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Backing up and restoring text messages back to iPhone

372419 Views 68 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2014 6:34 AM by Chris CA RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • -rye-=987=- Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2012 7:10 PM (in response to luvraj)

    I'd like to bump this thread.


    Similarly, I have to restore as a new phone since my software or something is buggy. I've restored from both an iTunes and iCloud backup and still the standby and usage times are near equal (under Settings --> Usage) indicating something's running almost all the time. My last resort is to set it up as a new phone before I go in for a phone replacement. BUT I would like to keep my game save data (I'm NOT restarting 2 years worth of angry birds) and text messages, etc... music obv gets synced back from iTunes and I can reset settings, but can I get the texts and app save data back? I'm willing to "dig into files" to do this, but the links above seem to not work (I tried the one that another user tried, where you copy the .plist files and the one hex file)

  • Buhwandon Calculating status...

    I'm guessing there isn't a way to look at your text on your computer for free.

  • ibakajone Calculating status...

    Apple iTunes is helpless to transfer and save text messages from iPhone to computer. If you want to save them to a Mac, there is a program called PhoneView that lets you do that (and a lot more).

    It's worth whatever it was i spent on it. (I don't recall it being very much, but it does a lot more than JUST save texts and was worth it to me).

    I know there are comparable programs for the PC, just not familiar enough to recommend one.

    So I guess there are some iPhone articles to help you out.

    How to transfer iPhone SMS and contact to computer

    How to transfer and backup iPhone SMS to Mac OS

  • hfalkena Calculating status...

    Never can be sure why Apple makes it so hard to do what should be the simplest of things.


    Anyway, lets start with why someone might wish to copy text messages in the first place since that always seems to be part of the problem for some...


    1) you need the physical text from a conversation to be copy/pasteable so you can edit it later. For example maybe a great set of recipies someone texted you. Or a bunch of good jokes you and friends went back and forth on and youre all like, man we gotta save these! Or maybe you are trying to write a blog or something and youd rather copy blurbs from contributors or friends who texted you things and edit them later instead of having to rewrite already good written content.


    2) texts going back and forth may be needed for legal or other heated reasons. Screen shots can work but its hard to redact certain things and also some content may need to be quoted or used elewhere. Again, it's harder to rewrite it all.


    3) if you and a friend should have emailed but had started out texting and now wish to go back to refer to old info or share history with others, it would be good to be able to paste in whole blocks of texts that were already covering a subject everyone can now see that had once only been in two peoples' text boxes


    4) text history can go away so we need to save it.




    Recently what i did is literally copy each text bubble of a lengthy back and forth and paste them one by one into my Notes app with a space between. This took a while and required switching back and forth between sms and Notes but it worked. I do regret i hadnt been emailing what turned out to be an important conversation with that person instead but now we are so as to avoid my doing the work hes greatful that i did.


    In the end I am quite surprised Apple has nothing for this. An app, a set of simple steps, a "save conversation of entire chat to file" feature, etc.




    *shrugs* I wish I could be paid well for leaving the obvious little things out of my job lol

  • selbrogy Calculating status...

    I would like to know whether my text messages are backed up once I back up on the mac, please? I need to restore my phone to factory settings and am afraid to lose my text messages. Is there a video link to say how you can back up texts on the mac into the iTunes please? Thank you in advance.

  • luvraj Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    If you are going to backup phone And restore from same backup file yes they will all come back as it was. But just texts won't be able to.

  • Viet Dao Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hey all, I just got done doing a ton of research because I needed to do a clean wipe (software issues that were killing my battery life) and wanted to get my text messages back onto my clean phone for iOS 5. The good news is I found a bunch of various things that can help most of you out. For my case, I'm still waiting for the software to work but I can report back once it does.


    1) Pre-iOS 5 Restore SMS option unes-without-jailbreak/


    2) Backup/Export/Viewing Only for SMS (and other data)



    - -list.html



    3) Restoring back to new iPhone

    - (says they can, trying to validate)

    - (taking forever, but says it can restore)


    Hope this helps save some time for folks! Please let me know if these do/don't work!

  • Mikefrombklyn Calculating status...

    I had a lot of MMS texts with my GF. I used the Decipher program to save them to my iMac. I doubled checked the folder I saved them to and they were all there. Ater I deleted them from my 4s my "other" went from 3.17 down to 1.67. A nice surprise was that the program also found texts that I tought were gone from my old 3g. The program cost $19.95, you have to decide if its worth it for you.

  • xqj37 Calculating status...

    Did you have any luck restoring messages to a new / restored iPhone using wondershare or backuptrans? I need to do the same thing, but have found no solutions. Your post is the closest I've found.

  • DjBoony Calculating status...



    I'm on 6.1.2


    Need to do clean restore as new device, to fix the extreme battery drain issue, but need to preserve over 9gigs of never-deleted text messages and pictures/videos (MMS) sent between all my contacts ontop of just the SMS.


    Does anyone have any updates to this working?
    Downloaded ibackupbot. Have not tried it yet.

  • xqj37 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found a solution that worked for me. The battery problem was identified as a program that continually started up and crashed, over and over. I was told I needed to wipe my phone and install from scratch to solve this, losing everything not backed up in cloud (e.g. SMS). I too didn't want to lose my messages, but with my battery life being absolutely unusable, I had no choice. So, I backed up my phone, wiped it, and installed from scratch. Battery use was back to normal. Then, just for kicks, I reinstalled the last complete back-up with my messages (and, supposedly, corrupt system software). Everything was back, including all messages, and yet the battery problem didn't come back with it! I can imagine this wouldn't work for everyone, but it worked for me.


    So, summary: 1) Back up your phone. 2) Wipe your phone & do a fresh install, not from backup. 3) Install your old backup that had all your SMS, etc.


    While this fix was simple, I can say this overall effort caused a lot of heartache, and I consider myself lucky. It should be possible to back-up / synchronize SMS history. Apple, please add support for this.


    PS: None of the 3rd party SMS backup & restore tools worked for me.

  • DjBoony Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2013 8:38 PM (in response to xqj37)

    I guess this would have to be repeated until the battery issue magically disappears xqj37,

    I just got a new iPhone 5 due to the top button not working, the last one had the same issue as this new one. Which I restored from my large backup to


    All devices I have had and restored have been draining like crazy.


    If I could fix the battery issue some other way the SMS backup doesn't matter!


    But thank you, will try to reset network settings on top of turning off many other little settings.


    The only application I somewhat got a good clear and tangible backup on my computer is with phoneview

    I might just need to give in and save all to computer and just have a clear empty SMS phone again.

  • Onlineria Calculating status...

    Usually, iTunes will automatially backup your iPhone when you sync with iTunes. If you have the backup, then you can recover deleted sms messages on the iPhone 4 will be easily:


    Here are the steps:
    Click the "File" menu and select "Devices" > "Restore from Back up".
    Open the iOS device's "Summary" tab. There are two ways to access this:
    Click the device button in the upper right corner. (If viewing the iTunes Store, click the Library button in the upper right corner. The device button will then be visible.)
    From any view in iTunes, click the "View" menu and select "Show Sidebar". Select your iOS device in iTunes under "Devices:.
    Click the "Restore Backup" button.


    <Link Edited By Host>

  • aThanasi Level 2 Level 2 (270 points)

    You can use this method in order to export your iPhone contacts to your comptuer.export-iphone-sms.png

    To restore however, you must use iTunes or iCloud and back up the iPhone messages, then restore the iPhone to factory settings and select from the list of iTunes/iCloud backup entries you had previously made.

  • Brownsha Calculating status...

    If your SMS are stored on your iPhone, use TouchCopy to view and copy them to your Mac. They will be saved as .html files.


    Alternatively, you can extract SMS from your iPhone backups on your Mac by using a program called iBackup Extractor. This will also extract other files from your iPhone backup like call logs, photos, browsing history, etc.


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