How do I retrieve archived or deleted text messages
Are you a butterfingers? Bit clumsy or just unlucky? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – accidental deletion of text messages is pretty prevalent. In fact, in 2019, 42% of companies suffered downtime attributable to lost data, regardless of whether they used a smartphone or program to text.
A mistakenly mislaid text message won’t directly result in downtime, but it could mean you lose a customer. Think about it – you’ve lost their contact info, or they give you the flick because your lack of responsiveness paints your customer service poorly. This will reflect in your revenue.
These are all risks you can do without. To mitigate them, the most effective position is to know how to reclaim texts; in the world of SMS, it’s the same as backing up your data. Even better, educate yourself or your employees around how to avoid losing them in the first place.
Arguments for accessing deleted texts
Why would a business need to recover text messages? The list is long, so let’s start with legal reasons, such as customer disputes. Knowing who texted what, and when, is essential in this space.
Robust business records is another reason; having a paper trail of corporate communications is vital should you be required to show documentation of your practices.
Lastly, text messages help with marketing details. Being aware of the exact wording of your SMS campaigns, as well as when you sent them can help with planning and tweaking content for future campaigns. It’s also necessary that new employees are able to reference past campaigns to continue effective learning.
Different platforms, different retrieval processes
It may seem insurmountable and akin to rocket science, but whatever the reason you need your texts, here’s how to retrieve archived text messages.
Only some territories or carriers permit iCloud to backup SMS messages, so fingers crossed this is a simple solution to recovering your deleted messages. Here’s how:
- Log in to iCloud.com with your Apple ID
- Select text messages (if the ‘text messages’ icon isn’t there, your SMS messages are probably not backed up to iCloud)
- Search for the text messages you need
- On your iPhone: Settings > [Your name] > iCloud
- Turn off text messages
- On the pop-up, select ‘Keep On My iPhone’
- Turn text messages on
- Select ‘Merge,’ and deleted text messages should be visible on your iPhone
If iCloud backup has backfired, try retrieving messages from a backup on iTunes if you’re running an older macOS. Or via Finder if you’re running macOS Catalina or later.
There’s a catch: similar to iCloud, your phone will overwrite any data newer than your backup. So if there are any current files you need to hold onto, export and save them separately. Here’s how:
- Connect your iPhone to the computer that holds your backups
- Open iTunes or Finder
- In iTunes, look for the iPhone icon in the top left corner – select it
- In Finder, choose your device from the left menu bar
- Select ‘restore backup’ under the General tab
- After a couple of minutes, the backup data replaces the data on your phone
- If you haven’t backed up since you deleted the text messages, you should now see them on your phone
If you’re texting from an Android, most of the time when you delete an SMS, it’s not trashed straight away. First, it renders the file as ‘inactive,’ which tells your phone it can write over the file with new data. This means if you delete a significant SMS – stop using your phone right away.
By leaving things as is without writing new data over your deleted texts, it’s easy to use data recovery software to search for your mislaid messages. Each particular software has different directions on how to do this, so if you’re not confident attempting this on your PC, employ a data recovery business to do it for you.
None of these methods has worked, and your message is still MIA? As a last resort, contact your carrier – they may be able to help you.
Reduce the risk of losing SMS
Accidents happen, so it’s best to be prepared. Arming yourself with knowledge is the first port of call. Even if tech isn’t your strong suit, there are actions you can take.
Know where your text logs live. Ask your business’s bulk SMS platform provider how they retain messages if they do at all. Next, get an answer around how long they save your texts for. If your business is in the medical or education sector, you’ll need to guarantee your messages stay secure for a finite amount of time.
Ask how to access text logs yourself, or if access needs to be given by your SMS platform.
Having all these answers before any incidents occur can save you loads of time and worry when you’re forced to deal with deleted texts.
Burst SMS is your best prevention
Burst SMS helps prevent permanently deleted messages and campaigns. Our response is simple – we don’t allow sent campaigns to be deleted from your Activity. Ever. Our application gives you the option to export data in a CSV format, so you can back up your own data easily and often.
This gives you complete control over all your actions so you’re not left high and dry when deletions do occur.
No delete? No distress
There’s no need to suffer the panic of frantically searching for a crucial text message that’s nowhere to be seen.
With Burst SMS, your sent campaigns won’t be deleted. And our practical and savvy solution comes with easy backup options too.