Can You Recover Deleted Text Messages

Many people wish they could recover deleted text messages, whether it's to get back that important business contact information or hold onto a message from a sweetheart. However, unlike an e-mail where a deleted file goes into a digital recycle bin, text message recovery is much more difficult, and, in some cases, it's impossible.

Carriers
Despite popular rumors to the contrary, carriers do not store text messages for long periods of time. While the carriers can recall the record of the text message (such as the phone numbers of the sender and receiver, as well as the date and time), they are not equipped to store the contents of the message itself. Because of privacy issues, getting even that amount of information from a text messaging carrier requires legal action, including a court order. Text messages are stored locally on a cell phone, and, when the message is deleted, it is gone.

Gadgets
A gadget on the market called the Cell Phone Spy claims to be able to retrieve deleted text messages, but only on certain types of cell phone. A SIM card can be removed from the cell phone and placed in a SIM card reader. The reader is then plugged into a computer, and all the data is transferred, including deleted text messages. The drawback is that most modern cell phones don't use SIM cards anymore, so, unless the phone is older, the device won't work for text message recovery. Also, some phones don't save certain data to a SIM card, making retrieval impossible.

Memory Software
Some software programs can be loaded to certain text messaging devices, such as BlackBerrys. The software records the text messaging and stores it. If the user needs to recall a certain deleted message, accessing the software is simple and can recover the message. Other software can recall keystrokes for the last 10 to 20 sent text messages, depending on their size.

While this information won't apply to all cell phones, it's worth a shot if you need to get that text back. However, keep in mind that texting is ideal for temporary information, not for anything you need in your permanent record.

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