If you frequently use SMS text messages you can learn how to back up text messages on your phone so that you can easily find them later. These backups come in handy if you accidentally deleted important text and want to get it back, and can also prove your worth in the event of a dispute.

It’s always a good idea to back up your text messages before doing a major upgrade that includes your phone. Luckily, there are numerous ways to backup SMS depending on the type of your phone, be it telephone Android or iPhone . Here’s how to backup text messages on both devices.

Backup SMS on Android

If you are wondering how to back up text messages on your phone Android you are concerned that this is probably more difficult than you have time to worry about. There is an easy way to get the job done with the free mobile application entitled SMS Backup & Restore . This is a universal app that allows you to back up text directly to your Android device, computer, online storage, or email. Here’s how to use it to back up your texts.

Man holding a smartphone answering a text message
Tom Werner/Getty Images

You must have Android 4.0.3 or higher to use this app.

Backup Text Messages with SMS Backup and Restore

  1. Download SMS Backup and Restore from the Google Play Store and launch the app. In the main menu, click » Create backup» to start creating a backup.

  2. Select the types of records you want to back up, whether they are text messages, phone calls, or call logs. You have the option to backup all messages or only selected conversations.

    If you like, you can make sure that emoji or MMS messages (multimedia messages with photos, video or audio) are also included in the backup.

  3. Create a name for your backup so that you can easily find it later.

  4. Specify where you want to save the backup. You can save it directly to your Android device, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or email.

    If you only save your backup directly on the Android device and something happens to the device, you lose the backup. It’s a good idea to keep a separate copy somewhere else.

  5. Optionally, set a regular schedule for backing up your messages. You can do this in the app’s settings, located via the hamburger menu icon (three horizontal lines in the top left corner).

  6. Click back up in the bottom right corner of the screen when you’re ready to start backing up.

While the above process is the easiest way to back up your text messages, you can take advantage of advanced text backup options if you wish. For example, you can use the SMS Backup & Restore app to save SMS backups to SD card or transfer new or existing SMS backups directly to another Android phone using Wi-Fi Direct.

There are other popular text message backup apps, including FonePaw Android Data Recovery , MobiKin Doctor for Android and Dr. Fone for Android .

Backup SMS on iPhone

If you are an iPhone user, you have some simple options to back up your text messages. The most obvious choice is iCloud which you can use to backup text messages as well as other data on your phone. The only caveat is that once you delete a message from your device using iCloud, it will probably be gone forever. This includes your iPhone as well as any other device using Messages in iCloud.

Backup text messages with iCloud

Here’s how to enable Messages in iCloud.

  1. Go to settings on the iPhone.

  2. Click your name.

  3. Click iCloud .

  4. Turn on Messages by moving the slider next to it to the On position. / Green.

    iPhone settings screen shots with Apple ID, iCloud, and Messages toggle highlighted

You did it! Your SMS messages are now starting to be backed up to iCloud.

Backup Text Messages in iTunes

Apple removed iTunes in macOS Catalina (10.15), but if you’re still using iTunes on your Mac on an earlier version of the operating system, you can back up iPhone SMS messages to Mac via iTunes . Here’s how to do it:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the cable that came with your phone. iTunes should automatically open on your Mac. If it is not, open it manually.

  2. Unlock your iPhone when it prompts you to do so.

  3. You should see the iPhone Summary screen. If iTunes opens on the iTunes Store screen instead, look for tiny iPhone icon just below and to the right of the Play button. Select it to open the iPhone Summary screen.

    Screenshot of iTunes with iPhone icon highlighted
  4. If you previously turned on automatic backups, your iPhone will automatically start syncing to your computer or iCloud via iTunes, depending on the option you selected in the Backups section of the iPhone Summary screen.

    If you haven’t turned on automatic backup in iTunes and would like to turn it on, see » Automatic backup» in the «Backups» section, select iCloud or » This computer» . Then check the box » Automatic sync when this iPhone is connected» in the Options section of the Summary screen.

    Screenshot of iTunes device screen with
  5. If iTunes is not set to automatically back up when you connect your iPhone, select » Create backup now», to start a backup by specifying the backup location iCloud or This Compute r. You can also go to menu » File» > » Devices» > » Backup», to initiate a one-time manual backup.

    Screenshot of iTunes with the Back Up Now button highlighted

iTunes fully backs up the data on your phone, including your text messages. This process takes several minutes.

This iTunes SMS backup method is suitable for a full backup of data on your phone, including text messages. Its only downside is that it doesn’t allow you to select individual items to restore on your iPhone. If you want that kind of flexibility, look into using a third party app.

Back up text messages with a third party app

If you want more control over how you back up your text messages than what’s possible with iCloud or iTunes, try third party application . Some third party text message backup apps that are getting positive reviews include PhoneRescue , Dr. fone and Enigma Recovery . Prices vary so you can shop around. Here’s how to back up text messages using Dr. Fone.

  1. Download and install Dr. Fone to your computer (Windows and Mac versions available). A 7 day money back guarantee is available.

  2. Open Dr. fone on your computer.

  3. Select panel recovery on the far left of the screen that opens.

    If your iPhone is not already connected to your computer, you will be prompted to connect it using a USB cable. Do it now. You may also need to unlock it in order for Dr. Fone to access it. If Dr. Fone seems to be waiting for your iPhone to connect, open it.

  4. You will see a window with a wide range of recovery options that you can choose from. On the left panel, you can choose Restore from iOS device , Restore from iTunes Backup File or Restore from iCloud backup file .

    For example, select » Restore from iOS Device» .

    Screenshot  Fone with Recover from iOS Device option highlighted
  5. At the top of the window is Deleted data from device . This box should already be checked. Below is existing data on the device ; to recover deleted data, uncheck the box next to it.

    Screenshot of Dr. Backgrounds
  6. There are still several options available in the top section to recover deleted data from the device. To recover deleted text messages, check the » Messages and Attachments» . Select or clear other checkboxes, depending on whether you want to restore these types of data.

    Screenshot  Fone with Messages and Attachments option highlighted
  7. Select Start Scan at the bottom right of the window.

    Dr. Von analyzes your phone and scans it for deleted texts; This may take some time.

    Eventually, a new window pops up showing the deleted text messages as they arrive. Dr. Fone may continue to retrieve messages for several minutes after this point; the application displays a timer in the upper right corner of the window.

    Screenshot of Dr. Fone with the
  8. When Dr. Fone will be ready, select the text messages you want to recover and then select » Export to Mac» (or a similar notice for your Windows computer) in the lower right corner of the screen.

Now you can continue to use Dr. Fone when they found out if it was able to receive your text messages. An annual license costs $69.95 and a lifetime license costs $79.95.

Now that you know how to back up SMS messages on your phone, you can keep those important text messages safe no matter what surprises life throws at you.

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