Snapchat is a very popular photo and video sharing application. The unique feature of this app is that the photos are only supposed to be displayed for 10 seconds before they are permanently erased. However, it is actually possible for anyone to recover photos and videos once they have been removed. This guide will show you how to retrieve old snapchat messages quickly and easily.
Step 1 – Understanding how it Works
Snapchat is popular because of the idea that the photos won’t be around forever. This means that people are more willing to do something embarrassing because the incriminating evidence won’t be around for anyone else to see. However, there is a problem with this. Although the snapchat messages disappear from your snapchat app, they are never actually deleted from your phone.
Instead of being deleted they are stored on your phones memory with a .nomedia extension. This type of extension means that all other apps should ignore it. In other words it looks like the pictures and videos do not exist, however they still do. It’s actually very easy to get access to these files again.
Step 2 – File Manager App
To recover snapchat messages from your phone you will need to rename the files so that the .nomedia extension can be removed. This can be accomplished using a file manager application. You can either find these on the Google play store, or download an APK from the Internet. If you are using an apple device then you will need to jailbreak the phone and find a suitable file manager app.
Suitable file manager applications include Astro File Managers, File Expert, and OI file manager.
Step 3 – Renaming the File
Search your device for files with the nomedia extension. These will be all your messages from snapchat. Select and rename each one to remove the extension. This should allow other apps to index and display the thumbnails so you can look at them again.
Step 4 – Recovering Deleted Files
Sometimes the snapchat messages really are deleted from your phone, in which case you can still get them back using different tools. Download a tool called Dumpster which acts as a recycle bin. You can then browse the list and restore any files that you want to keep.
Step 5 – Encryption
If you are using Snapchat 4 or higher then the messages will be encrypted, so it’s not quite as simple as just changing the file extension any more. However, snapchat uses very weak encryption techniques. This has been broken for a very long time, and cracking them is extremely easy. There are quite a few different tools available on the Internet, including AES encryption. This is a web tool which can be used to automatically decrypt files so that you can view them again.
It’s clear that snapchat isn’t quite as secure as they might have you imagine. The photos aren’t removed as they suggest and are actually very easy to recover. This may start to make people question whether they want to continue using such an app. It is however useful that you can get messages back whenever you want.