Recover deleted SMS

Quickly it happened: One or two wrong finger movements have deleted a super important SMS from your cell phone. But this is not immediately a reason to panic: Maybe the text message can be saved after all.

Note: These methods only work if a backup was made between receiving the SMS and deleting it!


As soon as you connect your iPhone to your computer, it usually connects directly to iTunes. So through this tool you can not only manage your music, but also create a backup of your iPhone. This backup is usually created automatically. You can find it in iTunes under “iPhone”. Via “Restore iPhone…” you will now be shown different restore points. Select a backup, which is before the deletion of the important SMS. More information on how to restore using iTunes can be found here.

iCloud backup

If you have the iCloud backup active on your iPhone, you may be able to use it to restore SMS. However, this method is also a bit risky because you will briefly delete all the settings and data on your iPhone. So you should make sure that all pictures and other stored data are backed up on iCloud.

Warning: this method may lead to data loss on your iPhone!

Go to the settings of your iPhone and select “General”. You can reset your device via “Reset” and “All Settings”. It will reboot, erasing the data from your iPhone. If you are connected to the internet, you can then load a backup from iCloud, which you can use to restore the data on your iPhone and also your SMS.

Restore SMS in Android

Unfortunately, in most Android devices, it quickly becomes difficult to recover SMS without any other help. Few manufacturers, such as HTC, offer factory apps on the smartphone for backing up and restoring SMS. You can find them in the app overview or in the settings.

However, since this is the exception, you have to find a workaround. One method is to acquire a recycle bin app in time. For example, the Dumpster app provides a recycle bin like the one you are used to on your desktop computer. This way, deleted files such as SMS are not irrevocably removed directly, but are first moved to the recycle bin. There you can then decide for a final deletion or recovery. Apps like “SMS Backup & Restore” are also useful. This app saves your SMS in a backup. You can restore this later. Disadvantage: You must have backed up the SMS before you delete it.

With the help of “SMS Backup & Restore” you can set up a backup for your text messages.

In most cases, you can only use cell phone independent tools to restore the SMS afterwards. One of these tools is Recuva. To do this, connect your smartphone to your computer via cable. Then, perform a recovery attempt with Recuva. Simply specify your connected mobile device as the file location. You can find more information about data recovery with Recuva in this post.

Recuva can help you rescue your SMS.

Device-independent help
First, you should try the methods specific to iOS or Android. If these don’t help, it will slowly become difficult to recover your SMS at a reasonable price. For example, there are apps like PhoneRescue. You can install these for free to view lost messages. The display is free, but the recovery itself is not exactly inexpensive at €50. However, the free variant can already bring the solution if it is not about the SMS itself at all, but only about its content. Then you can recover the message and simply transcribe the content.

Another, but really expensive method is to hire a data recovery service. If you search for it online, you will certainly find a variety of local or nationwide service providers. However, in most cases, these are aimed at business customers. A professional data recovery can quickly become very expensive. Three-digit amounts or even higher are not uncommon.