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is there a way to recover deleted text messages?
papamark09
Member

I had to reset my phone and it erased all my text messages. is there a way to recover the lost messages?

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Re: is there a way to recover deleted text messages?
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

papamark09, I know how important text messages can be at times. Before you performed the reset did you back up your device with Verizon Cloud? If so, you can always restore from the last back up. I hope that this was able to help out.

KevinR_VZW

Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: is there a way to recover deleted text messages?
Datahero
Member

 

Actually, that may not quite be the end of the story.

 

I see that you have an iPhone, do you?  Do you have a Windows PC running a recent version of Windows (I am using 64 bit Windows 7)?  Do you have a couple of gig free on it?  If so, then you may not be out of luck.

 

Here’s what I did and what you may be able to do, too:

 

Download Apple iTunes and install it on your Windows machine.  Next, purchase a product called iExplorer from http://www.macroplant.com/ and install it.  Be sure that it supports your version iPhone before you do this.  iExplorer is what you will use to pull messages off the iPhone.  It will also work with iPad’s and iPod’s, too.  Find a USB to iPhone connector for your phone.  This is most likely going to be your power cord.  Detach it.  If you can’t or don’t know how to do this, go to a Verizon shop and buy one.

 

Plug the iPhone in to the PC and start up iExplorer.  It will transfer the ENTIRE contents of your iPhone to an iTunes backup.  What’s more important is that it grabs EVERYTHING, including the SMS log.  Be aware that, with an iPhone with a lot of pictures, songs and videos on it, this is going to take a long time.  Like a couple of hours.  It is essential to be patient and let this successfully complete.  You won’t be able to do ANYTHING else until it does.

 

No matter what happens, DO NOT TOUCH the iPhone for ANY reason during the backup because, if the connection is interrupted, the backup will be corrupt and you’ll have to start all over again.  This happened to me three times and I can tell you that it is pretty tedious. Also, iExplore does not report backup progress in such a way as to indicate percent done, so you can’t immediately predict when it will finish.  Also, sometimes the tiny progress report is not updated consistently and the iPhone may look like its hung.  It isn’t.

 

In a word: it’s done when it’s done.  Go find something else to do.  Stay off the PC, too.  Get out of the room and avoid the temptation to tinker.  I learned this the hard way.

 

Once this is done, you can look in the iPhone file system for a file called sms.db.  This is where your text messages are stored.  Copy it over someplace safe on your PC.  This file is an SQL Lite database.  That’s very fortunate because what this means is that when text messages are deleted, they are not always erased but merely marked free. If you pull the sms.db file up in Notepad, you’ll see a lot of gibberish, but you will be able to search for the text you want and copy the text out. It’s sure better than nothing!

 

It may also possible to directly access the sms.db file via SQL Lite, but I didn’t try that (no time). I think it might be interesting. I also have no information about grabbing pictures.  It would depend on how they are stored and that is a VERY different topic.

 

Once again, you actually CAN get your deleted iPhone text messages back in certain cases, provided you are prepared to follow a long and somewhat arcane process...  It can be done, don’t lose hope.  Try it if you lost something precious.  I did.

 

If all this sounds too complex, go find a geek or hire one cheap to do it for you.  Maybe the Geek Squad would know how too, but I have no information about that.  Some private detectives, digital forensic investigators and data recovery services could also do it for you, too.  However, they can sport incomprehensively huge fees.

 

I know it sounds like a bit of work, but it is not too awful.

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