Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to pull up text messages if they’ve been deleted. If you think your husband is hiding something from you, there are a few things you can try, but most options out there require you to pull a move he’s likely to notice. The most essential element here is time—the longer a text sits in the recycling bin, the less likely it will be that you can recover it. While it isn’t fun, you may have an easier time getting to the bottom of whatever has you concerned by addressing it directly. You are strong, and you will get through this, but facing it head on may be preferential to poking around in his phone.
Using Android Tools
Pull up the Google Drive backup if you have one.
The only reliable way to retrieve deleted messages on Android is to access the backup file using Google Drive. To access the file and read the messages, go into the Google Drive associated with your husband’s account on a computer. Scan the backup folder for the date you want to take a look at and open it. Any deleted texts should be in there.
- Keep in mind, this may be illegal depending on where you live. Some states even make it a felony to snoop through someone’s personal communications without their consent.
- If there are no backup files in Google Drive, the odds of accessing a deleted text are extremely low.
- If you want to turn this on for the future, open the Settings tab in your husband’s phone, tap “Connected Devices,” select “Backup,” and select “Back up now.” Make sure that the SMS box is checked when you do this and Google will backup any texts in the phone.
- If you have a Google One subscription, you can set it up to back the messages up automatically.
Download SMS Backup and Restore for another backup option.
SMS Backup and Restore is a free alternative for Android users looking to backup texts. In your husband’s phone, go download it, and connect the backup file to your personal Google account. You can now backup his texts every day, week, or hour and open the messages as you see fit.
- Many of the text recovery apps and programs for Android are paid, but SMS Backup and Restore are free.
- If he finds the app on his phone, you may have some explaining to do. This one doesn’t hide itself in his phone.
Be extremely cautious with third-party apps or programs.
There are a lot of apps and programs out there that claim they can retrieve deleted Android apps. Unfortunately, they don’t appear to work, and they’re often filled with malware or bloatware that can harm your phone or steal your data. Once an Android text is deleted and the underlying backup data is discarded, the info is gone.
- If you absolutely have your heart set on giving this a shot, you can try Android Data Recovery, Dr. Fone, Tenorshare UltData, or FonePaw. These are all computer programs that offer free trials and claim to be able to recover deleted texts. They’re unlikely to recover anything, but at least you’ll be able to sleep easy without wondering if you could have pulled any texts off of his phone.
Restoring iPhone Backups
Make sure that he has a backup file to restore.
There is no way to access deleted texts on iPhone if they haven’t been backed up somewhere. Luckily, iCloud normally does this automatically. To make sure a backup exists, take his phone and open “Settings.” Tap on the Apple ID card and select “iCloud,” then “Manage Storage” and “Backups.” This will give you a list of available backup points.
- If you aren’t already aware, you should know that it may be a crime to go through your husband’s phone depending on your state laws. You definitely want to make sure this is something you want to do before proceeding.
- You have to restore an iPhone to see deleted messages. No matter which way you do this, your husband is likely going to know you restored his iPhone, so it’s best to have an explanation ready if you decide to do this.
Restore the phone using iCloud to retrieve old texts.
Plug the phone into a computer and open the folder that pops up for the phone on the desktop. Select “Restore iPhone” to wipe the current contents. You’ll be able to select the backup point you want to restore. Wait a few minutes for the phone to finish restoring everything from that backup point. Any texts that weren’t deleted at that point in time will reappear in his inbox.
Use iTunes to restore a backup if you don’t have iCloud set up.
Plug his phone into the computer and open iTunes. Click the phone in the sidebar on the left, and then select the “Restore iPhone” or “Restore Backup” option. This will erase everything on the phone. From there, select your backup point and whatever messages existed on the phone at that point will reappear.
- You can use Finder to do this if you have a Mac with macOS Catalina or newer. The process is identical, but you open the menu for the phone after it pops up in Finder, not iTunes.
Try third-party apps and programs with extreme caution.
Like Android, the third-party apps out there are largely incapable of pulling deleted messages up. Most of them are malware or designed to just steal your data. However, if you really want to try it, Dr. Fone, Enigma Recovery, PhoneRescue, and Tenorshare UltData are the most reputable options. However, most users are unable to pull up deleted text messages.
Contacting the Carrier
Contact your phone carrier to see if they’ll give you the texts.
Carriers hold on to text messages for a period of time. While they may not hand them over to you just because you asked, some of them may give you access to backup software that allows you to access recently deleted texts. Asking your carrier may not always work, but it’s worth a shot.
- Some carriers even offer their own deleted-text retrieval programs (Verizon is one of the bigger carriers that does this).
Use a parental control app to see his texts from your phone.
There are apps out there designed to monitor how children use their phones. You could download one of these apps on his phone and connect it to your phone so you can monitor what he’s doing. It won’t let you access deleted texts, but it can absolutely let you see any texts he writes in the future before he has a chance to delete them. SecureTeen and TeenSafe are the most popular options.
- He is very likely to find this app on his phone. This probably isn’t a good long-term solution.
- Be aware, it’s illegal to do this without someone’s consent in a lot of states. It’s also a huge violation of trust. It’s highly recommended that you don’t do this unless you have a very good reason.
Try a paid spy app if you really need to do some long-term recon.
There are a handful of apps you can download on someone’s phone that will hide themselves and show you what they’re doing on their phone. You typically have to pay for an app like this, but they’ll allow you to pull up all of his messages from your phone or computer and he’ll never know you’re doing it.
- Again, depending on where you live, this may be highly illegal. It’s also probably unethical unless he’s really up to something and you know it and just need proof. In most cases, it is probably not a good idea to go this route, though.
Recognize the harm this may cause if he’s innocent.
It hurts to feel like the person you love is cheating or doing something behind your back. However, if there’s even an ounce of a possibility that he’s innocent, you may decimate his trust in you if you go through his personal conversations without his permission. It’s hard to come back from something like that so find an alternative way to assuage your fears if you can.
- In some states, it’s a felony to go through someone’s electronic communications—even if you’re married. You really have to make sure that this is something you’re willing to risk if you’re going to go through with it.
- If you really do want to know something, hire a private investigator. That’s usually the safest way to legally get some info without breaking any laws.
Talk to him about whatever’s got you thinking about snooping on his phone.
If you’re here, it’s probably because you’re going through a rough time in your relationship. That can be hard, but it helps to remember that a marriage is a partnership, and even if something needs addressing, you two are a team. Talk to him about whatever’s bothering you. Maybe you’ve just been misinterpreting this! Either way, you’ll learn more by openly discussing the issue than you will by snooping.
- You might say, “Hey, can we chat? You’ve been acting kind of funny lately and it’s secretly tearing me up inside. Is something happening that I need to know about?”
- You could try, “I’ve noticed you’ve been really guarded about your phone lately. Are you talking to someone that I wouldn’t approve of or something? What’s going on here?”
- You can also say, “Look, I feel like you’ve been distant lately. I’d really love it if you could open up to me and just tell me if something’s going on.”
Confront him if you suspect he’s cheating and you have evidence.
If there’s a sign that something is up, you probably don’t need to go through his phone. Take your evidence and confront him in an unaggressive, open, and honest way. Do your best to have a respectful conversation about it and figure out if you want to take any next steps.
- For example, you could say, “So, I’ve noticed you’ve been staying late at work a lot, and your face just lights up whenever you talk about the new sales rep. Are you cheating on me with her? It’s been tearing me up and I need to know.”
- You could also say, “I hear the way you’ve been talking on the phone to that old friend of yours, and I know you’ve been deleting text messages. What’s happening here? If you’re having an affair, I deserve to know.”
- It’s possible he really isn’t cheating and that you’re just misinterpreting things. Try to keep an open mind here.
Go to couples counseling if you want to repair things.
If he is doing something behind your back and you want to work through this, couples counseling is one of the best first steps to take. If he isn’t doing anything behind your back but you were still thinking about pulling up his old texts, couples counseling may still be a good idea. No matter what obstacle you’re facing in marriage, a therapist or counselor will help you two work together to sort through your problems, improve your communication, and get back to the way things were when everything was smooth!
- Couples go to counseling together for all kinds of reasons—it isn’t necessarily a sign that your marriage is even in trouble. Think of relationships like cars; even if your car is perfectly fine, it needs a tune-up every now and then.