I had a whole important conversation in my text messages and I accidentally deleted it. I haven't backed-up my phone in two weeks, so I'm wondering if there's a chance to get back that conversation with the messages from that person? It's important. Thank you.

  • Did you have Messaging backup on? (Somewhat separate from "backing up your phone".) If not, then your carrier would be the one to check with.
    – RareNCool
    Sep 23 '15 at 14:30
  • 2
    Drop a note to NSA.GOV and see if they'd send you a copy... ;-)
    – HerrBag
    Sep 23 '15 at 20:31

Annoyingly, the only reliable way that anybody seems to know of to access phone backups is to activate your Microsoft Account on a phone for the first time. You can use a second phone for this, or just hard-reset your current phone. If you were backing up text messages - and haven't made a new backup since you deleted the important conversation - you should be able to restore the conversation that way.


Partial answer that I just discovered: it is possible, via Outlook.com, to view SMS messages you've backed up. Taken from this answer, which should have a lot more upvotes:

  1. Go to https://outlook.com/. Log in with the Microsoft Account used on your phone.
  2. Click the Gear icon in the upper right, next to your photo. Select Manage Categories (or Options, then Manage Categories on the next screen).
  3. Check the boxes under "Show in folder pane" for Contacts and Photos. You can check the others too, if you want.
  4. Go back to your inbox, and you'll see a list of "Categories" on the left-side panel.

Under Contacts, you will see your backed-up SMS, but so far as I can tell only the ones that you've received appear there (and only if you use "Arrange by Conversation").

Under Photos, you will see your backed up MMS (at least, the ones containing images), both sent and received.

Hope that's enough to help you out!

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