Facebook Messenger provides the option to delete a message for yourself or for everyone in the conversation. This is a useful feature until you accidentally delete a chat or regret deleting one.
The situation becomes scarier if the deleted chat had important information. So, is there a way how to recover deleted messages on messenger? If you delete a message for all people in the chat, the chances of its recovery are slim. But you should try the below methods before giving up.
How Does Message Deletion Work on Facebook Messenger?
You need to know a few things about deleting messages on Messenger. Knowing this would help you identify if a deleted message is recoverable or not.
- Deleting Your Message on Messenger
- Deleting a Message of Other People in a Chat on Messenger
1. Deleting Your Message on Messenger
When deleting your own message on Messenger, you have the choice to delete the message for yourself or for everyone.
If you delete your message for yourself, the message would still be visible to other people in the conversation, and it’s recoverable because other chat members can still see it.
However, if you delete the message for everyone, it’s removed for all the people in that chat, and it’s hard (or impossible) to recover.
2. Deleting a Message of Other People in a Chat on Messenger
When you delete the message of anyone other than yourself, it’s deleted from your end only. Other people in the chat can still see it.
How To Recover Deleted Messages on the Messenger App for iPhone, iPad, and Android
- Check if the Message was Archived
- Search the Message Phrase on Messenger
- Recover the Deleted Message from the Saved Cached Data of the Messenger App (Android)
- Ask the Recipient of the Message to Send you Back the Message
- Get the Deleted Message by Downloading Your Facebook Information
1. Check if the Message was Archived
Sometimes when you delete a message, you archive it because archiving is easier on the app, so many people prefer that. Anyway, if you accidentally pressed archive, the message would be archived.
It’s also possible that you intentionally archived the message, and sometime later, when you needed that message, you thought it was deleted because archived messages are hidden from the main Messenger chats, also called Inbox.
All in all, checking the archive is a good habit for finding some unexpected messages. Here are the steps:
- Open the Messenger app.
- Tap your profile picture at the top left corner.
- Select ‘Archived Chats.’
- If you find the chat you were looking for, tap and hold on it until a list appears.
- Choose ‘Unarchive.’
- The message or chat will now appear in your Inbox.
Try the next method if you can’t see the deleted message.
2. Search the Message Phrase on Messenger
If it’s an old message and you can’t find it and think it was deleted, use the search option.
- Open Messenger.
- Tap the Search bar at the top of the screen and type any unique phrase or word in the chat to find it.
This method is only good for finding a message lost (not deleted) in hundreds or thousands of messages.
3. Recover the Deleted Message from the Saved Cached Data of the Messenger App (Android)
Cache data is temporary data that Android devices store for each app. It’s usually helpful in starting an app and its features quickly. If you permanently deleted a message recently (or the sender permanently deleted it), you might be able to recover it from cache data on your Android phone. This only works if you act fast after deletion. Follow these steps:
- Open File Manager on your phone. If you can’t find any file explorer app on your phone, open Google Play Store and install ‘Google Files.’
- Select ‘Internal Storage’ (if Messenger was saved on internal storage. If not, check SD Card).
- Choose ‘Android’ from the list of folders.
- Go to the ‘Data’ folder.
- Select ‘com.facebook.orca’.
- Pick ‘Cache’.
- Choose ‘fb-temp’.
- Inside that folder, you’ll find the cache data of your conversations. Find your chat and then the message.
This method of recovering backup files from system folders isn’t for iPhone and iPad users because iOS doesn’t allow easy access to cached data.
4. Ask the Recipient of the Message to Send you Back the Message
When you delete your message, you can delete the message for yourself or for everyone. If you deleted the message for yourself only, the recipient would still have the message.
In this case, you can simply ask any of the people in the conversation to send you back the message in text or a screenshot of the message. You can say that you accidentally deleted the message and need a copy of it or anything else, considering your relation with the person in the chat.
People who can’t remember whether they deleted the message for themselves or for everyone should try this method.
5. Get the Deleted Message by Downloading Your Facebook Information
Facebook keeps a record of your activity on Facebook and Messenger. It also lets you create and download your Facebook information if you need it.
Now, when you delete a message, it’s present on Facebook servers for an unknown period of time. So, to recover your deleted Facebook Messenger message, you can download the Facebook information of your Messenger activity.
It’s also an excellent method to keep a backup of full conversations if you suspect that any person in the chat would delete a message (sent by them) for everyone.
If you create these backups regularly, you will have the Facebook Messenger messages even if you or anyone else in the conversation delete them.
Follow these steps:
- Launch the Facebook Messenger app.
- Tap your profile picture at the top left.
- Swipe down and select ‘Account settings’ from the menu.
- Find the ‘Your Information’ section and choose ‘Download your information.’
- You’ll find the different activities that you can create a backup of. If you only want to recover messages, deselect everything and tick the box next to ‘Messages.’
- After selecting ‘Messages,’ swipe down to the end of the list and tap the ‘Create File’ button.
- It’ll show that your copy is being created. It won’t take much time if you only select messages. You’ll get an email when the information is ready to access. If you don’t get the email, you can head to the same location and select the ‘Available Copies’ tab to find the file.
- Once downloaded, check the file for the deleted message.
- It’ll be an HTML file and will open with your web browser.
How To Recover Deleted Messages on Messenger Web Version for Desktops and Laptops?
- Check Your Archived Messages
- Search the Conversation for the Message
- Get Help from the Recipient of the Message
- Download Your Facebook Information to Recover a Deleted Message or Chat
1. Check Your Archived Messages
Even if you’re sure you deleted the message, check your archived messages to see if it’s there or not because sometimes users archive a message instead of deleting it.
- Open Facebook on your web browser and log in to your Facebook account.
- Click the Messenger icon on the top right section and select ‘See all in Messenger.’
- Click the three dots at the top left side of the screen.
- A list would open. Select ‘Archived chats.’
- If you find the chat you were looking for, hover your mouse cursor over the name of the person or the group on the side panel and click the three dots.
- Choose ‘Unarchive chat.’
- Now the chat will appear in your main inbox.
2. Search the Conversation for the Message
Many times, a message becomes lost in the constant stream of messages. It’s especially applicable to groups. If you can’t find the message you’re looking for, use the search option to find the message.
The desktop version of Messenger has a dedicated search option for each conversation so that the search would be easier compared to the app.
- Open Facebook on a browser.
- Click the Messenger icon at the upper right corner and choose ‘See all in Messenger.’
- Select the chat you want to search.
- Click the information icon (‘i’ inside a circle icon) inside a chat.
- Select ‘Search in conversation.’
- Type the phrase or word unique to the message you’re searching for.
3. Get Help from the Recipient of the Message
If you deleted the message for yourself only, other contacts in the chat could still see the message. So, you can ask the recipient(s) to send you a specific message.
Furthermore, if you can’t tell which option you chose while deleting the message, you must check with your recipient about the message. This won’t work if you delete the message for everyone because then, no one would have the message.
4. Download Your Facebook Information to Recover a Deleted Message or Chat
Whichever activity you perform on Facebook and Messenger, it’s stored on Facebook servers. This is standard for social media platforms and cloud services. Your stored information becomes useful if you delete a message and want to recover it.
Because even if a message is deleted permanently from your end and everyone in the chat, it may still be stored on the servers. If you want to recover a recent message, this method may work.
- Open Facebook on a web browser.
- Click the down arrow button at the top right corner and choose ‘Settings & privacy’.
- Now, select ‘Settings.’
- From the side panel, pick ‘Your Facebook information.’
- Select ‘Download your information.’
- Choose a date range of your information by clicking ‘Data range (required).’
- After that, scroll down and deselect all the checkboxes. Now, only checkmark the box next to ‘Messages.’
- On the same page, scroll down to the end and select ‘Request a download.’
- It’ll show the file is being created. You’ll get an email when it’s ready. Go to the same location and click ‘Available files’ to get your Facebook information if you don’t.
- After that, access the HTML document by opening it with your web browser and finding the conversation’s deleted message.
Which Messenger Messages Recovering Methods Don’t Work?
A few methods are commonly considered helpful, but they aren’t. Let’s clear some misconceptions about recovering messages from Messenger by showing you the methods that don’t work.
- Finding the Notification Email for the Incoming Message from Messenger
- Third-Party Apps for Recovering Messages from Messenger
1. Finding the Notification Email for the Incoming Message from Messenger
Many people believe that they can recover their deleted message by searching their email for the message notification email (if they activated it in the past). It’s true that, if enabled, you get an email from Facebook whenever a new message is sent to you (if you don’t read it for 30 minutes).
But the issue here is that the email only shows you the contact or group’s name from where you got the message. The email doesn’t show you the content of the message itself (in my experience). So, even if you find the email, it won’t have the message.
People also recommend activating email notifications for incoming messages on Facebook Messenger. It’s useful if you want to keep track of your incoming messages, but it’s useless if the purpose is to recover deleted Facebook messages.
2. Third-Party Apps for Recovering Messages from Messenger
You may find some data recovery apps that advertise they can recover any deleted message on Messenger. They are mostly scams and can’t recover any message.
If they do, they use your backed-up Facebook information. This works only if you create a backup of your Facebook information beforehand. And if you did, you can download it yourself without the app.
Get your Facebook information from the Messenger app: Go to your profile picture > Account settings > Download your information > Available Copies.
On Facebook web for PC and Mac, use these steps: Navigate to Facebook > down arrow > Settings & privacy > Settings > Facebook information > Download your information > Available files.
The successful recovery of a deleted message on Messenger depends on how it was deleted and when it was deleted. Your odds are higher if you deleted the message for yourself only or if it was deleted very recently.