How to Backup iPhone SMS to Your Computer Easily

Note: This post was first published on Dec 18, 2012.

Unlike emails, which are stored on the cloud, SMS messages are saved directly on your phone. Should anything happen to your device, those messages could be lost forever. Due to iOS’s closed system, finding an app to backup and restore deleted SMS messages isn’t feasible. However, we have a solution for you.

Today, we’ll guide you through a secure method to backup your iPhone data, including locating the specific file that stores your SMS messages. You can then save this file to a safer location or even view the messages online.

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Backing Up iPhone via iTunes

While iCloud is a popular choice for backing up iPhone data, it doesn’t store SMS data on your computer. To start, make sure your iPhone backup is set to ‘This computer.’ Switch from iCloud if necessary and click Back Up Now.

iTunes backing up iPhone SMS data

After completing the backup, we’ll assist you in locating the iPhone SMS backup file on your computer.

Finding the iPhone SMS Backup File

After backing up, search for a file named 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28. You’ll find this file in the paths listed below, depending on your operating system version:

Windows XP and Earlier

Locate the file here: OS hard drive > Documents and Settings > [your username] > Application Data > Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup.

Windows 7 and 8

Find the file at: OS hard drive > Users > [your username] > AppData > Roaming > Apple Computer > MobileSync > Backup.

Mac OS X

The file will be in: User > Library > Application Support > MobileSync > Backup.

In the Backup folder, select the most recently modified folder to find the file.

Locating Backup Folder

Copy this file to a secure location to ensure your SMS messages are safely backed up.

Accessing Your SMS Backup

Once you have the backup file, visit this website to upload and export the file to Microsoft Office Excel, HTML, or PDF. After processing, you’ll be able to view all sent and received messages organized by date and time.

Viewing SMS backup file


With these steps, you can safeguard your iPhone SMS messages against loss or damage to your phone. Remember, overwriting a newer backup with an older SMS file can corrupt the backup, making it unusable for restoration in iTunes.