Went to the Apple store the other day because I felt that my iPhone was using battery to quickly. So they ran a test and told me that the battery was still working fine, but they found some other errors that had to do with memory and crashes and what not and the Genius suggested to me to do a iPhone restore via iTunes and then set it up as a new phone, basically not restoring my settings and data. I hmm'ed and hah'ed for a bit and basically thought to myself that this is going to take a good amount of time and that there would be a slim chance that I would do that. But after thinking it through at home I just took iPhone screenshots of everything and wrote down all settings, apps, and apps layout, so that I could quickly set everyting up from scratch.
Then I plugged in my iPhone, did a final backup, and then did a software restore and then I set the restored iPhone up as a new device. After about 3 or 4 hours of working to basically copying, arranging and setting everything back up the way it was the phone was running great and I was kind of happy that I did it. If it really helped I don't know yet. Have to make another visit to the apple store and have them check it out. But I think it is running better.
But .... yes but.. Visual Voicemail messages are downloaded again, so I didn't loose anything there. All of my email accounts are imap, so I didn't loose anything there, but ... BUT .... All of my old SMS / MMS Text messages were gone. Kaput.. Finito.
This prompted me to go on the hunt and actually found a little app (it's available for Windows and Mac), that will allow you to back up your iphones TXT (SMS and MMS messages) to a local backup, and restore it back to the iPhone - without jail breaking. All legit. And yes, just the messages. it leaves the rest untouched! The problem was that I already restored my phone and of course didn't do such backup. Luckily I had a full iTunes backup of my old phone. And Luckily this little app can extract just the txt messages from the iTunes backup - unfortunately without the pictures. But hey, I just wanted to have my conversation back. The app is called BackupTrans iPhone SMS Backup Restore (for Mac). Again, it is also available for PC.*
The other problem that I had was that I had already received several other text messages on my new phone. So what I did was:
1. Install BackupTrans
2. Plugged in the new iPhone and backed up the TXT messages to the computer with BackupTrans iPhone SMS Backup Restore
3. Then I right clicked on the local TXT message backup inside BackupTrans app and clicked on export txt messages from local iTunes backup, located the latest back up file before the restore, and selected all messages. Once done it had merged my new messages with my old messages from the iTunes backup in a local archive inside the BackupTrans app!!! Light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Then I imported that combined archive into iPhone by simply following the instructions inside that BackupTrans SMS Backup Restore app. It took a few minutes and my 9000+ sms messages were restored entireley (less photos) to my newly set up iPhone!!!!!!
Now, if I would have knows about this little app I would have done it differently. I would have taken my old iphone and created a backup of all messages on my iPhone to BackupTrans iPhone SMS Backup Restore. That way the images would probably have been saved as well. Then I would do it exactly the same way. Plug phone into itunes, do a final back (just in case), and a restore, and then set up the iphone as a brand new device, apply all my old settings manually and at the very end plug it in to BackupTrans app and restore the previously backed up TXT messages archive an import it to the newly set up phone.
Geez I really wished I had a step by step instruction manual on how to restore and setup your iPhone as a new device and import your SMS / MMS Text message threads from the old iPhone. But now we all do.
If you have any suggestions on how to improve this method let me know. Feel of course free to comment. Would love to see such a feature inside iTunes itself, so that you can backup just your TXT messages, or that you can restore just your TXT messages from a backup without restoring anything else. That would be great too.
Thanks for reading,
* (Please note that I am in no way affiliated with BackupTrans nor do I get paid for mentioning them. I purchased my license yesterday. There may be other programs like iExplorer, but I don't know if it can do a sms txt message restore. It can do a backup to local machine, but I am not sure if it can restore.)