Can I Check My Text Messages From Another Phone

"Can I check my text messages from another phone?" It's easy to see why you might need this service, especially if you are forgetful with your phone. However, even with a shared cell phone account with two phone lines, one phone cannot access another's text messages. To protect the primary account holder's privacy, text messages remain off-limits from other phones.

Privacy Issues
To protect the privacy of the primary account holder, cell phone companies have set up their communication systems so that there is no way another phone can access text messages, even if it's from a phone on another line of the same account. This prevents employers from spying on employees, spouses from checking up on each other and parents from reading children's text messages. Although there are software programs available to record text messages to a computer, this type of software has to be applied to the cell phone before any records are kept.

Storage Issues
Cell phone companies don't have the storage capability to hold text messages on their servers for more than 48 to 72 hours. The communication system holds the message just long enough to ensure it has been delivered. Therefore, whether someone is trying to access text messages from the account phone or another phone, unless the message appears on the primary account phone, it cannot be obtained by just anyone, even the primary account holder. As long as the communication system is based on SMS text messaging, the messages are not kept for any significant length of time.

Short of a court order, cell phone companies will not release any retrieved text messages to the general public. Occasionally, law enforcement officials will request access to text messages to aid an investigation, but it is infrequent, and the court order must be submitted in time to "rescue" the text message; otherwise, it is gone for good.

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