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How to Backup SMS on iPhone (iOS 12 Supported)

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Heather Marston

August 29, 2018 (Updated: July 14, 2020)• Filed to: Backup & Restore iPhone

3 min read

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Every other day we text our friends, coworkers, and family members. We share pictures, notes, recipes, and any other data that is easier to type rather than draft an email or make a phone call. However, do you ever think of what would happen if you lost your iPhone? Many people do not think of backing up their messages until it is too late. This article will teach you how to go about SMS backup on iPhone.

1. Backup SMS on iPhone with iTunes or iCloud

The most common way to back up texts on iPhone is to use Apple's official services – iCloud and iTunes. This part of the article will explain how to make iOS backup messages to iTunes or iCloud.

Backing Up iPhone SMS with iTunes

To back up your iPhone's messages with iTunes, you will need to have already installed the iTunes software on your computer and open it.

  • Connect your iPhone to iTunes and enter your passcode on your device if asked.
  • Your device will appear on iTunes. Click the icon of your device.
  • Choose Summary > Backups and then click Back Up Now to start the process.
  •  Wait for the process to complete.

backup iphone to itunes

To confirm whether the process is done, check the Summary screen for the date and time of the Latest Backup.

Create iPhone SMS Backup with iCloud

To do SMS backup on iPhone with iCloud, the first thing you will need to do is connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  • Toggle on iCloud Backup and tap Back Up Now to start the backup process.
  • Wait for your device to complete the process.

backup iphone using icloud

To confirm whether the backup process is done, check the name of Last successful backup which is under Back Up Now.

Backing Up with iCloud Automatically

Instead of backing up manually, you can set your iPhone to back up messages automatically with iCloud. Follow these simple steps to go about this:

  • Turn on iCloud Backup by going to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  • Then once you connect your device to a Wi-Fi network and to a power source and close your iPhone screen, then iCloud will back up your SMS on iPhone by itself.

Remember to ensure you have enough space in iCloud for the backup. If the iCloud space is not enough, the backup will fail.

Shortcomings of iTunes and iCloud

Although iTunes and iCloud help back up your iPhone's messages, they come with several disadvantages.

  • The first downside is that you have to back up all your data to store your messages safely. This uses up a lot of space as you will have to store data that you necessarily do not need.
  • To make matters worse, iCloud only offers 5GB of free space. Therefore, if you need extra space, you will have to pay for it.
  • Additionally, you cannot access your SMS with iCloud or iTunes unless you restore the backup. Restoring, on its part, overwrites the current data on your device.
  • Lastly, you are likely to incur many errors when backing up your iPhone with iCloud or iTunes. For example iTunes' Back Up Now button is greyed out.

2. Create iPhone SMS Backup with iMyFone iTransor

To avoid the aforementioned problems that come with using iCloud or iTunes to do iPhone SMS backup, you should consider using another option that to create SMS backup on iOS devices smoothly and without affecting other data. A good tool that does exactly this is iMyFone iTransor.

Features of iMyFone iTransor:

  • It can back up only SMS on iPhone, without any other data you don't need.
  • Make a full backup for your device or only back up SMS, WhatsApp, contacts and WeChat data for FREE.
  • It can selectively restore data from iTunes/iCloud backup or backups made by iTransor.
  • Support all iOS devices and versions, including iPhone X running iOS 12.

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How to Back Up SMS on iPhone with iTransor

Here is more information on how to back up SMS on your iPhone using iTransor. Before start, download and install iTransor on your computer.

  • Run the software, and then select Acquire Backup from Device & iCloud. Click on Back Up Device.


  • Connect your iPhone to the computer. On the right column, you should see two options – Make a Full Backup and Select One or More Data Types. Under the latter, choose Messages to proceed.


  • Click on Back Up to start backing up your messages. You will be notified once the process is complete.


As you have seen, iTransor allows you to back up one kind of data, which in our case is SMS. This makes the best backup option for anyone looking to do only SMS backup on iPhone.

3. How to Utilize the iPhone SMS Backup

After you get the answer about how to backup texts on iPhone, you probably need to know how to use the data in the backup. iMyFone iTransor allows you to export data from the backup, or restore them to other iOS devices. With the software, you can be able to restore only SMS on iPhone from backups made by iTunes, iTransor, and iCloud. If you would like to edit or print the messages, you can do so by exporting them from backup as .XLS or .HTML format and then edit or print them out.

Many people prefer sending messages to sending e-mails or making phone calls. Messages are now the most important forms of communication with your loved ones and coworkers. Since you would not want to lose those important messages, backing up is of utmost importance. iMyFone iTransor allows you to store your messages without affecting any other data on your iPhone. Download the program and create your SMS backup for free now!

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