Saving Text Messages on iPhone 3G
August 13, 2010 1:36 PM   Subscribe

How can I save/archive a very long string of text messages from my iPhone (3G)?

I have a very long string of text msgs (going back to March) I'd like to archive/keep. I've tried cutting & pasting and emailing to myself, but it's too much data. Any suggestions on an easy way to save this conversation--there's got to be something I'm overlooking here . . .
posted by eggman to Technology (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I know this site looks kind of sketchy, but I tried it last Spring and it worked well on my iPhone 3G running 3.1.3.
posted by vkxmai at 2:00 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

PhoneView (Mac, $20, 7-day trial) will let you extract your SMS history in whatever format you like.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 2:22 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I spent ages looking into how best to do this and ended up paying $20 for PhoneView (assuming you're on a Mac, rather than Windows?).

I tried a couple of other solutions (I forget what, sorry) but I think they saved the text messages, and the numbers they're from, but without tying them up to the senders' names from the Address Book, which are stored in a separate part of the iPhone's database. I started looking into writing code to extract the required data myself but figured I'd be better off paying $20 and getting on with my life.
posted by fabius at 2:24 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here's an article/blog-post explaining how to do this (on a mac). It involves a couple pieces of software to download and a few steps. (Basically, copy SMS.db from the phone, then convert it to something excel or whatever can interpret.) You get all of the SMSs, so I think you'd have to do some sorting in order to make sure you're getting the actual conversation. Looks like someone commented and linked to software ("Tansee iPhone Transfer SMS") that does the whole thing for you, and has some useful features... Not free, though. Also, it's for windows.

There's also Touchcopy, also not free. There's a free trial, but you can't download SMS conversations... just view them. It mentions conversations, so perhaps it will automagically save the SMSs in conversation form.
posted by sentient at 2:56 PM on August 13, 2010

Try breaking it up into several smaller emails?
posted by at the crossroads at 3:20 PM on August 13, 2010

Another vote here for PhoneView. Totally worth every penny. I bought it for the purpose you're describing, but I've ended up using it for all kinds of things. Worth every penny.
posted by abbyladybug at 3:46 PM on August 13, 2010

One thing you may want to keep in mind- I noticed recently that with a very long (three month) string of texts, the very first texts began to get deleted. I don't know if this was a fluke but you might want to just give your texts a quick backup just in case this happens on all iPhones.
posted by pyrom at 4:01 PM on August 13, 2010

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