How to Retrieve Old Text Messages From Cell Phones

Finding an old text message might require a call to your service provider.

At the moment text messaging is a popular way of communicating, taking the place of phone conversations, and, to an extent, emails. These conversations can get a bit confusing because of delays, and sometimes you might be talking about something completely different while being sent responses to texts that sent out minutes, hours or days ago. In this case you will want to access old texts to figure out what the received text it about. You might also want to access old texts if you need to find some information that someone sent you, or remembered that you forgot to respond to someone. Access old texts is not difficult, unless of course you deleted them.

Step 1

Turn your phone on if it isn't already.

Step 2

Open your messaging program on your phone. This is usually found by selecting the menu button and scrolling through until you see "messages" or "text messages".

Step 3

Open the "saved messages" folder if you have one. This will depend on the phone. Some phones will list unopened and opened messages right on the main message screen, and you will just scroll through the messages until you find the old one that you are looking for. Other phones will have a "new" message folder and "old message" folder, in which case you would open the "old" folder to find the message you are looking for. For "sent messages" look in the "sent messages" folder. All sent messages that have not been deleted will be in there.

Step 4

Open your search program and type in something from the title or subject of the text. Not all cell phones will have this option, but it is a way to find a text, even a deleted one.

Step 5

Contact the cell phone company if you are looking for a message that you have deleted. They can give you a copy of the transcript if you have a court order. This is an extreme step that is normally done only in dire circumstances.

Things You'll Need

  • Cell phone

  • Service provider phone number