I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 with the black screen of death. I was able to download files from phone and sd card onto my computer.

However, I would like to access my old sms text messages. I have "sms backup and restore" app on phone, but it hasn't backed up any recent messages. I also have Kies software on my computer, which I used to recover all media, contacts, etc., but it will not backup/restore messages for some reason.

How can I recover my sms text messages?

1 Answer 1


Assuming the device is running Android 4.0 or higher, you could use adb backup to get all data to your computer. Then you could extract your messages from the backup file, see e.g.:

If you have root access, an easier way might be to directly exctract the corresponding database using adb pull. While the SMS database usually is located in /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/mmssms.db, it seems on Samsung devices different locations might be used. See e.g. Where on the file system are SMS messages stored?

A third variant would be utilizing VNC to substitute your screen: Broken Screen + Using adb shell to run vnc server.

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