As we come to rely on mobile phones more and more users are looking to find out how to recover deleted text messages. There’s different ways to do this and you can buy hardware which can connect to your phone and third party services which can do it for you. There are also methods floating around of people contacting providers like tmobile and AT&T and asking them to recover deleted texts.

recover deleted textsIn general cell phone providers won’t offer to recover deleted data due to privacy issues. Most of the hardware you can buy is outdated and won’t scan anything apart from the SIM card on the phone where text messages haven’t been stored in years. Even on old Nokia phones you still won’t find anything kept there anymore. The third party services to restore deleted texts do work but they’re usually overpriced and don’t do anything that you can’t do yourself.

Tools to Recover Deleted Text Messages

The number one solution to all of this is, by far, using a tool to do it for you. Some people, with way too much time on their hands, have developed ways to do all this manually. There are even some apps which can restore limited data directly on the phone handset but don’t really work very well, if at all.

The main recovery method is using a tool on your Mac or Windows PC. You can connect your phone through the standard USB cable and give it access to the handset. Then it’s as simple as hitting that scan button and letting the software find what it can.

Recovering deleted text messages, or any kind of data, from a mobile phone is 50% tech and 50% luck. Some tools are better than others but regardless it still comes down to luck. Deleted data leaves behind a residual file which hasn’t been overwritten yet. But the moment your phone uses that section of the memory then your message is gone for good and there’s no bringing it back.

So before anyone asks, no. If the tools are not finding it the alternatives won’t either. The best you can really hope for is that your carrier can at least give you numbers and time stamps and you can take it from there. They won’t be able to give you the message contents but it’s something at least.

So what are the best tools to use?


recovering deleted text messagesTextRar is the best one we’ve used so far. It’s broken down into a few different versions to provide for both Mac and PC users for iPhone and Android phones mainly.

They also have the LALLPT recovery tracker which monitors bugs with apps and firmware updates which can recover deleted texts and data without having to scan at all. The tool also covers methods and techniques for restoring data on other phones such as BlackBerry and Nokia.

It can run a little slowly, depending on your system and phone, but it’s the best option when you want to recover deleted text messages without any tech fuss. Easiest to use and most features are free, pretty much everything you’d need.

Knit Restore

Runs a little faster than TextRar. Doesn’t have the slower GUI so it’s harder to work with but it can scan a little faster. Free and open source which is cool but not kept up to date. Last I saw it wasn’t working with either the latest iPhone or Android but a great tool when it works.

Consider using it if you have an older model and don’t want to sit around waiting. I’ll try and add a working link when it’s available again they seem to have a bandwidth problem.

Dr Fone

sms recoveryPaid option. Good recovery rates and does more than just text message recovery but nothing to write home about. The TextRar tool beats it hands down and without the price tag.

Don’t be tempted to try it if other tools can’t find your deleted texts. it’s the only reason I could think you’d have to use it but if they can’t find it those won’t either.


They’ve packed two versions of the same tool. Not really worth using unless you can’t use TextRar or Knit Restore.

There’s a big market for recovering deleted text messages so there’s plenty more tools out there. How many of them are actually useful however, is another story.