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DominikHoffmann

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 15, 2007
499
481
Indiana
I am looking for a hack. I am pretty sure that this is not officially supported. However, I have a legitimate reason to want to do this. I am helping someone who got a divorce. She wants to make abandon an old Apple ID and migrate to a new one, because her ex uses the same iCloud account. I have helped her migrate contacts and her Photos library. Her iMessage history is an issue, still, though.

How can I find the database of iMessages associated with her old Apple ID, set up a new Apple ID and then swap in the iMessages from the old one to replace what would until then be an empty database of iMessages? Conceptually, this is possible. How procedurally it would work, I have no idea, but maybe someone here does.

P.S.: Apple didn’t let me post this at its Apple Support Community, because their bot scanning all submissions found that, “it discussed questionable advice or inappropriate activities.”
 

0128672

Cancelled
Apr 16, 2020
5,962
4,783
I don't know of a way to what you're asking, but you can print to PDF each "page" of a conversation. It might take some time but at least it's a record of those messages in file format.
 

iStorm

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2012
1,850
2,262
It might be too late for this now, but the easiest thing would have been to just sign out of iCloud and choosing to keep the data on the device when prompted...then sign into iCloud using the new Apple ID. The stuff on the device (Contacts, Notes, Photos, Messages, Passwords, Calendars, Reminders, etc.) would have synced to the new Apple ID.

Otherwise, iMazing seems to be a popular tool. Maybe you can accomplish what you're looking to do with that.
 

gilby101

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,688
1,455
Tasmania
The database file is ~/Library/Messages/chat.db, but the database by itself does not contain attachments. You would be better to copy the whole folder - that is ~/Library/Messages.

But I don't know whether you want will work with a new Apple ID.

Certainly make a copy of ~/Library/Messages and keep it safe somewhere.

“it discussed questionable advice or inappropriate activities.”
Very annoying, but I can understand why Apple would (probably should) take that view. You are trying to keep the messages which belong to an Apple ID which is owned by someone else (the ex). All part of the pains of sharing Apple IDs.

Otherwise, iMazing seems to be a popular tool. Maybe you can accomplish what you're looking to do with that.
iMazing does the job of producing a PDF with all messages including their attachments (photos). Also CSV with messages (but not attachments).
 

LeahJoFoxtrot

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2016
349
618
It might be too late for this now, but the easiest thing would have been to just sign out of iCloud and choosing to keep the data on the device when prompted...then sign into iCloud using the new Apple ID. The stuff on the device (Contacts, Notes, Photos, Messages, Passwords, Calendars, Reminders, etc.) would have synced to the new Apple ID.

Otherwise, iMazing seems to be a popular tool. Maybe you can accomplish what you're looking to do with that.
Sorry to bump an old post but do you know if the log out -> keep data -> log in with new account still works? I set up my Mom with a new apple id and I don't want her to lose her messages
 

fromgophonetoiphone

macrumors regular
Dec 6, 2017
199
294
The trick is you need to make sure your computer has downloaded ALL the messages in question before you do teh account switch.
 

fromgophonetoiphone

macrumors regular
Dec 6, 2017
199
294
So I tried doing this myself today.

  1. I made a copy of ~/Library/Messages/ as a backup
  2. Removed phone number from main iCloud account, turned off iMessage, signed out
  3. Signed into new account, turned on iMessage, turned on phone number
While all the messages show up on my Mac, it's unclear if they're being uploaded/backed up into the new account. I tried clicking Sync Now as well as checking/unchecking "Enable Messages in iCloud" but I did not see any network activity that would indicate the messages are transferred into the new account. Every check of iCloud > Storage still shows 0 KB of messages.
 
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GoodwinHannah

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2024
1
0
Is it possible to do this on iPhone?

Let’s say I want to use a new AppleID but retain all my messages — would I follow the steps to
1. Make sure all messages are downloaded on my phone
2. Unlink my phone number from my current appleID
3. Sign out and sign into my new appleid
4. Link my phone number to the new ID
And I should have all my original messages on my phone, and all conversations should continue normally for me and others?

To be clear, it doesn’t matter to me if the messages get backed up after I sign into the new account, I just want them on my phone and for my conversations to appear unchanged to those texting me
 
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