How Long Does U.S. Cellular Keep Text Message Content? Answered

U.S. Cellular, the fifth largest mobile service provider in the country, keeps the content of your text messages stored on its servers for three to five days. Find out more about how U.S. Cellular may use and store your data below.

How Long Does U.S. Cellular Keep Text Message Content?

Content storage practices vary by cellular provider. In the case of U.S. Cellular, the company stores text message content for three to five days after messages are sent. General details about text messages are retained for up to one year. We spoke to a U.S. Cellular customer service representative to verify this information.

Who can view your stored text messages? If you are a U.S. Cellular account holder, you can access your own call records and text message content online, over the phone, or in-person at a U.S. Cellular retail store near you. Law enforcement agencies may also be able to access your text message content if it’s required during the course of an investigation.

U.S. Cellular does not routinely read its customers’ text messages. However, the company reserves the right to monitor text messages for “reasonable business purposes,” including compliance with laws and regulations. You can find out more about the company’s policies on the U.S. Cellular Messaging Services Terms and Conditions page.

What Other Types of Data Does U.S. Cellular Keep?

U.S. Cellular keeps a record of your call history for one rolling calendar year. This means that the past 365 days of call history data is stored; data older than one year is deleted. U.S. Cellular also keeps your billing history and subscriber information on file for seven years.

How Long Do Other Carriers Store Text Message Content?

Not a U.S. Cellular account holder? Here’s how long the other top cell phone service providers store your text message content and general details, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice:

AT&T

  • Text message content: Not retained
  • Text message general details: Five to seven years for post-paid plans

Sprint

  • Text message content: Not retained
  • Text message general details: 18 months, though it may vary, depending on your device

T-Mobile

  • Text message content: Not retained
  • Text message general details: Two years for pre-paid plans and five years for post-paid plans

Verizon

  • Text message content: Three to five days
  • Text message general details: One rolling year

In Summary

As one of the five major U.S. cell phone service providers, U.S. Cellular stores your text message content for three to five days, and keeps general details about text messages on record for up to one year. Verizon has a similar policy for text message content storage, while AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile do not retain the exact content of texts. While these carriers do store your text message details, the data is not accessible to anyone else, except in circumstances where law enforcement agencies may need to access cell phone content.

For more on cellular providers and phones, see our article: Places That Offer No Credit Check Cell Phone Financing (Kmart, etc).

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