Whoops! How to Retrieve Deleted Messages
You’ve accidentally hit Delete on an important text message. Noooo! Well, don’t freak out just yet. We know how to retrieve deleted messages. It’s actually quite easy!
Does Hitting Delete Permanently Erase Stuff?
Computing devices such as PCs and smartphones never really delete data right away even after using the Delete key. Sure, the trashed data disappears from view and from its folder; but, the operating system stashes the undesired file in a holding section where it awaits permanent demise. And lucky for you that it does…await, that is. You can still recover deleted text messages with specialized recovery apps or built-in phone features.
Each operating system has its own approach to deletion. When data is deleted, the Android OS, in particular, simply renders this erasure an inactive file, one that is tagged as replaceable and invisible. Deleted data is treated as something that can be overwritten with new data. Remember this fact. Should you inadvertently erase a text message, stop using your Android phone because a new text message could permanently overwrite the older, deleted one.
On the other hand, Apple’s iOS is much more forgiving of deleted files. Deleted files simply go to a safe haven awaiting recovery from an iCloud or iTunes backup. To permanently erase deleted text messages, you need to reset the iPhone back to its factory settings, a drastic action that will wipe out everything, including photos, videos, notes, contacts, and more. A factory reset is usually only performed when you are giving or selling your iPhone to someone else.
Recovering Text Messages the Android Way
Assuming the deleted message has not been overwritten, you will need a special recovery app to bring that lost message back home. Android Data Recovery, FonePaw, and Dr. Fone can help you find and restore those important deleted messages.
Should you wish to see more than just deleted text messages, more powerful software such as KidGuard and DDI Utilities can snoop and retrieve erased photos, videos, web history, call logs and chat conversations on third-party apps. These monitoring apps, which are versatile enough to run on both the Android and iOS platforms, can effortlessly browse and retrieve such hidden files.
Recovering Text Messages the Apple iOS Way
iOS makes it easier to recover deleted messages. Unlike the Android operating system, iOS has built-in features that make data recall less dependent on third-party apps or recovery software.
Assuming you have enabled iCloud Backup for your iPhone, then no worries! In that backup file, you will find copies of your deleted texts archived in some section of the iOS system.
All you need to do is sign into iCloud.com with the linked Apple ID and password. The iCloud dashboard will show icons for different categories of data. Tapping on the text message icon will bring up a list of all your messages, both active and deleted.
To get those deleted messages back on your iPhone, tap the phone’s Settings>iCloud. Sync those messages on the website back to your phone by turning off Messages in the iCloud backup then turning it back on again. Be aware that the option, Keep on My Phone, must be enabled before turning off Messages.
Apple’s iOS also gives you the option to recover text messages using iTunes. This option is viable if you have been backing up your data to iTunes.
Before doing a recovery, stop the automatic syncing by opening iTunes, then clicking on Edit>Preferences>Devices. Under Devices, check the option Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.
Once the automatic sync is off, you can plug in your iPhone to your computer and then open iTunes. Look for the iPhone icon on top of the menu and click on this. Select Summary and then click on Restore Backup. If iTunes asks to update your device, just choose Download only.
Another way to recover messages from an iTunes Backup is to make that drastic reset to your iPhone’s factory settings, the way it was on day one when you got your phone. Once the phone has been reset and everything erased, you can choose the feature Restore from iTunes Backup. This will recover all your text messages, photos, calendar activities, etc. existing in the backup.
Using Third-Party Recovery Software
Third-party recovery software is especially essential to the recovery operation if you are using an Android phone. These apps are designed to specifically dredge up deleted files, not just text messages.
Tracking apps or apps that promote parental control or device monitoring can also show deleted and hidden files while reporting on existing photos, website history, location, and other phone activities in real time. These monitoring apps are more powerful than simple recovery software and target a market that wishes to gain information for security purposes. While these may be overkill for simply recovering your deleted text messages, it’s good to know these apps exist. Who knows, these may prove useful in the future should you need to discover deleted data from other phones and monitor their activities.