Viewing (very) old text messages easily?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sankersizzle, May 3, 2011.

  1. Sankersizzle, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Hello errybody,

    Normally, I would just mosey on over to the text message conversation and hit "load earlier messages." But we've been dating for a while now, and hitting that button only takes me back like 12 hours, or at most a day (I do a lot of texting)! So if I want to see those earlier messages I have to sit there for at least 30 minutes before I reach the beginning. Does anyone have a faster method? I used to think I knew everything about iOS, but this is throwing me for a loop...

    Thanks for your help!
  2. macrumors member

    May 22, 2010
  3. macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I honestly don't think there's a faster way.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2008
    I was in this same situation a few weeks ago! I wanted to see old texts from my girlfriend (we've been dating 6 months). There's an application for Mac that will download the text logs from your phone and give you a window of then all so you can go to the beginning. I think it's called phoneview. the trial version only let's you see a certain amount of texts so you need the full version to see the first ones. I'm also not sure if you have to be jailbroken or not.. sorry, I'm not home right now!
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    can't you just screen shot it and then save the jpegs? :confused:
  6. macrumors 65832

    Sep 17, 2009
    phoneview in the mac appstore.. works wonders.
  7. macrumors 65816

    Nov 15, 2010
    I think you can export the SMS.db file with iBackupbot and view all the messages as text file. I tried that before and it worked.
  8. macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2013
    Washington, DC
  9. macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2013
    Everywhere and nowhere
    You're not alone, OP. I also do the same :)....I've kept text messages from certain people and hate hitting that load old messages button haha...takes forever to go back a year + !!!
  10. macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Try having conversations that go back to the 2G through my current 5... OP, it's not weird, but you need to get something to export the messages, iPhoneView or something similar.
  11. macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2011
    Just a little relationship advice....

    If you are sooo into a relationship where you are reading 6 month old text conversations regularly then you are obvously way more into her than she is into you. In other words.... you are batting out of your league.

    In that case, kudos. :D

    However, be warned, you are flirting with a fine line of obsessiveness and if she catches wind that you are not in her league this relationship will be over quick.

    Tip - be more even keil. Dont obsess. Dont be "too cool" and delete old convos. Just be normal. Dont put "it" on a pedestal.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2007
    Love advice coming from a "Hag" ? Don't listen !

    Actually the Hag has some good advice. I find that is you're going way back to the start of the texts, it means you miss when the relationship was fresh, and sweet, and exciting, and now it's not as much.

    The texts used to be "Hi baby, I miss you !!!", and now they are, "Hey".
  13. macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    Whoah now, you can't judge somebody's relationship and how much into them the other is just by one action they were curious about doing. Who knows she could be doing the same? Don't tell him that he is obsessive or putting her on a pedestal, that's not your decision to make.
  14. macrumors 68040


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    It's probably good to dump all your text messages to a file and delete them every few years, simply to reduce the size of the database. A smaller database will perform better.

    Not to mention there are likely hundreds or thousands of images stored on your phone using up space (especially if you are prolific MMS senders) that would be freed up when you do.

    Just a tip; back when I deleted two years of texts from my iPhone 4 it felt faster.
  15. macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Take a look in "Usage" in Settings, and Messages. Mine was a little over 1GB of messages taking up space on the phone. And it takes up icloud space
  16. macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Really... I guess I didn't realize people in good relationships never look at old photos, things that remind them of a good time they had with their SO, maybe is on a trip and enjoys the memory of that point when they can't be with the other person. I guess that's also why no one makes photo albums, mix tapes, or any other preservation of memories.
  17. macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2011
    Sorry Sankersizzle for getting the thread sidetracked with my unsolicited advice.

    I dont know of a way to retrieve old texts. I always thought the device purged the oldest stuff. I remember on my blackberry that you could hit a key and it would take you to the top of the string of texts/emails without having to scroll for 10 minutes. Would be interesting if someone knows a trick like this on the iphone.

    *edit - just googled this and found that if you double tap the status bar at the top it will take you to the top of the page. Bad news is that it still shows you the "load earlier messages". Doesnt take you to the beginning of the discussion.
  18. macrumors 603


    Nov 5, 2009
    screenshots (power+home button at same time) save them on a photostream folder and enjoy them forever until you decide to delete the photostream.
  19. macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2011
    good idea but it would have to be a very short conversation.
  20. macrumors 65816

    Jul 27, 2012
    Hollywood, CA
    Damn I delete all my text messages every few months, lol.
  21. macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2010
    You can use Spotlight search to bring up old messages if you can remember something written in them. Only problem with this is that in iOS6, it doesn't take you to the message in question, just to the conversation.

    HOWEVER - somewhere in the iOS 7 'all the little things' thread, I seem to recall having a discussion with someone who confirmed that searching via Spotlight now takes you directly to the message. That *might* help in the next couple of weeks.
  22. bluesjeam, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014

    macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2014
    Text Messages are stored in a Database format, and not as individual files. It's unlikely that they will ever be "overwritten" in the sense you ask, but may well remain in the database tables either forever, or until such regular purge mechanism clears them out on a schedule.
    So if you deleted messages, you can try two methods: You can use iTunes to retrieve deleted messages from iPhone; You can try recover from iTunes.
  23. macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    get a program called explorer and you can go to any point in a conversation rather easily, also export conversations to a txt file to save if you so choose.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2014
    How in the hell do you know why this person wants to go back to the beginning of his/her texts? The question was simply can it be done, and if so, how? I was wondering the same thing, but for a completely different reason. It's none of your business why the person wants to find a way to easily access old messages, so either contribute an answer, or don't contribute. This isn't a therapy site.
  25. macrumors 68040

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    If you're girlfriend has an iPhone and you guys are sending iMessages to each other then you can easily scroll back through older conversations with the Messages app on a Macbook. That's what I do if I need to see some old messages.

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