How to...
Introduction

Text messages are taking over, they're replacing phone calls and e-mail. The texts on your iPhone are now one of your most important forms of communcation with your friends, family, loved ones and coworkers. Maybe a friend sent you a funny joke that you want to save or maybe you need to make a backup of a text for legal purposes. Whatever the reason, iExplorer lets you access and save your iPhone's messages on your Mac or PC. The following tutorial walks you through how to use iExplorer to export your iPhone text messages and message attachements (Images, Contacts, etc) to your computer as a .PDF, .TXT, or .CSV document.

What you will need

  • iExplorer
  • An iPhone, iPad, or iPod
  • A Mac or PC with iTunes installed
  • USB cable to connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod

Before you begin

If you don't already have iExplorer installed, click here for more information, or download it using the link below.

Download for Mac
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Overview Steps
Follow these steps to transfer text messages from an iPhone or iPad to your computer:
  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad & open iExplorer.
  2. Click on the Data tab in the Device Overview screen and click on the Messages button.
  3. If you haven't created an iTunes backup yet on this computer, you will be asked whether to make one (choose Yes). If you do already have an iTunes backup, and it's more than 24 hours old, iExplorer will ask whether you'd like to Use Last Backup or Refresh to create a new one.
  4. Once iExplorer has finished loading your Messages, you may select a conversation in the left panel. Use the icons at the top of the conversation-view to filter by date-range, show attachments only, or export the whole conversation.
  5. If you don't want to transfer the entire conversation, you may select each message bubble, or multiples, and click the "Export # Messages" button

In-Depth Tutorial

iExplorer can load, read and export text messages that are either on your iPhone or ones that have been saved in an iTunes Backup already on your computer. This tutorial walks through both possibilities.

Access Text Messages on Your iPhone

Export text messages from iPhone to computer

To access text messages on an iPhone, open iExplorer and connect your iPhone to your computer. You should see the Device Overview screen appear. From this screen navigate to Data --> Messages or from the left column, under your device's name, navigate to Backups --> Messages.

Access Text Messages from an iTunes Backup
of an iPhone

When you create a backup of your iPhone using iTunes, your text messages are saved to your computer, but they get buried deep within various semi-encrypted databases. iExplorer can do the heavy lifting for you and make these messages readily available and prettily formatted so you can read and export them on your computer.

To access texts from an iPhone Backup, first open iExplorer, then click Explore Backups. From the left column, under the Browse iTunes Backups section, select the backup you want to use. Then within that backup select, Messages.


Viewing, Searching and Exporting iPhone SMSs and Text Messages

After clicking on Messages for either an iPhone backup or a currently connected iPhone device, iExplorer will load your text message database. On the left column, you'll see your conversation list. You can sort the list by name, date or number of messages.

After selecting a conversation, you can choose from several export options such as .PDF, .TXT, or .CSV format including a choice to export all of your conversations in a single transfer.

You can also filter & export images, videos, vCards, and other attachments from text message conversations. View how much space attachments are taking up per conversation.

Easily filter text messages by date range using a simple calendar popup.


Have questions that aren't addressed here? Please visit our Support Center for iExplorer FAQs.
Feel free to contact us if your problem persists.

Cheers,
Macroplant Staff