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How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on Android 2020

By Emily Watson, Thursday, May 21, 2020

Deleted text messages are recoverable from Android phones. You can count on FonePaw Android Data Recovery to get the deleted text messages back easily.


You can accidentally delete important text messages because of a wrong tap or lose all the messages after a factory reset, system crash, Android update, rooting, etc. The good news is, you can still recover the deleted texts from your Android device so long as they are not overwritten by new data.

This article will show you everything about SMS recovery for Android. You'll learn how to restore deleted text messages on Android devices with or without computer step by step.

You May Need:

Can You Retrieve Deleted Texts?

Although there is no recycle bin on Android phone, nor there is a undo button to undelete text messages on Android, text messages CAN be recovered after being deleted from Android.

The truth is after you delete a text message from your Android phone, the phone doesn't immediately delete the message from its memory space, instead, it changes the space the deleted messages occupied as "unused" and when you continue to use the phone and create new data, the new data will overwrite the deleted messages and occupy the space. This gives you a chance to retrieve deleted messages before they are overwritten.

I'm not gonna lie to you, although it is possible to recover deleted text messages from Android, it is not easy to actually get the deleted text messages. back

For one thing, the location of the deleted messages is hidden in the phone storage. There is no normal way that enables you to access the folder that contains the deleted messages, even with the best file manager app. Only by using an SMS recovery software can you access the deleted Android messages.

For another thing, if you continue to use the Android phone after deleting the messages,  there is a chance that the deleted messages have already been overwritten by new data and become unrecoverable, especially when the messages have been deleted for days or even months.

How long before deleted texts are overwritten?

There is no way to find out how long it will take before the deleted texts will be overwritten, but it is for sure that the sooner you take action, the greater chance the deleted messages can be recovered. 

Once you know that some important text messages are deleted, you should:

  • Put your Android phone in Airplane mode. By turning off network connection on your phone, it prevents the deleted messages from being overwritten by new messages, phone calls or other data.

  • Avoid creating new files on your Android phone. For example, try not to use it to take new photos, download a new file, etc. 

Then you'll need to act fast - get an SMS recovery software for your Android phone as soon as possible to  recover your deleted text messages before they are overwritten.

Video Tutorial: How to View Deleted Text Messages


Android SMS Recovery Software

FonePaw Android Data Recovery is a PC-based application 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 text messages that you need.

Main Features

  • Easily recover deleted Android SMS, MMS on Android phone, including the texts, contacts information, date;

  • 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 the computer;

  • Supports Android text/data recovery on Samsung Galaxy(e.g. Galaxy S10/S9/Note9/S8/S7/S6/S5), 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 an Android phone.

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


STEP 1. Connect Android to Windows

First of all, launch Android Data Recovery on a computer. Connect your phone (Samsung Galaxy S10/S9/S8/Note 9) to a computer with a USB cable. The program will immediately detect your Android phone and prompt you to enable USB debugging on the phone if you haven't. (What Is USB Debugging and How to Enable It?)

Connect Android to Windows Computer

Allow for USB Debugging

STEP 2. 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 3. Install FonePaw App 

The program will try to scan your Android phone for deleted messages. To gain permission to access your phone data, the FonePaw app needs to be installed on your phone. Therefore, the Android Data Recovery program will ask you to enable Install via USB.

Install FonePaw App

Follow the on-screen instruction to enable the option and tap Install when you see the following pop-up on your Android phone. 

Tap Install FonePaw App

STEP 4. Give Permission to Scan Deleted Messages

Once the FonePaw app is installed, you can give permission to Android Data Recovery to access your deleted data. When FonePaw asks you to allow its access to read messages on your phone, tap Allow. Otherwise, the program is unable to find deleted text messages from your Android phone.

Allow to Access Deleted Messages

After you have granted all privileges, click Scan Authorized Files to scan out the deleted messages. 

Scan Authorized Files

STEP 5. Preview and Recover Text Messages from Android

The program will first perform a standard scan on your phone. If you can't find the missing messages that you need after the standard scan, click Deep Scan to find more. 

Preview Messages After Standard Scan

After the deep scan, deleted messages will be displayed in red font. 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. 

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 the HTML file will display the recovered messages in a 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

Is It Possible to Recover Deleted Texts on Android Without Computer?

You may want to recover deleted messages on Android without computer. There are two ways you can try.

Restore text messages from Google Drive

If you have backed up your phone to Google Drive, the backup may contain your deleted texts. Go to Settings > Accounts and backup > Backup and restore, under Google account, tap Google Account to check if there is a Google Drive backup created before the messages were deleted. If there is an available backup, you may restore the backup and get the deleted messages back. However, by restoring a backup, everything created after the backup will be erased.

Back up to Google Drive

Android SMS recovery app

There are apps to recover deleted text messages on Android without a computer. However, downloading and installing the app on your Android phone will create new data on your phone memory space and could potentially overwrite your deleted messages and deleted them permanently. That's why we would suggest you recover deleted texts on Android with a desktop program like FonePaw Android Data Recovery.

Can I Recover Deleted Messages on Android without Root?

Deleted text messages are stored in a hidden folder of your phone memory, which can't be accessed by regular file explorer. Only after rooting your Android phone can an Android data recovery app gain access to the deleted messages. \

Therefore, although there are apps claiming that they can retrieve deleted text messages from Android without rooting, it is actually impossible to get back your deleted text messages without rooting.

Back up Messages on Android Phones

To protect your text messages from being deleted again, it is a good idea to back up important Android SMS regularly so that you can have an extra copy of the important text messages in case they are deleted by mistake.

Back up SMS text messages to Google Drive

Open Google Drive app, tap Settings > Google backup > SMS messages and enable SMS backup.

Back up SMS text messages to PC   

Another option is to back up text messages to a computer. FonePaw Android Data Backup & Restore allows you to make a backup of your text messages. If some messages are mistakenly deleted from your phone in the future, you can always find the deleted messages on the PC and restore them to your phone.


Back up Android Messages

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

Rating: 3.9 / 5  (Based on 177 ratings) Thanks for your rating.
  • 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 [email protected] . 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