Want to free up space on your iPhone, while keeping your most important conversations? Store your SMS on a Mac, PC, or another iPhone!
Save your SMS using iCloud
If your iPhone is saved in iCloud, then your SMS (as well as your photos, videos, call history, ringtones, etc.) are copied there automatically. It will therefore be very easy for you to restore them to your new smartphone.
We especially recommend this technique when you buy a new iPhone.
For good reason, the downside with saving messages to iCloud is that it is part of a set. If you want to transfer messages from your iPhone to another model, then you need to restore all its settings.
In addition, with this process, all new messages that you have received on your iPhone will, unfortunately, be deleted.
Here you will find the list of all items backed up by iCloud.
To transfer your messages from your iPhone to another via iCloud, follow the steps below.
For iOS 8 or later versions, go to Settings, tap [your name], then tap iCloud and turn on iCloud Backup.
For iOS7 and earlier versions, go to Settings, iCloud, then iCloud Backup.
Then follow the 4 steps below:
- Make sure iCloud Backup is turned on.
- Press Save now and wait for the operation to complete. Don’t turn off Wi-Fi.
- Turn on your new iPhone. Configure it if you haven’t already. Then, when prompted, select Restore from iCloud and Next.
If it was already configured, you will need to reset it. To do this, open Settings and go to General, Reset, then Erase content and settings.
- Enter your Apple ID and Password.
Forward your messages to a Mac
If you want to transfer your SMS to another iPhone via backup, use third-party software.
For this technique, we used PhoneView (English only). There is the trial version, free, and a paid version, at around €27.
Here’s how to do it:
- Install PhoneView on your Mac.
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac.
- Launch PhoneView and click OK at the PhoneView would like to access your contacts message.
- In PhoneView, click Archives displayed in the alert window.
- Click Messages in the sidebar, then click OK in the Now Loading Phone Data window. It will take a few minutes to transfer your stored data, follow its progress with the displayed blue bar.
- The names of the people you have had conversations with will appear in the Name column. Select one to see your exchanged SMS.
- You have the possibility of dragging and dropping the name of this person on your Desktop in order to keep the said conversation in pdf format.
- To extract all of your messages, select All, then click Copy from iPhone.
Choose your backup location and click Save (Save).
PhoneView also allows you to convert your pdf SMS to other formats, such as .txt, .tsv or .tab, csv or .xml, very convenient for an Excel file, for example.
However, copying these text messages again in the Messages application will not be possible. To read your SMS, you can always use compatible applications like iBooks which is a very good alternative, but we prefer GoodReader, especially for SMS exported in pdf.
Otherwise, you can email them to yourself or copy them with iTunes File Sharing.
Transfer your messages to a PC
If you opt for the PC, you can transfer your SMS and photos to it! Like on a Mac, you will need to go through third-party software.
We chose CopyTrans, it is easy to use. Its trial version even gives you the possibility to save a conversation of 200 exchanges.
Once downloaded, install CopyTrans Contacts, then click Start.
Before proceeding further, make sure you have the correct version of iTunes, Music, or Apple drivers. If not, you are not without recourse since CopyTrans has created a help support.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Connect your iPhone to your computer.
- After just a few minutes you will see your SMS loading, the loading time depends on the number of messages and photos you have (in addition to those from third-party apps, like Viber or WhatsApp).
- In the list of your contacts that appears, select the conversations to keep and export.
- Click on Export Selection (top left), different export formats are available.
We opted for the Word format and then chose the location of our backup.
Check that the backup and copy have been performed correctly.
And there you have it, your SMS with their emoticons has been transferred!