Unlike emails which are stored on the cloud, SMS’s are saved on your phone and if anything were to happen to your phone, you’ll never see your precious SMS’s ever again. Because the iOS is such a closed system, you won’t be able to find an app that can backup and restore deleted SMS’s for you.
Today, we’re going to show you how to safely backup your iPhone data and then find the special file where all your iPhone SMS data is kept. With this file you can keep a copy in a safer place or view the SMS’s within the file through a website.
Proper iPhone Backup With iTunes
As you might know, you can backup your iPhone with iCloud. However, doing so will not save the file you need to extract, on your computer.
The first step is to ensure that your iPhone is backed up to ‘This computer‘. If previously it was backed up to iCloud, change the option to ‘This computer’ and press the Back Up Now button.
Once it has finished backing up, we’ll show you how to search for the iPhone SMS data file.
Locating The iPhone SMS Backup File
Once the backup is stored on your computer. You’ll have to look for the file named 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28. The file should be located in the following paths, based on the version of the operating system.
Windows XP or lower
The file should be at: OS hard drive > Documents and Settings > [your username] > Application Data > Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup.
Windows 7 or 8
The file should be at: OS hard drive > Users > [your username] > AppData > Roaming > Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup.
Mac OS X
The file should be at: User > Library > Application Support > MobileSync > Backup.
Inside this Backup folder, you will have one or more folders named with random numbers and letters. Choose the most recently modified folder.
Inside that folder, you will be able to find
3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28 where you can then copy out and store elsewhere for safe keeping.
Viewing The SMS Backup File
With this SMS file, you can head over to this website where you can upload your file and choose to export it to Microsoft Office Excel, HTML or PDF. Once the file has been uploaded and exported, you will be able to view all the SMS’s you sent.
The SMS’s will appear as a list with the contact number and the sent or received message. The list is arranged in descending order according to the date and time of the message.
So no matter what happens to your iPhone, you’ll have your precious messages stored in a safe place. However, overwriting a newer backup with the older SMS data file will result in a corrupted backup file, where iTunes won’t allow you to restore from backup.