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How To Save and Read Your iPhone Text Messages On Your Computer

by Eric Pena on December 4, 2008 · 174 comments

in iPhone,Tutorials

This tutorial will help you save all those important and juicy text messages on your iPhone to your computer for later reading.

If you followed my previous tutorial, “How To Recover Your iPhone Files, Photos, Contacts, Notes, SMS, Call History, Etc.”, you learned how to recover iPhone files from a backup on your computer to restore back to your iPhone. By now you should already downloaded and installed two free applications called DiskAid and iPhone Backup Extractor. For this tutorial, we only need DiskAid to transfer your text messages or SMS from your iPhone to your computer, but we need another one to read those messages from a database and save them in a file format that can be read and properly formatted by an application like MS Excel or any other spreadsheet. This is where we need SQLite Database Browser.

What You Need

Download and install the following:

DiskAid for Mac or Windows
SQLite Database Browser for Mac or Windows

Use DiskAid To Copy “sms.db” From iPhone To Computer

(1) Connect your iPhone to your computer.

(2) Open DiskAid

(3) Click the pull-down at the bottom of the screen where it says Media Folder and select Root Folder (click Go Ahead when a warning window pops up).

(4) Click User -> Library -> SMS -> sms.db.

(5) Click the Copy to Folder icon above and save the “sms.db” file to a folder in your computer.

(6) From your compuer, right-click on sms.db and open it with the SQLite Database Browser application you just installed.

(7) From the SQLite Database Browser, click on the menu File -> Export -> Table as CSV file.

(8) On the Table name drop-down list, select message and click Export.

(9) Save the file with a .csv extension (ex. sms.csv).

(10) Open the file with MS Excel or any other spreadsheet.

That’s it!

Tip: Check out the T-Mobile prepaid phone if you’re looking for a no hassle, no annual contract plans that fits your budget.


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  • Talosi

     For Android SMS Backup:

    VeryAndroid
    SMS Backup
    is a smart andriod sms backup software that can
    copy and backup sms for
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    phone to computer, restore sms backup file to any
    android phone, and also send messages or chat with a friend on computer
    directly, exactly the same as that you do on your android phone.

    It can help you:
     - Copy and backup sms from Anroid phone to computer.
     - Restore sms from CSV to android phone any time.
     - Send SMS & SMS Chat on computer directly.
     - Transfer sms to android phone from other phones (iPhone, Windows Mobile, Nokia, Blackberry etc).
     - View sms messages in threading mode on computer.

    Info: http://www.veryandroid.com/sms-backup.html
    Free Download: http://www.veryandroid.com/download/veryandroid-sms-backup.zip

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B3FFT4MRJ635J4MSJGF3V5U5KM Carter

    That’s really useful. thanks for your sharing.
    http://www.card-data-recovery.com/mac-data-recovery.htm

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B3FFT4MRJ635J4MSJGF3V5U5KM Carter

    That’s really useful. thanks for your sharing.
    http://www.card-data-recovery.com/mac-data-recovery.htm

  • 1017952337

    Cucusoft iPhone Tool Kits is an easy to use utility designed to help you back up all your files on your iPhone, so that you can recover any lost or missing SMS messages&contacts,games,songs, videos, books, photos and so on.Free download link:http://hotdownloads.com/trialware/download/Download_iPhoneToolKits_reg.exe?item=18286-5&affiliate=406676http://www.mustsoftware.com/Cucusoft-iPhone-Tool-Kits-guide.html

  • 1017952337

    Transfer iphone songs/videos/contacts/SMS/books to Mac or new iphone

    iMacsoft iPhone to Mac Transfer–Backup iphone SMS,Contact,photo,Call list,video,music,ePub, pdf, Audiobook, Ringtone, Voice Memos, Camera Roll (iOS 4 above), Podcast, TV Show,movies to Mac,or transfer all files from Mac to iphone,this is a useful iphone manager for Mac.

    http://www.mustsoftware.com/iMacsoft-iPhone-to-Mac-Transfer-guide.html

    Transfer iphone songs/videos/contacts/SMS/books to computer or new iphone
    Cucusoft iPhone Tool Kits–Backup iphone  SMS,Contact,photo,Call list,video,music,,movies to computer,or transfer  all files from computer to iphone,this is a useful iphone manager.

    Free download link:

    http://hotdownloads.com/trialware/download/Download_iPhoneToolKits_reg.exe?item=18286-5&affiliate=410416More information: http://www.mustsoftware.com/Cucusoft-iPhone-Tool-Kits-guide.html

    Transfer iphone 4S/iphone 4 SMS messages and Contact to computer or another iphone

    Tipard iPhone to computer Transfer is a useful iphone 4S SMS/Contact backup software,it provides the perfect solution for iPhone 4 S/iphone 4 and iphone 3GS, iPod, iPad

    It can help you to transfer iphone Contacts,SMS messages,movies, music, podcasts, TV shows, audiobooks, and photos between Apple products to computer and iTunes.Tipard iPhone to computer Transfer can also transfer and copy iPhone 4S and iphone 4 SMS, Contacts, Call Lists to computer.

    for more information: http://www.recovery-iphone.com/tipard-iphone-to-computer-transfer.html

    Backup iphone songs/videos/contacts/SMS/books to computer

    Cucusoft iPhone Tool Kits–Backup iphone  SMS,Contact,photo,Call list,video,music,,movies to computer,or transfer  all files from computer to iphone,this is a useful iphone manager. It supports iPad, iPod touch as well.

    Free download link:

    http://hotdownloads.com/trialware/download/Download_iPhoneToolKits_reg.exe?item=18286-5&affiliate=410416

    for more information: http://www.recovery-iphone.com

    Backup iphone 4S/iphone 4 SMS messages and Contact to Mac

    Macsoft iPhone to Mac Transfer–Backup iphone SMS,Contact,photo,Call list,video,music,ePub, pdf, Audiobook, Ringtone, Voice Memos, Camera Roll (iOS 4 above), Podcast, TV Show,movies to Mac,or transfer all files from Mac to iphone,this is a useful iphone manager for Mac.

    http://www.mustsoftware.com/iMacsoft-iPhone-to-Mac-Transfer-guide.html

    Backup iphone 4S/iphone 4 SMS messages and Contact to computer

    Tipard iPhone to computer Transfer is a useful iphone 4S SMS/Contact backup software,it provides the perfect solution for iPhone 4 S/iphone 4 and iphone 3GS, iPod, iPad

    It can help you to transfer iphone Contacts,SMS messages,movies, music, podcasts, TV shows, audiobooks, and photos between Apple products to computer and iTunes.Tipard iPhone to computer Transfer can also transfer and copy iPhone 4S and iphone 4 SMS, Contacts, Call Lists to computer.

    for more information: http://www.recovery-iphone.com/tipard-iphone-to-computer-transfer.html

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  • Beller Taylor

    iTunes will backup everything on the iPhone, including SMS messages and contacts.In iTunes, with the iPhone selected on the left, click the Info tab and make sure Contact syncing is enabled.Besides,there is a article about How to transfer SMS from iPhone to computer, which can help you transfer SMS from iPhone.Hope it worked for you so much.

  • Beller Taylor

    For PC: http://www.iphone-mac.com/how-to-transfer-iphone-sms-from-iphone-to-pc.html

    For Mac: http://www.iphone-mac.com/how-to-transfer-or-backup-sms-from-iphone-to-mac.html

  • http://jubbajubba.com/ Kid Apps

    I agree the decipher tool is that bad – it’s easy to get everything backed up.

  • http://jubbajubba.com/ Kid Apps

    Ugh…I meant *Isn’t!!!!  It’s good to have!

  • Titgeor37

    I have installed diskaid 5.14, but unable to see a scroll down bar where i can select root folder. all i see is media folder. there is nothing in lower left corner where i can pull down to root folder. pls let me know.

  • sdfdylei
  • jones

    Check this Video Tutorial on how to backup iPhone or copy iPhone SMS to PC as text format:
    youtu.be/uO6YUme7kG4

  • Patricia

    Guys, also check this Video Tutorial on how to backup iPhone or copy iPhone SMS to PC as text format: youtu.be/uO6YUme7kG4

  • Ryean Rumsey

    Another great way to save and categorize your texts is a new app called TextBank…you can also backup to your computer. Pretty awesome!

  • Jerrody

    iPhone sms recovery video tutorial: http://youtu.be/QHd8gwaxEVU

  • calinere

    You can try iPubsoft to get your iPhone sms messages to your computer easily: http://www.ipubsoft.com/iphone/copy-sms-from-iphone-to-computer.html

  • Anna

    How about iAny Manager? I search it on the internet, could you tell me does this tool works good?

  • Dave West
  • Rasual Lee

    Recover lost & deleted photos, contacts, messages and more from your iPhone, iPad and iPod

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTF8CX9tkmo

  • mopink

    i have a windows 8

  • mopink

    i have a windows8

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