How to Recover Deleted Messages on Facebook Messenger

Find deleted messages on iPhone, Android, Mac, or PC

Deleted Files on a Screen

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When you delete a message in the Facebook Messenger app, it's permanently deleted. This is great for privacy, but can become a problem if you delete something valuable by mistake. However, you may still be able to restore these messages using a few workarounds. Read on to learn how to get your deleted messages back.

Is the Message Really Deleted?

Your message may not be deleted, but is merely hidden from view in the archives. Use the search bar at the top of the Messenger page on desktop.

Search Messenger field on Facebook desktop

You can also use the search bar on the Facebook Messenger app on your phone; type a few words from the conversation to see if your messages are still there.

How to Retrieve Deleted Messages From Your Contact

If the messages are not in your archives, there's still a good chance a contact still has a copy of the conversation. Ask the person who received your messages to forward the messages back to you. Or, you could ask your friend to take a screenshot of the conversation thread and send you the photo.

How to Find Deleted Messages on Facebook

Using Email Notifications

If you've configured your Facebook account to send email notifications for messages, you'll have copies of these messages in your Facebook inbox. Here's how to check your Facebook message notifications.

  1. Select the Down Arrow icon in the top-right corner of the Facebook page.

    Down arrow at the top of Facebook on the web
  2. Select Settings

    Settings menu on Facebook
  3. Choose Notifications.

    Notifications pane on Facebook
  4. Select Email to expand it.

    Email expansion triangle on Facebook
  5. If the option, "All notifications, except the ones you unsubscribe from" is selected, your messages are backed up to your email address.

    All notifications for Email on Facebook
  6. Open your email account and search for your Facebook messages.

Download Your Facebook Data

When you download your data from Facebook, deleted messages are not included. But according to Big Brother Watch, Facebook keeps messages you delete for an unspecified period of time before they're completely removed from their servers. You may be able to still find your deleted messages by downloading your Facebook Data if Facebook hasn't completely removed them yet.

You could also ask your contact to download their messages and filter the file to include the missing messages and share the file with you.

  1. On the upper right side of your Facebook page, select the down arrow.

  2. Select Settings Your Facebook Information.

    Your Facebook Information pane
  3. Select Download Your Information, then select View.

  4. At the top of the page, there are options to choose how you would like your download to be formatted, such as HTML and JSON.

    Download information formatting options on Facebook
  5. Select Messages if it isn't already checked off.

    Messages download checkbox on Facebook
  6. Select Create File to start the download. You may be asked for your password.

  7. Once the download is complete, it will be delivered to the email address associated with your account.

How to Recover Deleted Messages on Facebook Messenger Using a Third-Party Tool

A copy of your deleted Facebook Messenger messages may still be available on the physical memory of your computer or phone. You will need to use a third-party tool to recover these messages from your phone's memory.

If you use Firefox on your computer, the FB Chat History Manager may have stored your deleted Facebook messages.

While there are several file history apps for Android and iOS claiming to be capable of searching your phone's memory to find the deleted messages. None could reliably find these deleted messages. Know that you results may vary if you choose to try such an app.