How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on Android

By Emily Watson, Thursday, March 07, 2019

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 messages or restore the old text messages so long as they are not overwritten by new data.

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


Can You Retrieve Deleted Texts?

Can I recover deleted text messages? You may have doubts since there is no button to undelete text messages on Android and no trash folder to hold the deleted texts.

The truth is, after you delete a text message from your Android phone, the phone doesn't 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.

So to retrieve your deleted texts, the rule number one is - TURN OFF wireless/mobile data on your phone and DO NOT USE the phone, especially not use it to download files, install apps, etc. Then you'll need a text messages recovery program that can find deleted text messages on Android as the deleted messages are stored in the system folders that cannot be easily accessed. Here we recommend FonePaw Android Data Recovery.

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 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 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 an 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 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.

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 the 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"

Tip: Once you tend to retrieve the attachments in the messages, tick the box in front of "Message Attachments" also.

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

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 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

How to Retrieve Deleted Texts on Android Without Computer

A few people want to find a way to recover deleted messages on Android without computer. There are two ways you can try.

Pull up deleted texts from backups. Every Android phone supports data backup and restore. So when you lose important text messages, you may go to Settings >  Backup & reset and check your last backup. 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.

Android SMS recovery app. There are apps to recover deleted text messages on Android without computer. However, downloading and installing the app on your Android phone will create new data on your phone memory space and could potentially cover 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, which is more effective in recovering deleted data.

Video Tutorial: How to View Deleted Text Messages

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.


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!

Rating: 4.0 / 5  (Based on 126 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 androiddatarecovery@fonepaw.com . 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