Although our smartphones can deliver countless extraordinary performances, one of the most common is to send an SMS. Whether via iMessage, SMS or MMS, SMS messages are the most important way for many to stay in touch with friends and family. We send countless messages every day, whether we check in for dinner plans, share a fun GIF for cats or send work-related information. These messages can be forgotten or lost over time due to simple monitoring. Many of us accidentally deleted an SMS call or failed to back up our smartphones or tablets before an upgrade, and we could end up losing everything.
The simplest way to save text messages is to save them, but it is not. & # 39; It's always as easy as it sounds. You can't save a text as easily as an image (raise your hand if you haven't taken a screenshot of a text conversation. Put your hand down, you're lying), but you can certainly do it ̵
If you use iMessage, view our guide on setting a profile photo and name in iMessage or view our top tips for iOS 13.
Saving text messages in iOS
If you have a PC or use Mac with OS Mojave or earlier, you can use iTunes to back up your iPhone that captures all your text messages at the time of the backup. We will discuss what to do if you work a bit on a Mac with OS Catalina. Although you can make and save backups with iCloud, in the future it will be easier to go to your texts (and other data) via SMS. You can download the latest version here. If you prefer not to use iTunes, you can skip the following two steps and go directly to the & # 39; Use iExplorer Only & # 39; to go.
Step 1A (PC or Mac OS Mojave and earlier): Backing Up and Saving Texts with iTunes
If you make an iOS backup, most of the data will be on your device stored, including iMessages, SMS messages and MMS messages. Make it a habit to make regular backups.
- Start by starting iTunes. Then connect your iOS device to your computer.
- Select your iOS device in iTunes by clicking on the corresponding icon in the upper left corner of the window.
- Go to the tab Summary – you should see a section labeled Back-ups on the right. Under select Back up and restore manually Back up now . After the backup process is complete, the sections Latest backups must be updated to show your most recent backup. You can also go to Preferences> Devices (Mac) or Edit> Preferences> Devices (Windows) to confirm that the backup was successful.
Step 1B: Backing up on Mac OS Catalina
If you have upgraded to the latest Mac OS, OS Catalina, you will find that iTunes no longer exists. Don't be fooled by the app titled Music that bears the same music note logo because you can no longer back up your iPhone with that app. Instead, you need to connect your iPhone to your Mac via USB, follow the instructions on your phone to trust My Computer and then navigate to the Mac Finder.
Under Locations in Finder your iPhone is mounted as an external drive. After selecting Trust you will see a layout that is very similar to the old iPhone layout in iTunes.
Here you can Select a backup now and that will make a backup just as you would via iTunes.
Step 2: Access your backup messages with iExplorer
Your messages have now been saved, but that is only the first part of the process. If you want to be able to open them on your computer whenever you want, then you need a little more software. Enter iExplorer, a premium program for MacOS and Windows that can search your iTunes backups and retrieve your various messages. It costs $ 40 for one license of the basic version, but you can also use the demo version for a limited time.
- Download iExplorer and follow the steps to install it. Mac users must use OS X 10.9 or higher, while Windows users need Windows 7 or higher and iTunes. Then start iExplorer.
- In iExplorer, locate the section labeled Browse iTunes backups ( it is still called this, even if OS Catalina is running) in the left column and choose the backup you want want to retrieve messages from. Within that backup, select Messages .
- iExplorer will display your text messages, with a conversation list on the left. Choose a conversation to see your messages on the right, including all images and videos attached to it. You can also sort the conversation list by name, date and number of messages.
- After you have selected a conversation, you can export it as a PDF, TXT or CSV file. You can also choose to only export the images or attachments.
Use iExplorer only
Although iExplorer can extract text from an iTunes backup, it can also extract text directly from your iOS device. It's perfect for anyone who wants to avoid iTunes as much as possible.
- Start downloading and installing iExplorer. Then start the program and it should open on the screen Device Overview .
- Then connect your iPhone or iPad. Click in the left column on the name of your device. On the Device Overview screen on the right, click Data> Messages . Please note that if you have never backed up your computer, you will only see an option to load Backup data . You must first make a backup in iExplorer before it can access your messages, so click it to start the process. When you are finished, continue to the next step.
- iExplorer loads all messages that are currently on your iOS device. The left column contains a conversation list and if you click on one of the conversations, they will be visible in the right column. You can sort conversations by name, date or number of messages, as well as filter conversations to display only images, videos & attachments.
- You can export full conversations, including attached media and documents, using the export options under the open conversation. They can be exported as a PDF, TXT or CSV file.
How to save SMS messages in Android
Using SMS Backup & Restore
We have shown you how to make a backup of your Android smartphone but SMS Backup & Restore is a free app that does what the name implies. It can back up your text messages and save them locally on your Android device, export them to a computer or upload them to an online storage service such as Google Drive. It is made to meet the needs of people who want to store their messages quickly in multiple places. Android 4.0.3 or higher must be running on your Android device.
Step 1: Start downloading and installing the app on your Android device. Start it and you will be taken to the main menu.
Step 2: Tap Set up a backup to make a new backup. Here you can choose which information you want to save, which text conversations and where the backups are stored. There are currently options to save your texts directly to your phone, Google Drive or Dropbox. You can also save the emoji & # 39; s that have been added to the lyrics, and give the backup files a name for easy identification.
Step 3: If you do not want to save your text messages manually, you can set a schedule designed to automatically back up your information at specified intervals. You can do this in the app settings, which are accessible via the hamburger menu icon in the top left corner.
View, restore and migrate texts
Step 1: You can view your saved messages by going to the main menu and pressing View backups, where you can open them in XML format. You can also change the local folder in which they are stored in the settings of the app.
Step 2: If you are upgrading to a new smartphone, you can use SMS Backup & Restore to transfer your texts between devices. There are a few ways to do this, including the apps Restore and Transfer functions.