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How Do I Recover Deleted Text Messages?

A person receiving a text message.
It may be possible to recover deleted text messages on phones that use a SIM card.
Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Many people are surprised to learn that under certain circumstances, it is possible to recover deleted text messages. The fact is that there is a window of time in which it is possible to recover deleted messages with any mobile phone that utilizes a subscriber identity module or SIM card. Typically, the process requires extracting the deleted information from the data found on the card and using a software program to read the retrieved messages.

The reason that it is possible to recover deleted text messages is that when a message is deleted, the data is not completely erased at that time. While it does disappear from the message queue on the cell phone, the information is still there. In effect, the technology of the SIM card is marking the space occupied by that message file for overwriting. Until that space is actually needed for a new message, it is possible to retrieve the data. This means that for someone who does not send a lot of text messages, it may be possible to get deleted text messages back for several days before the space is eventually overwritten.

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In order to recover deleted text messages, it is necessary to use a device known as a SIM card reader. This device is able to access all the memory on the card, including the space that currently holds recently deleted data. From there, the reader can use a software program to extract the deleted data and copy it into a format that the software can open. At that point, it is simply a matter of searching through the recaptured data and finding the accidentally deleted text messages that you want to recover.

It is important to note that SIM card software not only makes it possible to recover deleted text messages, but also recently deleted information like telephone numbers and logs of inbound and outbound calls. In addition to readers that are equipped with the software, there are also free programs that you can download and use to retrieve the deleted data. For mobile phones that have Internet capability, it is often possible to download the software directly onto the device. If this is not possible, the card software can be downloaded to a desktop or laptop computer that is then connected to the phone via a USB cable. Since some of the free products will only work with certain types of SIM cards, make sure your card type is included before downloading and attempting to retrieve the data.

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Discuss this Article

shell4life
Post 4

It would be hard for me to retrieve deleted files on my phone. I send probably twenty or more text messages a day, so I'm sure that they get overwritten quickly.

Oceana
Post 3

I was so glad to learn that I could restore deleted files on my phone. My young niece had gotten a hold of my phone and pushed a lot of buttons, and she accidentally deleted some messages from some of my customers, along with half of my client list!

I recovered all the deleted names and numbers. I also got the text messages back that had important order information and addresses in them.

orangey03
Post 2

I know that I can recover deleted files from the recycle bin on my computer, but I always wondered if something like this were possible with my phone. It sounds more complicated than simply clicking on the bin and double clicking on the file, though.

StarJo
Post 1

Wow, I had no idea you could retrieve deleted text messages! Any criminals or people with secrets to hide had better not do their business via text!

I have sent private texts before that I would be embarrassed for anyone other than the recipient to read. I hope that no one ever steals my phone and tries to view my old messages with this software.

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