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How do I backup and restore SMS Messages?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 18 down vote accepted

I recommend Life Saver 2 by Tim Bray. It saves and restores not only SMS, but also your phone call history:

LifeSaver helps you move Phone & SMS history from one Android device to another. Your phone call log and SMS messages are your life’s history! You shouldn’t lose them just because you get a new phone. LifeSaver2 (which replaces the old “LifeSaver”) is here to help.

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Thank you, very simple and efficient app. – Drake Oct 29 '10 at 10:17
LifeSaver 2 is a unpolished. E.g. the status of the upload/download is only shown in the Android pulldown curtain, not in the app itself. And either it does not restore at my phone, or the status in the curtain is just not updated. It keeps saying "Restored 0/441 calls (...)". – Mads Skjern Oct 20 '12 at 13:30
Furthermore it only saves your restored data for 1-2 hours, for privacy/security reasons. The intention is good, but what happens if you start factory resetting the phone and smth goes awfully wrong, so the phone is not ready to restore the data within those two hours? The data is lost. – Mads Skjern Oct 20 '12 at 13:32
If pressing "Save your life" several times, each message will appear many times in the appspot storage. I'm not sure if each of these are restored too, of if it weeds out duplicates then. – Mads Skjern Oct 20 '12 at 13:47
LiveSaver 2 stores all your data online in the Google Cloud, that is not a solution I would like to use (protection of privacy) – rubo77 Sep 16 '13 at 8:24

Titanium Backup also supports sms/phone backups.

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Consider linking the app and explain how to use this app to take backup of messages. Also, can it do that without root? – Firelord Nov 22 at 22:18
Not sure, I've only ever used it as root. It is a famous app and straightforward to use. Just go to the list of backups that lists all apps, it should contain a few entries with yellow text pertaining to sms/contact stuff. – jiggunjer Nov 23 at 1:19
why the downvotes? Is it not a useful and correct answer? – jiggunjer Nov 24 at 1:07
Please follow How do I write a good answer? I'm sure you can do much better. :) – Firelord Nov 24 at 1:09
Well I don't care about upvotes. Just don't think downvotes are valid in this case. IMO only wrong answers should be negative. Not to mention this site already upvotes many wrong answers. – jiggunjer Nov 24 at 1:09

You can use SMS Backup & Restore to export to an XML file:

Schedule automatic backups or backup your messages anytime you wish. You can view backup contents on your phone, and choose to backup selected conversations only.

Backups are created in XML format and saved to your device's SD card.

The XML can then be converted to other formats, and can also be viewed on a computer.

It's easy to e-mail your backup files anywhere you wish.

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SMS Backup+ also supports other IMAP servers – David Fraser Jul 20 '11 at 9:48
thumps up for back up in XML format – kitokid Oct 20 '12 at 2:59
+1 for a solution that doesen't use Google servers – rubo77 Sep 16 '13 at 9:18

I highly recommend SMS backup or its forked version: SMS backup+. It'll back up your SMS to a Gmail Label:

Automatically backup SMS, MMS and call log entries using a separate label in Gmail / Google Calendar. It is also possible to restore SMS and call log entries back to the phone (MMS not supported yet).

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The forked version is in active development (original has had no changes since early 2010), and also supports backing up to any IMAP server – David Fraser Jul 20 '11 at 9:47
Very slow. I'm on a HSDPA connection, capable of youtube, skype etc. Still when restoring my sms'es it took about a second per piece, for each of my 2900 texts. – Mads Skjern Oct 20 '12 at 22:37
This program also stores all your data online in the Google Cloud, that is not a solution I would like to use (protection of privacy) – rubo77 Sep 16 '13 at 8:56
rubo77 it says you can specify another IMAP server... trying it now... – moodboom Nov 5 '14 at 16:05

Wondershare MobileGo for Android is a good alternative. You can perform basic tasks as syncronizacion, backup, restore SMS, contacts, etc.. The only limitation is that only available for computers running Windows. More details regarding this solution from this site, though it is in Spanish.

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protected by Community Sep 1 '12 at 12:03

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