How can I copy or export an entire chain of text messages (not just a single one) with the stock Android messages app? This is needed for a claim.

I know I can screenshot stuff, but the date for older messages is missing. I know I can long press on a single message to select it. I can long press on multiple messages. But that's beside the point: how can I grab the data --- message, date & time received?

If it's relevant, the phone is Pixel 4a.

  • Referring to the title. note that Android doesn't have the stock messaging app, instead each manufacturer may use their own messaging apps. For example: Google Nexus and Pixel series use Google Messages, while Samsung uses Samsung Messages.
    – Andrew T.
    Jul 21, 2023 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


Stock SMS app on Pixel 4a does not have this option and you need alternative methods.

Use SMS Backup and restore

  • Option 1 : Take a complete backup of your SMSes and from the app see "Backed up (time)" and tap view details. It will list SMS Backup. Tap on that to view conversations and all your conversations are listed. From the 3 dots menu against the conversation you want select print conversation and it will be printed as a PDF file with date and time stamps. Example below (You can get sent and received. I chose a conversation that doesn’t reveal personal details). From the pdf you can copy and paste wherever needed.

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  • Option 2: From settings → backup settings → selected conversations only, choose the conversation you want and repeat steps in Option 1 to get a print, share or copy to clipboard.

I am not affiliated to this app but it's likely the best of it's kind.

  • 1
    Just tried this on your recommendation, and it worked. The export format took a little work to extract the simple text, but I was able to do this with a modern text editor. Jan 24 at 17:32

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