Since Snapchat launched in 2011, it has quickly grown to become one of the few apps that maintain universality across most devices.
Snapchat’s popularity also means it’s used to send and receive a large volume of messages every day.
Talking about Snapchat messages, there is a feature that you can either love or hate about this part of the app—disappearing messages. If you send someone a message via Snapchat, the message disappears after a few seconds or hours, unless you save them.
Sometimes, you wish to see that picture one more time. No thanks to Snapchat’s disappearing messages, it’s gone, maybe for good.
Sometimes, you go out of the way to delete messages, only to discover that you’ll be needing it in the future. This need will push you to learn how to recover Snapchat messages, and you’re not alone.
This article will explain the steps required to recover deleted or disappeared Snapchat messages if that is possible in the first place.
How to Recover Snapchat Messages
Before detailing how to recover lost messages on Snapchat, you should know how to prevent them from disappearing in the first place.
If you’re previously unaware, Snapchat lets you save your messages to prevent them from disappearing from the chat after a couple of seconds or hours.
This feature isn’t locked behind a paywall or anything. In fact, it’s so easy that you’ll be surprised why you didn’t know about it before now.
Here are the steps required to prevent your Snapchat messages from disappearing after sending or receiving them.
- Launch Snapchat on your smartphone and sign in to your account if you’re not logged in already.
- Swipe right from any main part of the main interface or click on the Chats icon to open your chats. The Chats icon is the second icon from the bottom left corner of the Snapchat interface.
- Navigate to the chat containing the message that you intend to keep.
- Go to the message, tap, and hold it until you see the ‘Save in Chat’ option. Select this option to save the message and evade deletion.
All saved messages will have a grey background to stand out from the regular messages. Also, they won’t disappear with other messages, as that’s the goal of saving the messages in the first place.
Now, let’s assume you didn’t save the message, or you even deleted it entirely. How do you recover such messages after they have disappeared?
Fortunately, it’s quite easy. Throughout the rest of this article, I’ll go through the different methods which you can use to recover Snapchat messages, either on an Android phone or on an iPhone.
How to recover Snapchat messages on Android
When you delete Snapchat messages on an Android smartphone, they don’t leave your phone completely. Instead, they are stored away in a hidden folder, which you can access anytime if you know where to look.
There’s so much data in hidden folders on your smartphone. For instance, when you delete a photo in Google Photos, it doesn’t leave your device instantly. Instead, the photo is hidden away in the trash, where you can go to retrieve it if you change your mind within 60 days.
The fact that the photo is available and viewable in the trash implies that it still exists somewhere on your device. However, you won’t see the photo when viewing your pictures, or when trying to upload a picture to Instagram.
What actually happens is that Google saves all of your deleted Google Photos media in a hidden folder, with a time delay to delete the file in 60 days.
The same logic applies to Snapchat. The photos and messages you delete on Snapchat are stored away in a hidden folder where you can’t access them if you’re not looking for them specifically.
Follow the steps below to access this hidden folder and get access to your deleted messages and media files on Snapchat.
- Install a decent File Manager app on your device. We recommend the one that came with your device, as most are pretty capable of viewing hidden files.
- Modify the File Manager settings to be able to view hidden files. The steps for this differ across applications and devices, so we can’t give you specific steps.
- Navigate to the Android folder, open the ‘data’ folder, and open com.snapchat.android.
- You should see a list of files here, most with a .nomedia extension. This is where the work starts.
- Every file with a .nomedia extension represents a deleted file, deliberately renamed by the Snapchat app to hide them away.
To regain access to these photos, you must rename all of the files accordingly, giving them the appropriate file extensions. Photos should have a ‘.png’ or ‘.jpg’ file extension, while videos should have a ‘.mp4’ file extension.
After renaming all of the hidden files accordingly, you should see their thumbnails appear, making them accessible once again.
How to recover Snapchat messages on iOS
If you primarily use Snapchat on an iPhone, you may be unable to access a file manager capable of viewing hidden files and folders.
In this case, you have two options: you can either choose to use recovery software or choose to request your Snapchat data.
Here is how to recover Snapchat messages using the latter method.
- Launch the Snapchat app on your iPhone and tap on your avatar at the top left.
- At the top right of your profile page, tap on the settings icon and select ‘My Data.’ You may have to re-login to your Snapchat account at this stage.
- After logging in successfully, you will receive a rundown of all the information available for download. TLDR; it includes your sent and received snaps history, basically all of the snaps that have disappeared.
- Tap on the yellow ‘SUBMIT REQUEST’ button on the page to request the data. Snapchat will prepare an archive of your data and mail it to the email connected to your account.
After receiving the archive in your mail, you can download and extract the file on your Mac or PC to access all of the snaps you’ve sent so far on Snapchat.
Just so you know, these exact steps also work to recover Snapchat messages on Android. However, since there are better alternatives to achieve the same goal on an Android smartphone, why bother with all of these steps?
Everything should be reversible. Humans do make mistakes, and anyone can delete their Snapchat messages by mistake.
However, Snapchat, like most other messaging platforms doesn’t have a specific way for users to reverse a message deletion. To make things worse, it’ll automatically delete your messages after a specified period.
To prevent this from happening, you have two options: preventing it from happening, or recovering the messages after it happens. This post shows you how to achieve both on Android and iOS smartphones.