Getting your Snapchat chat history back beats the app’s purpose at first glance. After all, the primary goal of the app is was to send self-destructing images, videos, or text, which would be erased after up to 10 seconds. We say “was” because this has changed in recent times. Snapchat implemented a vault feature, called Memories, allowing users not only to store Snapchat data indefinitely but to share and search it. Unfortunately, that feature is reserved for photo and video messages, and won’t help much with text. Don’t let that worry you, though. If there were no alternatives, you wouldn’t be reading this guide. With that acknowledged, here’s how to recover Snapchat messages.
1. Recover Snapchat messages through conversation history
This is the easiest method, but very dependent on you thinking ahead or making a mistake. Also, it doesn’t encompass the whole chat history or even the entire conversation with one person. To clarify, there’s an alternative Snapchat feature to Memories. It allows you to prevent a message or a few messages you just sent from disappearing until you cancel it. Because chats disappear when you and the friend have seen the message, be quick to extend that period by doing this:
- Open the Chat screen by swiping right on the Camera screen.
- Tap on the message cloud icon at the top.
- Search or scroll for the friend’s name.
- When you find it, press and hold, then select More in the pop-up window.
- Tap on Delete Chats…
- Tap on 24 Hours after Viewing.
1. Steps required to restore frozen Snapchat messages
Now that you aren’t in a hurry, follow these steps to check for saved Snapchat messages:
- Follow steps 1 through 3 above.
- Instead of tapping and holding to the name/nickname of the Snapchat contact, enter the conversation.
- Find a message with a light gray background instead of a while. To help you find it, Snapchat also bolds the font.
- And there you have it! Those messages are stored on Snapchat servers until canceled and persist even if you perform a factory reset. To save another message, simply press and hold until it turns light gray.
Clarification. Snapchat servers store unopened messages for 30 days. Messages sent via Group Chat are deleted after 24 hours, regardless if they were seen by everyone or not. For that reason, if more than the aforementioned time has passed, move to the next method.
2. Request your Snapchat data
Snapchat collects all kinds of data, and, at the request of a verified owner, allows you to download it in the form of a ZIP archive. Among the data is chat history. Keep in mind that the process of putting the data together takes a while. To send a request to download your data from Snapchat, do this:
- In the app: Go to Settings > Scroll down and tap on My Data > Tap on Submit Request.
- Via browser: Visit the Snapchat Accounts page > Click on My Data, then Submit Request at the bottom.
Keep checking the Inbox/Spam/Junk folders of the verified Snapchat e-mail address. The e-mail will be titled Your Snapchat Data Is Ready For Download. Click the big button inside to be redirected to a download page. When extracted and opened, chat history will be in the left sidebar.
3. Recover Snapchat messages through internal storage
Wait, doesn’t Snapchat use end-to-end encryption, making message restoration impossible? It sure does, but it’s limited to Snaps only, not Memories or chats. For that reason, you can follow the same steps as in method 3 of our Snapchat photos recovery guide. The only difference is the extension replacements. Instead of .jpg, you should exchange the .nomedia extension for .txt, .doc, or .docx or one used by a similar document file. If the file is unreadable, you can upload the file to online conversion tools. They usually have various algorithms for extracting and reformatting data.
4. Using data recovery software to recover Snapchat messages
If you scroll down just a tad more in the aforementioned guide, you see an almost identical headline. This is because, once again, both types of files share a method. Feel free to use the identical steps, except that, when the scan finishes, select Documents in the left sidebar, instead of Pictures/Gallery/Photos/App Photos subcategories. Also, because the required access is less impactful with documents, you might pull it off without rooting your Android phone or jailbreaking your Apple iPhone.