Have you ever regretted deleting text messages or SMSs? They can all be gone in a moment, whether through accident or data corruption. The good news is it definitely can be possible to recover deleted text messages from your Android or iPhone device.
Firstly, let’s define what we’re talking about. A text message is not an email, Facebook chat or Whatsapp message. We are talking about SMS and MMS messages – the kind you send direct to someone else’s phone number. They’ve been around since 1992.
Here’s what you need to know about recovering text messages after they’ve been deleted.
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Is it legal to recover deleted text messages?
Is it your phone? Then it’s your device and the messages were sent to you. You have ownership and you can freely try to save your deleted text messages. And if you’re in Australia, Melbourne Investigations can help you.
But is it someone else’s phone? Perhaps your partner or a family member? There is actually no clear law that says yes or no. But it probably is going to be a problem.
Surprisingly, it’s not directly because of privacy issues. Australian privacy rules exist to protect individuals from organisations and companies. So if you try to recover your partner’s deleted text messages yourself, you won’t run afoul of privacy laws. But it does mean we can’t help you. We have to abide by the different State and Commonwealth Privacy Act laws. In fact, we’ll need you to prove it’s your phone or tablet before we attempt data recovery.
The real problem is that using someone else’s phone in Australia opens you up to possible charges of trespass or theft. The question isn’t whether the messages were deleted or not. It’s whether you accessed someone else’s device or copied their data. And if you maliciously spread or use the information you find, you could find yourself in trouble for harassment.
So if you want to recover your own messages from your own phone, feel free. But our advice is don’t try to touch deleted messages on your partner’s phone. It’s not worth it.
How deleted text messages work
If you delete an SMS, it’s not suddenly gone forever. Instead, the data remains but its memory area on your phone is marked as “available”.
This means that subsequent downloads, updates or photos might overwrite the text message data. But if none of those things has happened, your SMS data might still be intact.
That’s why if you want to recover deleted text messages, you should stop using your phone right now. Bring your data to the professionals before it is lost. There’s maybe a 50 / 50 chance of retrieving information from your phone – and no guarantees on which exact data will be safe.
The ability to recover your lost text messages also depends on the type of phone. For example, iPhones can be easier to extract messages from than Android devices.
How to recover deleted text messages
Retrieving lost SMSs is really for people who are VERY comfortable with technology. Even simple message recovery tools can be scary.
But if you want to try your hand, first you need to choose and download some phone backup and recovery software. This will be installed on your Mac or PC, not your phone.
It’s hard to find unbiased information on SMS recovery tools. Most people who write guides or roundups are motivated by earning a commission. So we can’t give recommendations on what program to try. Please keep your eyes open when choosing a tool for yourself.
After you choose and install your software, you’ll need to connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. When you first launch your phone recovery software, you may be able to attempt a backup of any existing data on the device. This is a safeguard if things go wrong with the data recovery process.
Then it’s time to try and recover deleted text messages from your phone. If you have consumer-grade software, this should be an automatic process. If it’s successful, there should be a way to restore the messages onto your phone or back them up to your computer. Congratulations!
But what if you can’t successfully recover SMSs?
You still have options even if your messages weren’t successfully saved. Data recovery technicians can delve into the inner workings of your phone’s storage. They may be able to use lower level tools to manually recover deleted text messages from your device.
If you need any help at all with saving lost SMSs in Australia, get in touch with Melbourne Investigations. Our data recovery specialists can attempt to retrieve your lost text messages. They have the right tools for the job, and know how to save the most data possible. Contact us today for an obligation free chat about recovering deleted text messages.