my HTC wildfire phone deleted all of my sms suddenly. I don't know what happened!! and I hadn't made a backup of them. what can I do to restore them?


If you are using the stock messaging app, the settings might be the cause of the trouble. Go to Messaging app -> Settings -> Untick Delete old messages. (If it was ticked I'm sure that was the reason for auto deleting of the sms)

  • There are two moments. 1. Default setting is to save all messages an do not delete oldest. 2. Messages are deleted not all, only oldest. So this isn't the case of topic starter. Aug 12 '11 at 16:43
  • In my default setting on Gingerbread the option was ticked and all my messages were deleted as a result of not using sms for quite 10 days. The setting depends on the ROM the user is using. But in this case I might be wrong, but it has occured. Aug 12 '11 at 17:12

Someone posted a logcat snippet of the occurrence in this bugreport:

I/Database(9): sqlite returned: error code = 11, msg = database corruption found by source line 54710
E/Database(9): Removing corrupt database: /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/mmssms.db
E/DatabaseUtils(9): android.database.sqlite.SQLiteDatabaseCorruptException: database disk image is malformed 

Explanation of the above:

  • SQlite is the used embedded database engine on Android. Error code 11 describes a malformed database disk file (#define SQLITE_CORRUPT 11 /* The database disk image is malformed).
  • A bad db file was detected, removed and a new empty one created
  • All SMS are gone now

Some further thoughts:

  • SQLite is known to be extremely well tested (99.9% of all code are test cases)
  • Therefore it's highly probable it's not SQLite which causes this
  • Very probably the file got corrupted by bad flash storage cells, memory corruption or another reason

You can do some things. I'd suggest the following order:

  1. See again if you do have a backup. If so restore it.
  2. You could take your phone to a forensics / data rescue expert like Kroll Ontrack and have it analyzed.
  3. There's also growing free support for mobile devices, eg. by Sleuthkit
  4. For the future: Back up your SMS data, e.g. move them to GMail

Some final words:
SQLite is very common for embedded devices, iOS also relies on SQLite for many things (including SMS storage). There will always be a chance of losing data if you don't backup: Device is lost/stolen/broken, dying flash storage cells, software bugs, other erratic situations like full storage, etc. It's the same with any device, don't rely on a single point of failure, have a backup in the cloud. This just works with mails, your address book and so on. Do the same with SMS.


It's a known bug in the Android OS. There is nothing you can do about it but bump your head. I'm moving over to iOS because of that. There are many other bugs in Android, but this one is a deal breaker for me.

Here is a link to the official bug report. The issue has been known to Google at least since 2009:

  • (other comment transformed into an answer) Please note: This problem is probably caused by bad flash cells. The used database solution on Android is SQLite. iOS also heavily relies on SQLite (including SMS storage). This kind of problem will happen on your new iPhones too at some point probably. Do backups.
    – ce4
    Nov 22 '12 at 16:28

Nothing. You can do nothing. One option is go to data recovery service, but price will be uninteresting.

Also tell please if you install 3rd party software on your phone.

why HTC wildfire phone deleted all of my sms for 2 times?

I suppose that there can be installed glitchy or malicious programs on phone. Also if you have child or children, they may have played with phone and occasionally deleted messages.

  • Why is the only sane answer downvoted?
    – R R
    Jun 25 '12 at 8:23
  • I don't know... Somebody likes to press downvote for every answer. Some kind of terrorism :-( Jul 3 '12 at 22:47

This has happened to me multiple times before. Each time the number of messages was around 6000. I think there may be an upper limit on the number of messages the Messaging app can handle, and beyond that it just deletes everything. I might be wrong though.

I don't know of any way to recover the messages though.


You're really asking two questions here, and both are extremely hard to answer. First of all; why did the messages disappear? We can't possibly know this because we know nothing about what software you're running, if you changed something (installed/removed software etc.) around the time the messages disappeared and so on. Maybe it's a "feature" of the stock software?

The second question is; how can the messages be restored, and that's a very hard question to answer because what you're asking about is data recovery which is not exactly easy work usually (that's why it will cost you a lot of money to pay someone else to do it). You would need to make a copy of your entire storage first of all, and then go in and look at the raw data to perhaps salvage all or some parts of earlier messages.

In short, if you care a lot about some messages, you should have them backed up to begin with. You can either do a backup of your phone, or copypaste the messages into a platform in the cloud (Dropbox, Google Docs, you name it).

I'm sorry to say you won't find a solution to this problem without either paying a lot of money to get someone to recover your data, or start reading up on data recovery yourself and learn how to copy all the data from your phone bit by bit and then looking at the raw data.

I wish I could have given you a better answer, sorry about that.

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