How to delete and recover text messages in Android

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With so many different Android devices in the wild, how to go about deleting and recovering texts isn't always clear. This guide shows you how in clear steps.
Deleting text messages is usually a straightforward affair, but some people may be confused about (or unaware of) the different ways you can select and delete text messages on an Android device. This guide shows you how.

The following instructions cover Google's Android Messages app and the stock app that comes preinstalled on Samsung phones. We also show how to delete SMS messages in Facebook Messenger if you set it as your default.

All instructions listed below show how to delete single and multiple messages. However, if you accidentally deleted the wrong message(s), we suggest a few tools to get them back.

Delete an individual text message

Android Messages

This applies to Google's Messages app. The icon has lines in a conversation bubble.

Step 1: Tap to open Messages.

Step 2: Tap and hold on the message you want to be deleted. Tap the X in the top left corner if you marked the wrong message, or tap the message to deselect.

Step 3: Tap the trash icon located in the top right corner.

Step 4: Tap Delete in the pop-up window to confirm.

Samsung Messages

This applies to Samsung's stock Messages app installed on its phones. The icon has dots in a conversation bubble.

Step 1: Tap to open Messages.

Step 2: Tap and hold on the message you want to be deleted. Tap it again to deselect it if you marked the wrong message.

Step 3: Tap Delete located on the slide-up menu located at the bottom.

Step 4: Tap Delete in the pop-up window to confirm.

Facebook Messenger

If you're using Facebook's app as your default SMS client, you can filter out your private messages by tapping the SMS button in the app's search bar, leaving only SMS messages visible. Tap it again to add Facebook messages back to the list.

Step 1: Tap to open Facebook Messenger.

Step 2: Tap and hold on the message you want to be deleted.

Step 3: Tap Delete listed on the pop-up menu.

Unfortunately, there's no way to delete multiple messages at once from within the Messenger app.

Delete…
Carlos Vega
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