There are different ways to recover deleted text messages (and we’re not talking about going into the deleted folder on your phone). The first (OK, not counting double checking that it’s not actually in the deleted SMS folder) step is using software to check your phone.
Deleting a text message doesn’t immediately throw it into the nether. It’s still in limbo (also known as your phones memory) and there are tools which either run on your phone (like Undelete SMS for iPhone) or on your computer (such as TextRar for both iPhone and Androids).
If you haven’t tried yet, the software option is really your best bet to retrieve deleted text messages. We’re all about how to retrieve deleted text messages from Sprint, AT&T and basically your carrier in general it’s (usually) a long shot.
Recovering deleted texts with software means you don’t need to go through this process and it’s just as simple as plugging your phone in. For the most part this will do the trick but in some cases (mostly if you’ve been using your phone a lot for a year or so) it’s likely the message is long gone. It might still be worth checking but if you’ve checked and it’s really not there then the next step is bugging the carrier.
I say bugging the carrier because we’re assuming you don’t have a court order or something. If the supreme court are telling Sprint to hand over data then they’ll probably get it.
What we’re going to assume here is that you don’t have these things. You have a phone with them (you won’t be able to call on someone else’s behalf unless they’re with you on the phone because you’ll fail DPA).
We’re also going to assume that you really need those messages and have some kind of sob story. That and a little bit of luck that you get someone on the phone who wants to help. Oh yeah, did I mention you’ll need patience for the hold music?
How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages From Sprint
“Due to privacy concerns, Sprint doesn’t store any of your text message content, which is the actual text of the message sent between you and someone else. However, we do keep record of text message details, which include the date, time and phone number of your text messages.
The process to obtain these sensitive message details varies by the type of phone you have because our services are carried over different network platforms that record and store information differently”
This is the official line from Sprint. They go on to say you can at least retrieve these details from them if you have a phone with them but they’re not going to give out the actual data of the text message.
There’s the exception to the rule however.
If you have Sprint Direct Connect then your text messages are sometimes kept on their server which is available from your Sprint login on the site.
Before you waste time trying to get in and find your login etc… if you check your phone message preferences (this will vary from handsets to handsets). There will me an option there for deleted messages and it will tell you if they’re being stored on the server or not. By default usually they are, which is good news if you want to retrieve deleted text messages and you’re on their Sprint Direct Connect service. It’s basically like having an email server for your text messages.
How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages From AT&T
Again AT&T do something similar. If you login to their website you can see the last 18 months of records for your text messages but not the actual contents of the messages. Again they cite privacy reasons for not making these available.
You could try spending time on the phone to them and you might get someone to do something they’re not supposed to if you give them a good enough sob story. But they might not even have the option of doing this and it’s not the companies job to do this for us at the end of the day. We can get part of the information but it looks like the best way to retrieve deleted text messages from AT&T or Sprint is to use the software.