping a comment below!


Thank you for providing feedback!

  • FonePaw

    Dear friend, Actually, not all Android phone should be root to use FonePaw Android Data Recovery. For some device, FonePaw should be get privilige to scan Android, so it needs to be rooted.

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • cecelianolan

    what if my phone cant be rooted will this still work?

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • FonePaw

    Dear Customer, Have you rooted your phone and failed?

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • disqus_HaFNICEwao

    When I ask Only to display the deleted items it give me a warning The filtration is empty, please reset the filter conditions. What does that mean and how do I do it?

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • FonePaw

    Dear Customer, To your case, can you send screenshot of this problem to our product manager? Please send the detail to . Our team will try to help you.

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • disqus_3kqLcXAyII

    sort of works, it found some deleted messages, but not all...and not the ones that I am in need of. One number in particular its not recovering messages from. Why is this?

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • Dlappin

    so what was the answer for this? This is what mine is saying too. Not showing ant deleted at all.

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • disqus_u6wdLGegTD

    I tried rooting my Samsung galaxy S3 with Kingo Root and it failed. What should I do now.

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • shermainelai

    I tried, it managed to connect to my phone but when i turn it "on" it shows "The Filtration is empty, please reset filter conditions". What does it means.

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • disqus_COGJAKBKrf

    i need help I don't know what kind of phone I have .... its from boost and its a lg volt that's all I know can someone help

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • disqus_COGJAKBKrf

    Im just trying to get my text messages back after i deleted them .... and i dont know what 2means at all and i will look at 3

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • FonePaw

    Just download the recover tool and try to use it. It will not affect your phone, and it will boot normally.

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • disqus_r2EtytEiDI

    "the filtration is empty, please reset the filter conditions" I get this message when I am trying to see the deleted texts. I don't know what this message means and how to fix it. please help.

    2015-05-22 01:38

  • FonePaw

    Hi, When FonePaw Android Data Recovery analyse your phone, did you see this interface and you just click "Continue Scanning" but not "Manually Root"? If yes, may I ask you to choose "Manually Root"? Actually, the program will scan data in a more in-dept level after your phone rooting. Here is the guide to root Android phone:

    2015-05-22 01:38