Last night I got a number from a girl, I tried to send her a message, but it hung on "message sending".

I decided to delete the message without saving the number to my phone, and the whole thread disappeared. Now I want the number back.

I have tried to access it from my carrier but they don't have it on there because the message wasn't sent in the first place.

Any ideas on how to recover it? I am using a Motorola Atrix 4G.


2 Answers 2


It is extremely unlikely that you can recover the text message itself, but you can try following something like this.

If you haven't rebooted your phone, you could also try running this from your PC while your phone is connected:

adb shell "logcat | grep handleSmsReceived"

The output will look like:

D/Mms/Txn ( 9092): handleSmsReceived messageUri: content://sms/789, address: +15551234567, body: this is a text message

If you don't have ADB installed, you can get it from the Android SDK Tools.

  • If the device is rooted, there's still the chance to get the deleted entries from the SQLite database (as long as there was no VACUUM run), see my answer.
    – Izzy
    Mar 10, 2016 at 9:59

There's a chance to recover deleted SMS if your device is rooted – but you'll have to act fast (before deleted entries are purged out):

  1. Get the messages database (/data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/mmssms.* files) from your device
  2. Make multiple copies of that (so in case something goes wrong, you can start fresh)
  3. Try one of the available tools to recover deleted rows from SQLite databases
  4. Analyse what you've got

For item #3, here are a few options:

For item #4 I can recommend SQLiteman (documentation here), which I'm using myself every now and then. Hasn't been updated for a while, but it's simple and easy to work with.

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