​How to Recover Deleted Facebook Messages

Mobile Apps

During the lunch break from work, you remember your boss messaged you about the new project you’d lead. You boot up Facebook Messenger to check the messages again and realize something wrong; they aren’t there anymore.

This and other stories like this are becoming even more common now with more people working at home. Whether you’ve experienced this or not, it’s good to know that we do have a few solutions you should try out before you give up. If you’re looking for a guide on how to recover deleted Facebook messages, you’ve come to the right place.

Also read: How to Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages

How Facebook Message Deletion Works

Messenger
Photo by App Store

First off, if you do delete a message on Facebook, accidentally or not, is it deleted forever? The simple answer is yes, according to Facebook at least. They’re right in a way because none of our known solutions would restore deleted messages into Facebook Messenger. However, our methods would allow you to get a copy of the message and its contents if your luck is good.

Delving deeper into how to actually delete a message, Facebook uses two types of message deletion. Both are variations of the “unsend” option in the interface. The first option is to unsend, which deletes your message from the entire conversation and leaves a “You Unsent a Message” note. The second is the “Remove for You” option that removes a message from your interface but remains for others in the conversation. Both options rely on a double-confirmation system where you have to agree twice if a message or conversation is to be deleted.

Facebook Messenger also has a Secret Conversation feature. Secret Conversation is Messenger’s fully encrypted end-to-end service. This feature is similar to normal Facebook Messenger but allows for messages with timed deletion. By default, messages sent through this feature will automatically disappear five seconds to one day after the recipient sees them. They are also irrecoverable through any means we know of except for third-party apps. You can know if you’re on this feature by seeing the “Secret Conversation with” at the top of the app.

Also read: Other Encrypted Messaging Apps Like WhatsApp

 

​Ways to Recover Facebook Messages

There are only a few ways to recover deleted Facebook messages without using third-party applications. The following can be done through the Facebook Messenger app but is easier when using a PC or Mac.

 

1. Recover a Deleted Facebook Message From Archived Messages

The first option is to check whether your message has actually been deleted. You may have archived a conversation instead of fully deleting it. This is more apparent if the entire log of the conversation has disappeared from the interface. To check for archived conversations, do the following:

 

On the Messenger App:

1. Open the application and log in.

2. Use the search function to look for the name of the person or group you’re missing.

3. Tap on the conversation you were looking for.

4. Send a message on the conversation to allow the icon to return to the app home screen.

 

On the Messenger.com Website:

1. Log onto Messenger.com.

2. Click on the menu option (three vertical dots).

3. Select “Archived Chats.”

3. Click on the conversation you were looking for.

4. Send a message on the conversation to allow the icon to return to the home screen.

 

2. Get Deleted Facebook Message From an Email Notification

Another way to possibly recover your deleted Facebook messages is through the email notification function. This option only works if you’ve enabled it from the interface before you’d lost the message.

If this option is on, any and everything that happens on your Facebook and Facebook Messenger would be passed on to your registered email address. This would include messages, friend requests, tagged posts, and log-in & security updates.

If you don’t have an email app yet, see our list of the best email apps.

3. Get the Deleted Facebook Message From the Sender/Recipient

The best and surefire way to get back a deleted Facebook message is to actually ask the sender, the recipient, or others on the group conversation to send you a copy or screenshot of the conversation. This is the easiest and sure way to get back lost or deleted messages.

 

4. Fetch a Copy of a Deleted Facebook Message From Your Facebook Backup

The last method isn’t a sure one. With luck, this method would let you get a copy of the entire conversation through “downloading your information.” You have to request a copy of your send and exchanged messages from Facebook itself by downloading a copy of your latest information. You can not only get copies of your messaging history but your other Facebook data as well. The steps to see if you had an older copy stored are as follows:

 

On the Facebook Website:

1. Log onto the Facebook website.

2. Click on the drop-down menu (down arrow on the upper right).

3. Select Settings & Privacy.

4. Choose “Download Your Information.”

5. Select “Available Copies.”

6. Click on the copy you want to download.

7. Wait for the download to finish.

8. Open the file to see if your message was recovered.

Your Information Screen when Recovering deleted Facebook Messages
©Cellular News

 

On the Messenger App:

1. Open the application and log in.

2. Click on your icon to bring up the menu.

3. Select “Account Settings”.

4. Scroll down to “Your Information”.

5. Select “Download your Information”.

6. Select “Available Copies”.

7. Click on the copy you want to download.

8. Wait for the download to finish.

9. Open the file to see if your message was recovered.

 

Backing Up Your Facebook Message Data

If these options didn’t work for you, sadly, there aren’t any other ways to get back your messages without resorting to third-party applications. There are third-party software like the Stellar Data Recovery application that claims to recover not just lost Facebook messages but also data from other programs and media. If you do take up the services of these apps, we take the same stance as Facebook. We do not advise using third-party apps due to the possibility of your personal information being leaked or stolen. These apps may also range in efficacy from outright scams to actually recovering your data.

For now, your best option is to keep your data backed up and saved. Thankfully, Facebook has two official options for you to do this. The first is to use the email notification system. The second is to use the Facebook Backup system. The second option is best done immediately after or even before you delete a message. You may get lucky as Facebook takes some time to properly delete messages from its systems.

 

How to Turn On Email Notifications

On the Facebook Website:

1. Log onto the Facebook website.

2. Click on the drop-down menu (down arrow on the upper right).

3. Select Settings & Privacy.

4. Scroll down to Notifications.

5. Go to the “How you receive notifications” section and select Email.

6. Change the email frequency to all.

On the Facebook App:

1. Open the Facebook App.

2. Click on the icon with three vertical lines on the upper right.

3. Scroll down and select Settings & Privacy.

4. Choose Settings.

5. Move down to Notifications and select Email.

6. Select “All notifications, except ones you unsubscribe from.”

 

​How to Create a Facebook Backup

On the Facebook Website:

1. Log onto the Facebook website.

2. Click on the drop-down menu (down arrow on the upper right).

3. Select Settings & Privacy.

4. Choose “Download Your Information.”

5. Select the range, format, media quality, and activity range you want to have backed up.

6. Click on “Create File.”

7. Wait for the email informing you if it’s ready.

8. Download the file.

Facebook information screen for recovering deleted Facebook Messages
©Cellular News

On the Messenger App:

1. Open the application and log in.

2. Click on your icon to bring up the menu.

3. Select “Account Settings.”

4. Scroll down to “Your Information.”

5. Select “Download your Information.”

6. Select the range, format, media quality, and activity range you want to have backed up.

7. Click on “Create File.”

8. Wait for the email informing you if it’s ready.

9. Download the file.

 

Takeaway

To conclude, it is really hard to delete a message on Facebook. This is due to its dual-confirmation system that relies on two separate inputs from users. If you do end up deleting an important message, the options you have are limited. None of them has a 100% success rate either so it’s always good to back up your data once in a while. For backing up specific photos and files, though, it’s always good to have an app for it like those on our list for the best vault apps.

If you lost an important SMS, we have compiled different ways to recover deleted text messages on Android and iPhone.

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