Query: How do I back up my text messages?


If you use an Android telephone, where your difficult part is determining which app you want to use for your 27, it will help a lot.

And among the most popular choices is the SMS Backup+. As soon as you join the program to your Gmail account, it automatically backs up your multimedia and texts messages to Gmail (or any other e-mail service which supports IMAP synchronization), in which you’ll locate them under an “SMS” tag.

(With this program be open-source, meaning anyone can inspect its own code line by line, puts me at ease with the degree of system access it requests.)

I tried a more recent competitor called that reproduces texts to a page — which makes for a cleaner presentation than trapping them. But storing video and picture messages requires purchasing a $1.99 “Uppidy+” program, something this Washington, D.C., startup’s site doesn’t make clear.

Your carrier may also have solutions of its own. AT&T provides a Messages app that syncs text messages, and your call log and voicemails, involving tablet your telephone computer or computer. Verizon recently introduced an identical company named Messages — though it syncs the last 90 days’ worth of texts.

What about iOS?

Apple’s security model, in which programs can’t read other apps’ data, prohibits the kind of app that awakens in Android. You could jailbreak your iPhone to get around this restriction, but use a software on that computer to pluck the messages off your phone and it is easier to connect your iPhone.

Both I demoed, eCamm Network’s PhoneView (Mac only, $29.95) and Wide Angle Software’s TouchCopy (Mac and Windows, $29.95), could have been separated at birth. Both are tools which receive your text messages together with everything else, both won’t work without iTunes installed, and both made me wait for 15 minutes or longer while they did a first scan of a iPhone that is connected.

Matters went after that.

(Uppidy also makes a background iOS-message backup program for Macs and Windows PCs, in addition to a Blackberry text-backup tool, but I did not try those.)

(Update: Many readers correctly pointed out that iOS and Windows Phone supply a more restricted form of text-message backup. Each can sync your own texts to the cloud, but neither provides any accessibility to those stored messages, and every will restore them. Not being able to view your messages could be a short-term annoyance; if you switch to some other sort of phone losing them all is a threat. I must have mentioned those options anyway.)

If you merely wish to back up one or even a special messages — perhaps because they’re from somebody famous or particularly beloved since they demonstrate that the comedy of phone-keyboard autocorrect — you do not have to go to one or more one of these extremes. Simply take a picture of the display (press the power and house buttons in iOS, press and hold the capacity and volume-down buttons on many Android telephones) and copy or share that picture at will.

Hint: Your phone won’t forget a WiFi network — That is not a thing that is Fantastic

Android and the two iOS remember. Time is often saved by that, and the list of stored WiFi signals can double as a travelog. But in two instances, a wireless community that is memorized may knock you offline.

One is networks that merely make you or take a Web login click past several disclaimer airport WiFi has worked this way in my journeys. Another is networks which were free but no more are — think of resorts that call for a room number that you join.

You can clean out unwanted WiFi programs in Android by launching the Preferences program, selecting WiFi, tapping on a certain network and then tapping on the “Forget” button. The same instructions apply in iOS, except that you can tell the telephone.