Can I backup my iPhone texts without jailbreaking?
April 29, 2010 5:39 PM   Subscribe

How can I backup/view/print text messages on my (non-jailbroken) iPhone?

I need to be able to backup and print a number of text messages that are stored on my iPhone. All of the resources I have found seem to be outdated and/or require a jailbroken phone. Also, I am looking for free solutions, or can pay a dollar or two for an app if absolutely necessary. Any ideas how I can do this?

I need the messages for a small claims case. I am reluctant to jailbreak my phone while it is still under warranty (and I am also under the impression that doing so requires a reformat and will erase all data on the phone?)

How can I backup the messages to my Macbook Pro so I can print them, or alternatively, print them from my phone?

I have a 32GB iPhone 3Gs from last September with the latest updates (software version 3.1.3).

Bonus if you can also tell me how to backup my Notes (the iTunes utility won't back up notes already on the phone.)
posted by catatethebird to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They're already backed up when you sync, but they're hidden away in an SQLite database. See here.
posted by mhoye at 5:58 PM on April 29, 2010

You should be able to do this with PhoneView on the Mac (not sure if there's a Window's equivalent).
posted by adamrice at 6:15 PM on April 29, 2010

adamrice: Looks like PhoneView would work, unfortunately I don't have the money to buy the full version, and the demo only lets me copy the first 10 messages.

mhoya: Where is the backup stored on my mac?
posted by catatethebird at 6:25 PM on April 29, 2010

"Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/" as per the link.
posted by mhoye at 7:57 PM on April 29, 2010

If all you need to do is print the messages, one easier option might be simply taking screenshots of the relevant texts. (To take a screenshots on the iPhone, press the home and lock buttons simultaneously. The screenshots is added to your camera roll.)
Then you could email the screenshots to a computer or transfer them in a sync, and print them from there.
I actually prefer doing this as a backup of sentimental texts, because it preserves the context and looks just the way it did when I received them.
posted by raygan at 2:09 AM on April 30, 2010

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