You have received his phone number, maybe from Tinder, or Facebook, or wherever else you met online. You started chatting – for days, then weeks. Your butterflies flew all over the roof, and you couldn’t hold yourself to meet him. But then it dawned on you – unless you checked on him first, he didn’t bother to check out on you. This got to you so hard you decided to delete his number. Or you just deleted his number because he asked you for a nude. Or because he didn’t say something gently enough. Whatever the reason, you deleted his number, cleared all messages from him, and even wiped clean the call logs. 3 weeks passed, then suddenly you just want to talk to him again. But you can’t find his damn phone number anywhere. Mind you, you have no friends in common from whom you can ask for the number. But don’t despair, there are two ways, maybe three, you can use to retrieve the deleted phone number.
The first approach you can use to retrieve a deleted phone number is via Gmail, hoping that you actually save your contacts on Gmail. If you haven’t set Gmail as the default “Phone Book” for your Android device then do so right away. This will save you a great deal as when you lose your phone or change phones, you will not be that person who posts on WhatsApp status “I lost all my contacts, please inbox me your numbers”, not knowing that WhatsApp only shows updates to those you have their phone numbers in the first place. If your contacts were automatically saved on Gmail, then you need to follow these steps to retrieve a deleted phone number:
- Go to Gmail via Chrome browser, preferably through PC.
- Choose Contacts. The place of finding contact changes from time to time but if you are already logged in to gmail going to contacts.google.com should always work
- On the left pane there is the button called More … select Export then Export all your current contacts as Google CSV. Your contacts should be saved on your PC as an excel document. You must export your contacts because the next step will delete several new contacts, contacts that you wouldn’t want to lose.
- Go back to the More button and this time choose “Undo changes“. Undo changes is a tool that allows you to undo changes you have done on your contact list up to 30 days prior the current date. You will get dates exceeding one week under Custom. From custom, choose the date you are sure your deleted phone number was still saved on your phone, then confirm. You will get a message from Google that your contacts will be changed back to how it was at xxx date xxx time, and that the process may take minutes/hours.
- After you contacts have been restored to how they were prior to deleting the contact you badly wanted to retrieve, you need to get back lost contacts, namely contacts that you acquired later after the date of the restoration. To do this, just go back to More but this time choose Import. From the dialogue box select the CSV file you had downloaded before, then import. After importing allow Google to sync and merge the contacts.
That’s all you need to retrieve a deleted phone number, but the problem with the above process is that it restores only contacts you have deleted in the last thirty days. To retrieve a contact you deleted many months ago, there is the option of TrueCaller, although the TrueCaller option doesn’t work for all contacts. I am not sure why. To retrieve a contact from TrueCaller, open the App, choose Contacts at the bottom left of the App, then in the next screen choose Identified. The Identified option is where TrueCaller stores all contacts you have searched for and were identified by the App. I have seen some contacts I searched for several months ago, but there are tens of others missing from the list. I was however lucky to find two contacts I really wanted to get back in touch with.
If Gmail Contacts restore neither TrueCaller don’t help, then your last option is to try a data recovery App, an App such as PhoneRescue. You simply download the App from Play Store then follow the App’s instructions on how to retrieve a deleted phone number, or any other file for that matter.