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How to See Deleted Text Messages [iPhone & Android]

Elsa Updated on Oct 20, 2022 Filed to: Parent Control

Most instant chat apps have a similar framework to text message apps. SMS is not as efficient because messages must be delivered through cell towers and carriers. However, there are about 18.7 billion messages sent daily. Some of these messages are vital data that users desperately want to protect. However, data get lost for many reasons. You can misguidedly delete it, or your child can delete your messages while holding your phone or playing with it. Now, you need the proper means to see deleted text messages on iPhone and Android.

see deleted text messages

In this article, you will find out if your deleted messages are gone forever, how to see them if backed up, and how to see them without backup.

1Are Deleted Texts Messages Gone Forever?

When you delete your text message, you have only ordered your phone to stop listing the SMS on its memory or SMS folder. Hence, your messages are not gone forever. Some text messaging app allows you the option of undoing a delete. However, that option may not be there after a while. There are several places those messages may still be found.

The most popular place to find deleted messages is through backup. Alternatively, you can see deleted messages on Android or iPhone through a recovery app that allows you to preview messages. Like recovery apps, monitoring apps keep track of text messages on another device. The final resort for seeing deleted text messages is through carriers.

2How to See Deleted Text Messages on iPhone by Restoring a Backup

If you have a backup of your text message, it will be easy for you to see deleted messages. You can access the backup file and read it. Alternatively, you can restore the backup directly to your phone. Depending on your device, this section has identified three ways of restoring a backup to see deleted text messages.


iPhone users are allowed to back up their text messages automatically through iCloud. Therefore, you can see the deleted text messages of your iPhone when you recover your iCloud backup. Here is how to get iCloud back up.

  1. Step 1.Turn on your iPhone and start setting it up.
  2. Step 2.When you get to the Apps and Data window, select Restore from iCloud backup.
  3. Step 3.Sign in to your iCloud account with your Apple ID and password.
  4. Step 4.Select the most recent backup and wait for the transfer process to complete.

restore from iCloud backup

iTunes or Finder

If you cannot access your iCloud backup using the steps above, you can use another method. iTunes allows iPhone users to restore their backup using their computers manually. Here is how to use this method.

  1. Step 1.Plug your iPhone into the computer.
  2. Step 2.Launch the iTunes app on your computer.
  3. Step 3.Select your phone in the sidebar on the left.
  4. Step 4.Navigate to the Restore iPhone option.
  5. Step 5.Complete the process by clicking on Restore Backup.

restore from iTunes backup

3How to See Deleted Text Messages on Android by Restoring a Backup

If you have manually backed up your Android phones or enabled automatic backup, you can see the deleted text messages by restoring the backup. These phones are backed up on Google One. To access this backup, you have to use Google Drive. Here is how to see deleted text messages on an Android phone.

  1. Step 1.Turn on your new Android phone and start setting it up.
  2. Step 2.Log in to the same Google account as the old phone.
  3. Step 3.Click on Restore to get all your previous data.
  4. Note : In case you are unsure whether the deleted messages have been backed up, open Google Drive to check. Please click the three lines icon and then Backups; check when the backup is made.

    check when the backup is made

  5. Step 4.You may also erase your old phones by factory resetting and following the above ways to get back the deleted text messages.

4How to See Deleted Text Messages without Backup

Other prevalent methods exist for seeing deleted text messages even when you have not backed up your phone. Two such methods are discussed in this section for the readers.

AirDroid Text Monitoring App

The first method uses an app to track another phone in real time. For instance, you can see what your kid or employee texted. The recommended app is AirDroid Text Monitoring. If you have installed the app and linked the target phone to yours, even when the incoming text has been deleted, this app retains the deleted text. You can monitor who is texting and what they have texted.

AirDroid Parental Control

This app has features to sync incoming text messages. All you need to do is sync the phone with your messages with another phone, and then you will see what happens on the phone in real-time. It is different from other third-party apps because it does not jailbreak or root your device or the target Phone.


  • See incoming text messages on all the apps installed on the phone, even if they are deleted.
  • Know where your kid and other loved ones are sending a text.
  • View your kid's screen on your device remotely.
  • Watch and listen to what is happening around your teens.

How to Use AirDroid Text Monitoring App

  1. Step 1.Download and Install AirDroid Text Monitoring App on your device.
  2. Step 2.Launch AirDroid Text Monitoring on your device, create an account, and log in.
  3. Step 3.Download AirDroid Kids on the target phone. After installation, launch AirDroid Kids and set up the necessary settings on the phone.
  4. Step 4.Enter your pairing code to bind the two devices. Now, you can start seeing deleted SMS.

Data Recovery Software

SMS recovery tools are straightforward tools that help you retrieve deleted text messages from another phone. They access the text message backup on the target phone and retrieve it to another phone. Often, these tools retrieve deleted messages to the computer and another phone.

However, they differ based on the operating system of the phone. For instance, you can use DroidKit to retrieve deleted text messages on Android, while you can use PhoneRescue for iPhone. The benefits of these tools are numerous, significantly because you can recover other data on the operating system. The downside of these apps is that the recovery rate is random.

Contacting Your Carrier

Carriers keep your SMS after you have deleted it. Hence, you can contact them for a copy of your deleted text messages. The range for which these carriers keep this data varies. For instance, AT&T keeps deleted text messages for up to 72 hours while Verizon keeps deleted SMS for about 10 days. Also, carriers do not give direct access to sleeted text messages. Instead, they give you access to their backup software to get deleted SMS. In most cases, you must get a court order before you can get the text message.

The Bottom Line

This article has addressed the misconception that deleted text messages are gone forever. This statement is false because your SMS is available in your backup and with your carrier. Hence, using phone customized tools like iTunes, iCloud, or Google Drive, you can retrieve and see deleted text messages on your iPhone and Android. Even when you do not have a backup, you can use third-party tools like the AirDroid Text Monitoring app to see deleted text messages. As a form of last resort, you can contact your carrier for your deleted SMS.

Hottest Question Related to Seeing Deleted Text Messages

Q 1. How Can I Retrieve Deleted Messages?
You can retrieve your deleted iMessages through your backup recovery app. If you have backed up your iPhone, then you can retrieve your iPhone through iCloud or iTunes. If not, online recovery tools will help you see your deleted iMessages.
Q 2. Can You Retrieve Deleted iPhone Messages Without iCloud?
Yes, you can retrieve deleted iPhone messages without iCloud. Firstly, iCloud is for only iPhone users. However, if iCloud is not working on your iPhone, you can use iTunes. You can also use a recovery tool to get your messages. Android users can use Google Drive.
Q 3. How to Read Deleted Text Messages from Another Phone?
You can read deleted text messages from another phone if you have your backup restored to the phone. All you need to do is set up your Google or iCloud account on the phone. Then restore your backup to the phone. You can also read deleted text messages from another phone by using the AirDroid Text Monitoring app.
Q 4. Can I Recover Deleted Messages on Android Without Root?
Yes, you can recover deleted messages on Android without rooting the phone. The preferred solution is to sync the phone with another app using apps like the AirDroid Text Monitoring app. You can use other options, like restoring a backup or contacting the carrier.
Q 5. How to Recover Deleted Text Messages on Android Without Computer?
To recover your deleted text messages on Android without using a computer, you must reset your Android to the factory setting. When you boot your phone again, you will be asked to log in to your Google details. After that, you can restore deleted text messages on Android without using the computer.
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