How to Retrieve Text Message History

By Kirk Bennet

Updated September 28, 2017

Getting the text message history from your cell phone is easy.
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Retrieving your cell phone's message history is relatively easy and straightforward. Use the cell phone itself to see the message history or, if you are a person who constantly deletes his or her messages, use the online account created on your carrier's website to retrieve the text message history. Although you will often not be able to see the actual messages' text on the carrier's website, you will be able to see when they were sent and the destination number.

From Your Cell Phone

Unlock your cell phone and enter the menu. Although the position of the menu button varies, it should be very visible. Unlike traditional phones, most touchscreen phones have an icon on their display that opens the menu.

Look for the word "Messaging" in the menu. The menu will contain a multitude of icons or a list of items, depending on your phone model. Enter the Messaging area.

Find the "Sent" and "Received" sections. You might find them named "Inbox" and "Outbox," depending on your phone's model. You will find all the sent and received messages in this section.

Open a message. You will be able to see the text, time and date and sender or receiver. If you deleted some or all of your messages, you need to sign into your online account to retrieve the message history.

From Your Online Account

Open your favorite Web browser on your computer and navigate to your carrier's website. You will see a "My Account" button or another type of Log In section. For example, AT&T has the "myAT&T" link. Enter the section.

Create an account if you don't have one. Follow the simple instructions. Log into your account with your username and password.

Find a section named "Messaging" or something similar. Enter the section and you will see your messages. Depending on your carrier, you can see when you sent and received messages, the senders and receivers and even the content of the messages.


You can retrieve the text message history with the help of law enforcement agencies.