I have a lot of problems with my phone, and so I have a number of nandroid backups with different sets of overlapping SMS messages saved in them. I've also made a few copies of the data folder when the thing wouldn't boot. I like to have all my SMSes backed up to my Gmail for posterity and searchability, using SMS Backup Plus.

What's the easiest way to recover messages (and maybe other data) from my backups? Is it possible to open or run nandroid backups inside an emulator? Are they in a format that can be extracted to a filesystem, and then take the database files out and merge them with some kind of database tool and then put the merged file on my phone? Would it handle duplicates?

1 Answer 1


I believe /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/mmssms.db is an SQLite DB, so you can use this firefox add-on, SQLite Manager and that should let you merge whatever backups you have lying around rather easily.

After you merge them, you can just replace /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/mmssms.db with the resultant merged file (backup the oringal first).

  • Would that automatically handle duplicates? I don't grok SQL.
    – endolith
    Nov 12, 2010 at 5:31
  • It depends on the manager. The feature list is here` code.google.com/p/sqlite-manager` At the very least it will take some monkeying around. But it seems like DB manager with an eye towards ease-of-use, so it shouldn't be too difficult. My guess is that you'll just do a series of imports on the backups and then save your master list to copy back to the database dir on your phone.
    – ryanklee
    Nov 12, 2010 at 12:01

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