A step-by-step guide on how to delete, and recover, text messages on Android

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Deleting text messages is usually a straightforward affair, but some people may be confused about, or unaware, of the different ways you can select, and delete, text messages. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how to delete text messages in Android individually, or by thread. We’ll cover the standard Messages app that you’ll find on the vast majority of Android phones, but since you can also set Hangouts to handle all your SMS messages, we’ll cover that as well.

Sometimes you’ll delete the wrong message, however, or realize you want to recover a text that’s gone. Such being the case, we’re also going to run through some basic options on how to recover deleted text messages on your Android device.

Deleting text messages

How to delete an individual text message

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Go into a message thread, and then tap and hold the specific message you want to delete.
  3. Select Delete from the options.

How to delete a text message thread

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Tap and hold on the thread itself, and not on the contact picture.
  3. Select the trash icon (or Delete on a Samsung Galaxy phone) on the upper right hand corner.
  4. Tap Ok to confirm deletion.

How to delete all message threads at once

  1. In your Messages app, tap the More menu more menu on the upper right hand corner.
  2. Select Delete all threads from the options.
  3. Tap Ok to confirm deletion.

How to delete an SMS thread in Hangouts

delete android sms thread hangouts

If you use Hangouts, you may have it as your default SMS app in Android. It will not let you delete all threads at once, but you can select them in the same way you select them in the messages app. Let’s take a look.

  1. Open the Hangouts app.
  2. Tap and hold on the thread itself, and not on the contact picture.
  3. You are now in selection mode, so you can keep selecting the threads that you want to delete.
  4. Select the trash icon on the upper right hand corner.
  5. Tap Delete to confirm deletion.
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