how retrieve numbers from iphone that i dont have

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by HBOC, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    Ok, here is the deal. I have some numbers that i need to get that i had on my iphone. I sold the iPhone months ago, and I bought a new HDD for my MBP.

    I know that when i did a restore (i have an iTunes library back up on my external HD) of iTunes after re-formatting (when I had my iPhone) it would sync with iTunes and my numbers would still be there from the backup.

    So I am thinking this info is somewhere in the iTunes library? There is no "iPhone" on the sidebar of iTunes. Hopefully you aren't totally lost... Any help would be greatly appreciated.!
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Next time provide a better link for the OP than "Yahoo."

    OP, here's what you can do (the instructions are for a PC, but Mac versions of all the software is available and it's all free or open source):

    Here's the Mac Version:

    Use the iPhone Backup Extractor to make a db file of the texts (or any number of other parts in the backup....notes, etc.)

    I had to change the links above, since for some reason the old links stopped working.

    After extracting the part of the backup you want, use the linked SQLite Database Browser to then make a csv file that can be read by Excel or other programs. You'll be able to at least see your messages (or any number of other parts in the backup....notes, etc., that you extracted from the backup above).

    Of course, that's only to look at the files. Getting them back on the iPhone is problematic unless your jail broke.

    BTW, this is how you'd get contacts from a backup:

    It's easy to restore the contact information from an iPhone backup. Follow these steps:

    1. Using the iPhone Backup Extractor, restore the file "Libray/AddressBook/AddressBook.sqllitedb". This is a SQL Lite database file with all of your contacts.

    2. Use the SQLite Database Browser.

    3. Open the restored file with the SQLite Database Browser , choose the "Execute SQL" tab and paste this into the "SQL string" field:

    select ABPerson.first,ABPerson.last,ABMultiValue.value from ABPerson,ABMultiValue where ABMultiValue.record_id=ABPerson.ROWID

    4. When you press the "Execute Query" button, you will see your full contact list shown in the "Data returned" field.

    You can then paste that to an Excel file or wherever.
  3. HBOC thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
  4. codeec macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2011
    Hey thanks for the how-to. However, I've gotten to this step and I can see my contacts in the "Data Returned" field but SQL DB Browser doesn't allow copying and pasting from that view. I'm on Windows XP BTW.

    Knowing close to zero about SQL Databases, how do I export what is in the "Data Returned" field?

  5. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    They're still in business, so I'm not the only one.

    This is an old one. My first point was that the OP could find the answer with a little searching. I can fillet it for you, or give you a fishing pole.
  7. redgilda, Mar 27, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013

    redgilda macrumors newbie


    May 22, 2010
    Sorry for bringing back such an old topic, it was the only one that came out in the search.. I've managed to extract the AddressBook.sqlitedb file but when I paste the SQL string I get an error: "file is encrypted or is not a database".

    Is the file corrupt or has the command change since 2011? ;)
    the file is 770 KB

    any help appreciated. I'm willing to try any other software to read the numbers..


    EDIT: in case someone looks around for answers..

    I found a way to extract a CSV file in Terminal:

    sqlite3 (my path here)AddressBook.sqlitedb

    sqlite> .mode csv
    sqlite> SELECT ROWID, First, Last, ABMultiValue.value, record_id FROM ABPerson, ABMultiValue WHERE ROWID=record_id;
    sqlite> .output (my path here)contacts.csv
    sqlite> .quit

    --- it worked for me (partially)! The file .contacts.csv was created empty but I could see all the contacts in the Terminal window so just copied/pasted.

    (Mountain Lion)

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