For many, myself included, text messages act as an archive of conversations, dating back years, transferred from phone to phone. For some users, the Pixel 3 seems to be completely deleting all of these messages. Though now there’s a simple fix that may work.
In an alarming number of reports on Reddit, spotted by Android Police, users have shared that almost all of their text messages have disappeared — not simply hiding in the archive, but missing altogether. Some of the reports indicate the Messages app misbehaving first, doing unusual things like creating a new thread for existing conversations. Upon restarting the phone, all older conversations are no longer available.
Considering the issue is only cropping up in the last week or so, it’s definitely not a launch issue for the Pixel 3. Most likely the issue is related to either the November Security Update or a recent update to the Messages app. For now, until the issue gets properly identified and resolved, we recommended that you use a third-party app to backup your text messages.
If you’re among the unlucky few who have encountered the issue, at least one person seems to have been able to get their texts back by reverting to an older version of the Messages app. The easiest way to do this is to open the Settings app, Apps & Notifications, then find Messages. From the App Info page, use the menu button at the top-right, and choose Uninstall updates.
Update 11/14: A spokesperson for Google reached out to The Verge saying a fix is on the way.
We recently discovered a bug affecting SMS/MMS on a small number of Pixel 3s and are rolling out a fix soon.
The spokesperson did not clarify where the issue itself lies, with the Pixel 3 software or the Messages app. It’s also not yet known how this update will arrive, whether by OTA or through the Play Store.
This is, of course, not the only issue Pixel owners have run into since launch, with issues ranging from overheating to poor audio recording quality. Just today, we witnessed one Pixel 3 with a very strange flickering display issue.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve run into any issues with your Pixel 3 deleting text messages, and, if so, whether or not this potential fix worked for you.