How To Backup and Restore Text Messages

SMSBackup1Unlike your contacts and photos, which are more commonly  automatically backed up via micro SD cards and online servers, your SMS Text messages don’t exactly follow in their footsteps.  So, in the event that you are trying to A. Transfer them to your *shiny* new phone because you just upgraded that bad boy or B. Trying to back them up before performing a factory data reset…this app will come in handy.  It is available free for Android devices from the Google Play Store.

1.  After installing and then opening the app, choose the option to Backup you messages.


2.  Select where you would like your backup to be stored.  I prefer the external Micro SD card.


3.   Enter a name for the file, or just leave what is already there and press OK .


4.  Your phone will proceed with the backup.


5.   Once finished, your phone will tell you that the “Backup is Completed.”  If any messages fail to backup, it is most likely because they are picture/media messages.  This app will not backup these types of messages, so in order to do so you will have to actually go into the message, long press on it, and if given the option to save the attachment, do so.  This will save it to your SD card or phone memory.


6.  You will then see a message that says this:


**Please be aware that for some reason, regardless of what option you choose, CERTAIN model phones automatically create the backup on your phone’s memory.  This is especially important if you are performing a factory reset, because after you create the backup you will need to transfer it to either your computer or a micro SD card BEFORE performing the factory reset, reason being once you reset your phone the backup you just created will be erased.  Your device may or may not fall into this category.  The easiest way to check and see where this backup is stored is by taking out your SD card, using a micro SD card reader and opening the folder on your computer.  If you can locate a folder titled “SMSBackupandRestore,” and there is an .XML file in that folder, the file is backed up on the sd card.  If it is not there, you will have to plug your PHONE into your computer, locate that folder and drag & drop it onto your desktop to get it off of the phone’s memory before you reset your device**

8.  You are now ready to A. Factory reset/restore or B. Transfer texts to the new device.  Proceed.  After booting up the new device, or after the device restarts following the factory wipe, download the same application and launch it.  This time instead of choosing Backup, choose Restore.


9.  Choose the name of the file you just created and then click OK. (If it says that there are no backups, but you know from the above step that the backup is in fact on your SD card, the app is trying to read the phone’s memory for that backup.  Simply move the backup from your SD card to your phone.  Again, certain model phones require this extra step.  The process for this involves plugging your SD card and your phone into your computer via USB and dragging the file from your SD card onto your device memory.  Once you do this, it will show up in the app when searching for a backup to restore from).


10.  Now choose whether or not you want to Restore All Messages  or Restore from a certain date and click OK.


11.  If you want your phone to check for duplicates, it can take a lot longer if you have thousands of texts and tons of threads.  On this screen selecting NO will help make the restore significantly faster.


You will now see a progress bar as the restore is occurring.  It is not necessary to remain on this screen.  If you press the home button and go into your text messaging app, you will see the threads moving.  This restore process will continue going on in the background until it is complete.  Wait to actually use the text messaging app until it is completed though.

14 thoughts on “How To Backup and Restore Text Messages

  1. Pingback: Motorola DROID RAZR Factory Reset | Keep Calm and Factory Data Reset...

  2. Shiva

    For samsung android mobiles, there is no option called backup or restore. Then how we can get/retrieve the text messages which are saved on memory card to our samsung mobile inbox.

    1. Casey Post author

      Hi Mehrr,

      It’s ok to back them up to your phone’s memory, if it doesn’t let you to your SD card, but just remember to plug your phone into your computer and transfer this backup to your computer’s memory just in case something happens to your phone (or in the event you are factory wiping your device because it will wipe the memory). You should be able to find this file in the folder titled “backups.”

      – Casey

  3. dos

    I managed to transfer my contacts from a Wildfire S to a One X+ using Bluetooth.
    I have tried to transfer my sms using this App on both phones
    The backup on the Wildfire generates two files
    1) date specific xml
    2) sms.xsl
    which I emailed using gmail and downloaded onto the OneX+
    When I Restored the file
    the restore completed with
    Successful 0, Failed 0, Total 0
    If I try to view the file on the One X+
    I get the message: No contacts to display….
    even though the contacts are already on the phone.
    Any ideas?

  4. Luci

    I downloaded the app and restored my texts to my new phone but now my messaging app keeps crashing. Any fixes for that without deleting all the messages??? Plz help:-(

  5. Lisa

    Okay, I opted to NOT use the “check for duplicates” option and now have 2 to 5 DUPLICATES of most of my emails! How do I get rid of these? Please tell not one by one?!

  6. Sammy M.

    I just got a Moto X 2014, and used Motorola Migrate from the Google Play Store. My old phone was a HTC One X. Much easier!

    1. Casey Post author


      Ahhhhh. Well, you can keep it in (if you make sure to not select wipe sd card). My advice, take it out! Just in case. Better to be safe than sorry. For every factory reset I have performed (probably thousands) I removed it EVERY time, because I did not want to accidentally have a freak thing happen and have to hand someone’s phone back and tell them it was erased. = ) You never know… weirder things have happened!


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