Everyone’s done it – deleted a Facebook message they meant to keep (sometimes the trigger-happy clicker finger can cause serious remorse.) Adios, sayonara, people think they’ll never see their messages again.

But this is not the case. That’s right, a time machine isn’t necessary to retrieve deleted messages. Facebook knows the accidental deletion of messages can happen and they’ve created an easy way for anyone with an account to go back and view everything they’ve done on their account.

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Why You Should Archive Your Facebook Messages Rather Than Delete Them

Recover deleted Facebook messages from a downloaded archive

In order to receive deleted messages in Facebook, you’ll first need to log-in to the Facebook account you want to retrieve messages from.


Go to “Account Settings”

After you’re logged in, go to “Account Settings” in the top right corner of the window.


Once the “General Account Settings” page loads, click on “Download a copy of your Facebook data” at the bottom of the page.


Download Your Archive

After you click on the “Download a copy…” link, you’ll be brought to a page where you can download everything you’ve done on your Facebook account since the birth of your account. Click on the green button that says “Start My Archive.”


After you click the green button, the small dialog box “Request My Download,” will open, informing you it can take a while (typically 2-3 hours) to gather all of your information. Click “Start My Archive” again to launch the gathering process.


And that, you’ll be told to go to the email account associated with your Facebook profile where a download link to your archive will be sent. Again, it may take 2-3 hours to arrive. Once it does,Β click on the link in the email to download your archive.


And before you can download the archive, you will need to reenter your password.


Finally, click on “Download Archive” button that appears after entering your password. Your archive will download to your computer. Unzip it, then open the file named “index.”

The file containing your archived data will open and click on “Messages” and all of your past messages will load.


To easily find the message you’re looking for, search by keyword. Press “CTRL + F” or “F3” to access the keyword search process, and that’s it. Once you find the message, copy and paste the contents into a Word document to save.

You’ve got to love Facebook for providing such an in-depth archiving feature. There is a myriad of reasons people need to retrieve deleted messages, and this feature fills this need. Just remember, it can take a few hours to extract your archive, so plan accordingly.

For more info on recovering deleted data in Facebook, visit their Help Center, and for a great way to recover deleted data in general, check out this interesting blog post.

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Tiffiny Carlson has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She began writing while still in college, studying for her BA in Mass Communications at Augsburg College. She has written for dozens of magazines, online publications and blogs. Her writing covers a wide range of content from politics and technology to lifestyle subjects. She was a contributor for over 2 years for and the political site, from Minneapolis, Tiffiny loves spending time in the great outdoors and enjoying the beauty of all four seasons (with her smartphone never too far out of reach).
  • Samantha Sweet-Donovan

    I did this but it only downloaded the messages still in my inbox πŸ™ not the ones I accidentally deleted just two days ago πŸ™
    Help. Any other ideas??

    • Pine Zee

      is there any other way than this to recover deletedd fb mesages πŸ™ i need them back…this method doesnot wok πŸ™

      • Hari

        I can not download aktive on android phone

  • Hello Samantha! It looks as if Facebook has put an end to being able to recover deleted messages for the time being. They have been know to change this often. Try again in a month. Hopefully FB will have restored this feature.

    • Dee

      I think it doesn’t download the permanently deleted messages, only the archived ones, correct?

      • Yep! Only the archived ones.

        • Dee

          And is it me or does it have black boxes when you try to load messages from WAY back in the downloaded stuff?
          Cos i tried it to see if I downloaded deleted messages but after a certain frame of time it was just huge black squared and nothing else … That and it took agesssssssss to load

          • jyoti kushwaha

            sir informetion file download karne k bad kuch samajh me nhi arha hai to ab mujhe kya krna hoga plz help me

  • Yasmin Kassem

    sadly, i cannot see whole conversations deleted πŸ™

    • angelasmara

      i also didnt see dear can u help me plz its too important plz…

  • Tanya

    Hello there. I found this very helpful but there is one issue. When i download it, i opened html folder and clicked on messages. It says “There was an error loading the data for this page. We are sorry for the inconvenience and are working to fix the problem.” Everything else, like photos, wall, profile works just fine. Can I fix it somehow? Thanks in advance.

    • hassan

      same with me

  • Aalim Rajput

    I am not satisfied from your services because its not working.

  • kesa

    it doesnt work…..
    it clearly states ” Note, if you’ve deleted a message it won’t be included in your download as it has been deleted from your account.”

  • Jansher Ahmed

    iam open Start My Archive downdload but my delted data not recover plez hell mee

  • hassan

    its not working. we cannot get the deleted chat


    doesnt work!! i need deleted messages from 2 years ago. this sucks, anyonw with anymore ideas?

  • Cats

    How do I download the general setting page from tablet

  • kurniawan

    it’s not working at all.
    waste my time

  • Monica Rasmussen

    Use Facebook Messages Recovery Tool,search for it on Google I think are new versions of this software now

    • TechGeek42

      THANK YOU!!!!!!

    • rima

      hi i cant buy it in my country because i don’t have a credit card.. could you please help me Monica i need this software so bad.. πŸ™

  • Katherine

    You can’t retrieve deleted conversations this way. The archive only includes information you haven’t deleted.

    • Sunny Virdi


  • Oz

    This whole thread should be removed. You can clearly no longer recover deleted messages from Fb

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