How to Download Text Messages from iPhone 12/11/X?

Did you ever want to look to save your old text messages to keep track of conversations? Have you found a way of saving your text messages but have difficulty in reading them because of the format? Downloading text messages from iPhone to PC/Mac is easy but retaining its format and viewing the content can be quite tricky. If you want to know more about the different methods on how to download text messages from iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr or iPhone Xs Max, be sure to read on below methods featured.

1. Selectively Download Text Messages on iPhone via FoneGeek iPhone Data Exporter

FoneGeek iPhone Data Exporter is an iOS data backup and restore tool which is capable of downloading various data from an iOS device to computer. Some of its features that set it apart from other software are:

  • Download SMS and iMessages from iPhone and view them on computer in the same viewing format in iPhone.
  • Not only messages or other built-in apps on your device, data from certain apps such as WhatsApp, Kik, Viber and Line can be downloaded too.
  • It can download data from your old iTunes/iCloud backups, also.
  • Free backup feature allows you to back up your iOS devices with flexibility.


How to Download Text Messages from iPhone via FoneGeek iPhone Data Exporter?

To download messages using FoneGeek iPhone Data Exporter, you will need to download and install the program into your computer. Then just follow the instructions.

Step 1. Launch the program and once the program window appears, select "Backup & Restore" on the menu found on the upper panel.

choose a data type to backup

Step 2. A succeeding screen will appear and in this screen you will choose the different types of data that you would like to download. Make sure Messages are checked. Click "View Backup Data" to connect your iPhone so that the program will begin to scan the data on the device.

backup is complete

Step 3. After the scanning of the data, there will be data available that can be previewed in detail to help you select the messages to be downloaded. To download the text messages from iPhone, select "Messages". Click "Export" and select the format and location in the computer that you want for the exported data accordingly.

restore the backup to device or pc

Easy, isn’t it? But if you are looking for other methods about how to download text messages from iPhone free, you can try iTunes or email and we will discuss in the following parts. They work also but they do have some inconveniences or disadvantages. Anyway, read on to check what will help.

2. Download Text Messages on iPhone via iTunes

Users can utilize iTunes as a method of safeguarding data on iPhone in case of data loss. To protect data from being lost, a backup contains text messages will be done through the steps below:

  • Make sure that the iTunes application installed is the latest version. Connect the iPhone Xs/Xr/Xs Max to the computer.
  • Launch iTunes and on the right side of the window, select the iPhone Xs/Xr/Xs Max connected. This is usually characterized by a small phone icon.
  • A summary page will appear. Click on "Back Up Now" to commence the backup process. Unlike the first method, iTunes backs up the entire data on the phone. The viewing of the messages will be further discussed on a later section of this method.
  • If the process is completed successfully, the name of your iPhone, date and time of backup should be reflected in the Devices Page which can be accessed through iTunes Preferences > Devices.

back up iPhone with iTunes

How to Check Messages in iTunes Backup?

To check the text messages in the backup created by iTunes, another software will be needed. The backup file created by iTunes is usually a database file and this can be only accessed by third-party tools that can read and query database files.

3. Download Text Messages on iPhone via Email

This method is suitable for those who want to download a small amount of text messages or specific messages as this method can be quite tedious. The output is also a simple text file containing the messages with no date stamp nor labels as to who was the sender or receiver. See more details on below steps:

  • On the iPhone, open the Messages and open the thread with the messages you want to download.
  • Tap the specific message you want to download and it should prompt a bubble, select "More".
  • You will see that you are now able to select the messages in the thread as there are circles that can be ticked for each message.
  • Tick with a checkmark the messages you want to be downloaded. Note: There is no option for the user to select all messages by default.
  • If the messages are sufficiently selected, tap on the curled arrow on the bottom corner of the screen.
  • This will prompt a new screen asking for a receiver. Enter the recipient email and click "Send".
  • The forwarded message should appear in the inbox of the recipient email as a plain text attachment.

send messages as email

As seen above, there are many ways in downloading messages from iPhone. Each method has its unique way of viewing downloaded messages. As a user, it is wise to choose a method that is easy and as simple as possible to avoid any mishaps that could happen to the iPhone. This is what FoneGeek iPhone Data Exporter offers compared to the other methods. It offers simple and easy steps to download messages and more importantly, a convenient way of viewing those messages. Download the free trial version of the program to check what it can do for you!


By Joan J. Mims

Posted on Nov 11, 2020, 21:15:55

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.