extracting/backing up Messages

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by paulold, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. paulold macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    I have been an iPhone user since the beginning. And I've never skipped a year. I have always upgraded my phone each year a new model comes out. And when I setup my new phone, I have always used my backup, carrying everything forward. So I basically have every text I've ever sent/received. With my iPhone 6 Plus, I had some trouble with the lightning port. Sometimes my phone would charge when I plugged it in, sometimes not and it wasn't the cord. Apple took a look at the phone at the store and replaced it. But before doing so, they ran diagnostics and saw that parts of my operating system were crashing. It was suggested that something might be corrupt in my backup causing some instability on my phone. I had been experiencing some quirky behavior, in addition to the problem with the jack, so if the issues returned on the new phone, it would indicate a problem with the backup. It looks like there is a problem with the backup since my iPhone is still acting quirky. So to fix this, I have to start over from scratch. For most things, this is not a problem. All my music, photos, apps, contacts, will be safe since they are saved elsewhere and can be restored on the phone. It's mainly the content in my Messages app (the messages, the photos, vids, etc) that I will lose. I'm not thrilled with the idea of clearing it all out, but I've reached the point with my phone where I think it's probably not performing as well as it could. Of course I could go thru this trouble just to see if it improves and return to using my backup if I don't see an improvement. But I'm thinking, what if it does improve? Is there any way I can save the text messages and content in my Messages app someplace on my laptop such that I could view it and search for stuff, etc? I have tried PhoneView once, but it was not compatible with my version of iOS, so it didn't work very well. Any other options? Or am I being too much of a pack rat and I should just delete them all? Also, what about the iMessage server? How much of my history is on the server? How much might return to my phone just by starting over? I can see my texts on my iPad for example.
     
  2. Mokell, Aug 25, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015

    Mokell macrumors newbie

    Mokell

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    #2
    Hi,
    Never heard any one has the same problem like yours. I think if you want to backup your messages on your iPhone, you can use some third party software to transfer you text messages from your iPhone to your computer. But I think you can only read the messages on your computer but never transfer back to your iPhone.
    I used to recover deleted files from iPhone using iPhone data recovery software. And I found out that it can also be used as a iPhone sms transfer to computer. You can scan your iPhone and find all the messages on your iphone then recover text messages from iPhone to computer. Actually it is transfer them to your computer. It can also extract the text messages and imessages from iTunes backup files and iCloud backup files.
     
  3. fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    #3
    I had to do a full restore of my iPhone as part of the troubleshooting process the Apple Store wanted me to do before they would replace it. (It was draining the battery very quickly and when they ran diagnostics they could see lots of errors and crashes). They ended up replacing it once the errors returned about 1 month after my full restore, but at that point the "damage" to my data had been done.

    It was a very crappy process. You lose A LOT including all your messages. I did back up my messages to my mac using a third party program, however that just saved everything as essentially a txt dump and it could no longer be loaded back onto the phone. So I have the info, but not in a convenient location anymore.

    When I did the restore as new, all my messages were gone on the new phone. I got back my emails, pictures, contacts - the things that are stored in iCloud, but all my txt messages were gone. Even more annoying was I had lost the messaging association with some of my contacts, so I started getting texts from what looked like random phone numbers, but turned out to be friends who texted infrequently or seldom used contacts (like my hairdresser).

    I really think Apple needs to add messaging into the icloud fold with Contacts and e-mail and stuff. We keep so many pieces of info in the messages now it would be nice to know they are kept on a server somewhere and could be restored.
     
  4. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    I've had two ideas.

    1. I always buy the latest iPhone, so I'll likely be getting the iPhone 6S Plus. So instead of giving away my old phone, I could keep it in order to maintain all of my old messages. That way, if I ever felt the need to go back in time (which happens occasionally), I would still have a copy of all my old texts in their original format. That would work, right? The act of setting up my new phone as a new phone, not from backup, would not mess with what's in my old phone right? Would I be able to sync this phone with my iTunes in the future? I could see using my old iPhone as a music player in my car - keep it attached to my stereo in my glove compartment. But I would want to be able to add new music to it. It would have its own backup history in my iTunes, right? And on a related note, say I had to give away the old phone - could I say buy a used iPhone and restore it from one of my old backups to retain all my old messages on that device?

    2. Do developers have the ability to take an iPhone backup in iTunes and use an iPhone simulator (the one used to test apps they are designing) to recreate everything on the iPhone? Could the simulator be used to view the messages within a backup? Could someone create an app for my Mac Book Pro that could do that? I'm probably dreaming.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    Why not just make an iCloud backup that only contains the data from your Messages app?

    Restore from just that backup. Everything else but what's in Messages will be wiped. If the corruption is elsewhere then all you have to do is add all your other stuff back.

    If your corruption is in your actual messages then it will be evident at some point and you'd have to start from scratch anyway.
     
  6. fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    #6
    How would one accomplish this? I haven't seen any way to tweak what gets backed up and what doesn't on the phone.
     
  7. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #7
    I'm not sure of how I would do that. My guess is I would have to remove everything from my phone except the contents of my Messages app and create a backup. Would that do it? So I would presumably do this just before setting up my new phone. I can't think of any other way to selectively back up stuff.

    I suspect the corruption is within my Messages app since it contains all of my messages going back to when the iPhone first came out. I'm pretty sure it's a huge chunk of data and perhaps just the size alone is giving my phone issues.

    Also, I don't use my iCloud for backing up because my backups are too huge. I would have to pay for the extra space.
     
  8. fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    #8
    The only caution about doing this is to make sure you give your new phone a new name as well, or your old backups will get overwritten. I have made that mistake and it is not one you can recover from, and also not obvious that it is happening (no warning messages, etc. Apple just deletes the old backup and replaces it with the new one if they have the same name. Sometimes I really hate Apple)
     
  9. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
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    Washington, DC
    #9
    I always name my phones "Paul's iPhone 6 Plus" or whatever version number I am in. So my new phone would be "Paul's iPhone 6S Plus" if that's indeed what Apple is calling it. So thanks for the heads' up, but I think I will be okay.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #10
    Well…it appears that I am an idiot and have suggested something that cannot be done via iCloud specifically.

    I made the assumption that Messages would be one of the toggle switches in the iCloud section of the Settings app for backup. It's not. And when I searched via Google about this the only results involved third party apps.

    My apologies for shooting my mouth off before thinking.
     
  11. fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    #11

    No apologies needed IMHO. Any logical person would assume that Messages are part of iCloud. It isn't until you figure it out the hard way with a phone restore as new that you find out about the deficiency. I really think Apple should remedy this in some future iOS. I don't even know why they don't since it would make us all buy more iCloud storage after we filled up our free allotments saving all our messages.
     
  12. HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #12
    Check with NSA, pretty sure they have all your messages. After all I assume you pay taxes, and they are after all your messages. So you helped pay for the server farm they keep all messages, emails and phone call meta data on so only fair they let you recover from there.
     
  13. GKThursday macrumors regular

    GKThursday

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    #13
  14. sargein macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #14
    I can confirm I have used this to backup/restore my messages and photos and it work fine for most part. A few (handful) pics were lost, but the loss was minimal and actually worked pretty well.
     
  15. joonyaboy macrumors regular

    joonyaboy

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    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #15
  16. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #16
    Thanks for the suggestion, but I think this only backs up my messages just to be returned to the phone or another iPhone. I want to create a backup but not return them to my new phone. I suspect that the message history is so huge that I want to clean it out of my phone without completely losing my history. I want to back it up but be able to view it somewhere, just not on my new phone.
     
  17. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #17
    Just an update. I got my iPhone 6S Plus and I set it up without restoring from backup and I've seen a huge improvement. My phone is much happier now. Yes, it's a little disappointing that my Message history is gone and some of my apps have lost their history but I'm enjoying the increased performance of the phone. I think my backup was just too big and slowing things down.
     

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