Does iCloud not keep and share all iMessage histories across all devices?

Cattywampus_

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 19, 2006
511
21
Hi

I have the who shaboodle of Apple devices; iPhone, iPad, rMB, MBP and a hackintosh.

Over the last couple of months with the release of iOS 9 and El Capitan, I have scrubbed my devices and installed fresh copies of the OS's on their respective devices.

I was a little disappointed that aside from my iPhone and iPad, where I used the backed up data and copied it across, I had lost all conversations on my other OS X computers.

Surely all conversations should be backed up to iCloud and restored as required to keep all devices synced? Am I missing something?

Thanks
 

iphonedude2008

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2009
1,134
442
Irvine, CA
Nope. Sadly, they can't be because Apple keeps them secure. Once they are sent and delivered, they are basically destroyed from apples server. The only way to get old ones is with a backup on iOS. Mac can't restore them unless you have a backup of that, in which case you might be able to.
 

GreyOS

macrumors 68040
Apr 12, 2012
3,265
1,550
couldn't Apple conceivably sync message history between devices without breaking the 'don't store on server' rule? as long as one device has the history stored locally, it could sync them to any new devices you sign into. So as long as the user doesnt scrub all devices at once (instead did it in at least two stages) you could preserve message history after multiple device scrubs without sacrificing security- maybe!

request this feature :D
 
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rorschach

macrumors 68020
Jul 27, 2003
2,062
585
Messages are downloaded to ~/Library/Messages (I believe that's the path). So you could back up and restore that folder if you wanted to.
 

jpgr15

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2015
528
985
A little off topic here - but kind of relavent - are messages supposed to sync across devices? Like if I'm on my iPad and a text is forwarded from my phone and I delete it, it doesn't delete off any other device or mark as read consistently. I'm always clearing messages or FaceTime notifications on like three or four devices. It's super annoying.
 
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Aston441

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,291
1,789
I also have been quite confused by the lack of message syncing between devices. I jump through all kinds of hoops in all the scattered places the various settings for iMessage are stashed away in iOS and OSX, endlessly typing in passwords, codes, approving some devices from other devices, etc. I always hope that at the end of all those gymnastics iMessage will be synced up everywhere, but it never is. So I continue to just use Google Voice. Google Voice is the opposite of secure, but it's dead simple and I have all my texts for the last ten years always available, and always instantly searchable, and always synced wherever I go and with whatever I'm using.
 

KoolAid-Drink

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2013
1,344
323
USA
Yeah, iMessage not being synced and saved to iCloud is really a big oversight for me. I don't understand why Apple can't do it and have some kind of security setup to access it. It would be really nice to be able to iMessage someone from iCloud.com, and for my entire message history to be synced and saved, so a fresh install on either Mac OS X or iOS wouldn't erase all my iMessages.
 

boston04and07

macrumors 68000
May 13, 2008
1,527
460
Yeah, iMessage not being synced and saved to iCloud is really a big oversight for me. I don't understand why Apple can't do it and have some kind of security setup to access it. It would be really nice to be able to iMessage someone from iCloud.com, and for my entire message history to be synced and saved, so a fresh install on either Mac OS X or iOS wouldn't erase all my iMessages.
I totally agree, and this is getting to be a huge problem for me. I have my iMessages going back to my first iPhone, circa 2008, on my iPhone, as well as the threads going back to the introduction of iMessages on my other devices (iPad and rMBP). Some of these conversations are important and have sentimental value to me, so I'm not just gonna go deleting them. Meanwhile, my iPhone is the device with the smallest storage capacity out of all my devices, and I have my iPad, rMPB, and iCloud account with tons of storage to spare. I very badly wish there were a way for me to take advantage of these other devices and the iCloud storage I'm paying for to store this data, but no. They don't give us the choice.:mad:

As for security issues, I really don't see how my text messages are any more private and should be treated with more care than, say, my emails, which all reside on the server, or my iTunes purchase history, or my calendar data, or you name it. If anything, they're way less sensitive than all of that stuff combined (at least for me). Apple really should give us the option of storing/syncing our message histories via iCloud, people can just opt out if they don't want to do it.