How Long does Android Store Text Messages?

When we go back to old messages to get information, questions like “How long does Android Store Text messages” are important, so we know when to access them.

How Long does Android Store Text Messages?

Apart from the fact, messages are sent and received through a cellphone provider’s data network, they are also stored on the device itself.

This is how it works when you delete a message, it is removed from the visible display but it remains stored in the cell phone’s memory.

Then much later, the phone will wipe its data cache and reallocate the space to other things.

Text messages are stored in a database on the phone’s internal memory, this is very different than emails which are deleted immediately.

The database is can be in different locations depending on the Andriod version that you have.

How Long does Andriod Store Messages

What you should know is that your Andriod text messages cannot be deleted permanently, even if you erase them they can still be recovered.

Many Carriers keep data for years but definitely not forever. For instance, AT&T Wireless keeps your text messages on their servers for just 48 hours before wiping them off, while sprint keeps them for two weeks.

Now if you want your messages to be kept for future use, then you need to use an app called SMS Backup+.

The app works hand in hand with your Email account (Gmail) and enables you to export your text message.

You can also print, save or download them offline, which is better as you can quickly find your messages even though you are not in the same location as your cell phone.

How Network Providers Store Text Messages

 Text messages are typically retained on your Android phone for between 18 months and 2 years (24 months), while some companies can store texts for much longer.

After this time, they will be permanently erased and impossible to restore without the service provider’s express permission.

All that will be left over once this window of time is over are any MMS messages sent. (including photos and videos)

The following is a list of popular mobile service providers along with how long they keep text messages on your Android phone:

  • AT&T – 5-7 years
  • Sprint – 18 months
  • T-Mobile – up to 5 years
  • Vodafone – 2 years

Knowing how long your phone stores text messages is important as having that at the back of your mind will help you know when to access them and most importantly if you would still want them for future references.

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