Extracting/Importing iPhone SMS/MMS Data
July 30, 2012 4:20 PM   Subscribe

So, I want to restore my iPhone to a backup that's about 1 month old. However, I don't want to lose all of the SMS/MMS and Contacts data that I've accumulated in the meantime. Is it possible to extract and import this newer data into my older backup? I've searched around previous, similar MeFi questions and various 3rd party software, but no dice. And, sadly, jailbreaking is not an option.

Potentially relevant details:

-I'm using an iPhone 4S. The backup in question was made from the very same iPhone 4S.

-I'm currently using OS 5.1.1

-Backup is either 5.1.1 or 5.0

-I'm good looking, sensitive, smart and enjoy long walks on the beach.

Thank you for any help!
posted by Sine_Agraphia to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Recently, I went to the Apple store with the same question, I was told that you can back up and everything including the SMS/MMS and iMessages will be saved, but you won't be able to verify it since it is encrypted. I haven't had the guts to back up and restore yet, but the claim from the Genius I spoke to is to have no fear, everything will reappear.
posted by Yellow at 4:42 PM on July 30, 2012

OH! By the way, backing up is different than syncing. So do both.
posted by Yellow at 4:46 PM on July 30, 2012

Response by poster: Yellow, I think what you're saying is that, if I need to restore my iphone to an earlier backup, everything from that previous backup will be recovered. But, the text messages, MMS and Contacts that have been created since the time of my last backup will not be saved, and that is the problem. I know this because I have had to do this in the past, and ended up losing a slew of text messages and Contacts information, much to my horror. So I'm trying to avoid falling into that situation again.
posted by Sine_Agraphia at 4:51 PM on July 30, 2012

Ah. What the Genius told me is, if you sync, it will save the apps and music and such to what your phone currently is. When you back up, it will save all of your messages (sms/mms/imessage) and all but in an encrypted manner so you can't see it. When you plug your phone in, there is an option to sync and an option to back up. If you make an appointment with the Genius bar, they can do it for you if you bring your laptop (I'm assuming you have a laptop and not a desktop) and phone in.
posted by Yellow at 4:55 PM on July 30, 2012

If you're on a Mac, I'd recommend checking out PhoneView. It will let you export your messages. Not sure about reimporting them, as I have't tried to do that, but it's a very powerful app, and a nice toolset to have at your disposal. And it doesn't require jail-breaking.
posted by mosk at 5:13 PM on July 30, 2012

It may be possible but I'm not sure. I've successfully used this iPhone Backup Extractor to pull photos out of an iPhone backup once. You should definitely be able to pull SMS data. You may be able to patch the files that contain your SMS data into your month old backup. At the very least you should be able to read the SMS messages.

Contacts should be fairly easy to manage though. Sync to Outlook/the Mac OS contacts app, back up the Contacts folder from there just in case, then restore the phone and replace the iPhone contacts with the Outlook/Mac contacts.
posted by JDHarper at 5:15 PM on July 30, 2012

« Older One Never Knows, Do One?   |   Issue with supervisor thwarting job search process... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.