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

by Eric Pena on December 4, 2008

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!

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