1. Spoonmatic's Avatar
    Hi all, new here. I have an S21 running Android 12. I use the default Samsung SMS app. I migrated a long history of SMS to it when new, so it has messages going back well before it was made. I was scrolling back just now and discovered that the oldest message I can reach is exactly 5 years old today and I think there should be previous messages, so it seems something is set up to delete or hide them automatically. Half an hour of Googling and poking around and I still can't find it.

    a) Is there some functionality for deleting SMS automatically at 5 years?
    b) What is the community's preferred / recommended recovery tool for the missing stuff if there is one?
    c) If I power up the previous phone from which the history was migrated, which should have the old messages present, is it likely to do the same. Can I prevent that happening?

    Thanks in advance
    05-19-2022 04:14 AM
  2. Spoonmatic's Avatar
    OK, I think the 5-year thing is a red herring. I just found a few older messages from April 2017 so it was a pure coincidence. It looks like the old phone was doing the auto deleting but some threads made it across from the backup phone.

    That means I might want to see whether the old messages on the old phone can be recovered, so still interested in recommendations for a tool for that.
    05-19-2022 04:35 AM
  3. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! in the Samsung Messages settings, under More Settings, is Delete Old Messages toggled on?
    05-19-2022 11:38 AM
  4. Spoonmatic's Avatar
    I don't see the 'delete old messages' option, but I don't see 'more settings' either. Only 'advanced'. Am I being dumb?
    05-19-2022 02:15 PM
  5. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Are you using the Samsung Messages app, or the Google Messages app? I know that Samsung started using Google Messages as their default, but I'm not sure if that was the case for the S21. The Samsung Messages icon has 3 dots in a speech bubble, while the Google Messages icon has 3 lines.
    05-19-2022 06:43 PM
  6. Spoonmatic's Avatar
    The app I am using has three dots not in a speech bubble. Version info: messages.android_20220419_01_RC01.phone_samsung_dynamic
    I am up to my eyeballs at work but later on I will have proof whether it is deleting stuff because we'll pass the date of another old message. TBH I don't think it is, looks like a pure coincidence that multiple threads had a last message exactly five years earlier, possibly because auto-deletion in the old phone stopped at that point.
    05-20-2022 09:34 AM
  7. B. Diddy's Avatar
    That's the Samsung Messages app. Show us a screenshot of its settings menu when you get a chance: http://forums.androidcentral.com/gen...d-central.html

    It's possible that the app doesn't necessarily delete messages only by date, but also by thread size. So perhaps the message thread you were looking for was prioritized for deletion due to how big it was.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    05-20-2022 11:54 AM
  8. Spoonmatic's Avatar
    OK, it seems this phone is not deleting messages, but one of the phones I imported content from had been doing that until stopped some time before the import. By pure coincidence, the last messages that had been deleted were exactly 5 years and one day old when I was searching the other day.

    So now what I need to do is dig out and fire up the old phone and try to recover the deleted messages there. Thanks for your help so far, I will probably be back once I have the old phone ready.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    05-21-2022 11:27 AM

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