Recover Deleted Text Messages on Android

So what’s happened?

You were mad at your partner and deleted the entire text message history? Instead of pocket dialing, your hip went on a rampage against your SMS folders? Or your phone just plain crashed and took everything with it?

deleted text messagesRegardless (well, mostly regardless) of how your text messages are deleted there’s a way to get them back. Actually there’s multiple ways and some just happen to be easier than others. I prefer the technical nerdy stuff of digging into the underbelly of your phone because I love how programming mixes creativity and technical knowledge.

But if you want to recover deleted text messages on your Android without any of the fun stuff (and by that I mean click a button and have it done) then the TextRar deleted text message tool is probably the way to go. It’s what I used originally and it works but I wanted something with a bit more flexibility and ideally something I can run from the phone itself.

With Textrar you’ll need to connect your phone to the computer and install the software there. I used it on Windows so I’m not sure what the Mac version is like and Linux – well you guys are probably reading this page in binary so you can figure it out. By default your phone doesn’t give access to that kind of data over the USB so you’ll need to enable the debug mode.

Enabling debug on Android is going to vary based on the type of phone you have but their tool talks you through doing it with most major version. If you get stuck you can always Google it or pull something up on YouTube but as a rule of thumb it’s going to be in the settings page.

You can skip this step if it looks too technical (it’s really not) but doing so grants your computer access to the phone in order to find the old messages.

The ‘why’ you can restore deleted messages when they’ve been deleted is what makes it interesting. In order to actually delete anything an Android phone isn’t going to waste time overwriting everything the  whole time. Instead they’ll basically ignore that there’s any data there in the first place. It won’t show on the phone and they’ll let anything write over that memory.

It’s pretty much your phone sticking its fingers in its ears (or speaker?) going ‘nya nyaa I can’t hear you’ and freezing out the deleted text messages. It makes the phone run faster, it means it doesn’t take forever to delete stuff when you want to and (best of all) it means you can recover the messages if you need to.

Again if you don’t want the technical mumbo jumbo then go use their tool. It’ll do pretty much everything for you as long as you have access to a computer or Mac. It’s the best way to recover deleted texts and the only reason I’m working on an app is I wanted a project to work on.

If you’re using it with an app you also need to jailbreak your Android device. There’s a few apps on the Google.Play market so far that claim to be able to do it without but I haven’t seen evidence of them working so far. I’m using my old HTC as the test device since I think that’s suiting. I try not to install random apps onto my Note (which is advice we should all follow).

The app is getting there but isn’t in a launch-able state just yet. You can technicality use it to retrieve deleted text messages if you’re using the basic default text app and you have a lot of time to go through data manually. Once I can automate it or even type up a guide on how to work it (my tools are always messy) I’ll upload a beta version.

Android Factory Resets Delete Text Messages

I’m not usually one for horror stories, ghosts in the attic and monsters under my bed don’t really scare me too much. But the sight of my first Android phone (the HTC Desire HD) booting itself up after deciding to run a factory reset?

android phoneScary stuff.

Even to this day I’m not sure what caused it. Walking through town I pick my phone out of my pocket to check my messages and the “Welcome to Android” welcome tutorial app is running.


I mean I’ve seen a phone crash from time to time. Smart phones are much closer to computers than their predecessors ever were. From time to time a reboot can speed it up and an app or two might crash. But to have everything wipe from your phone… well it’s not great.

My only assumption was it tried to update the Android firmware in general and the signal cut out or something happened to disrupt the flashing. Regardless of the reason everything was gone. My text messages, my emails and about two years worth of photos. I relied pretty heavily on that phone and due to it dying and the airline staff really not wanting to help me at 6AM – I ended up missing a holiday because of it. Lesson learned kids: Don’t store important information on your phone without a backup.

I tried speaking to my cell provider – they told me the problem was with Android. While Android forums just blamed my provider for pushing an update of their custom HTC stuff. Honestly I’d given up trying to figure out what caused it pretty early on. What I wanted was a way to restore everything. Or, at least, some of the sentimental messages I kept on there alongside years worth of photos.

androidIt was basically down to me and Google, yet somehow I managed it. I’d always been pretty excited about programming for the Android app store. Mostly just basic stuff but I’ve never had to delve quite so heavily into working with the memory. Turns out it is possible to get everything (well, at least most things) back onto the phone and that’s why this site came about.

Hopefully you won’t find yourself in the same problem I was in but if you do – you’ve come to the right place.