Need to print out text messages asap
January 20, 2021 6:29 AM   Subscribe

How do I print out a series of text messages (all in one conversation with one person), for use in a police report? I have a Samsung droid phone.

I need to file a police report and include all my communication with someone. Thus, I need to print out our text conversation. How do I do this? It's not a super long conversation - probably around 30 or 40 text messages altogether.

I have a samsung droid phone and a desktop PC with a printer.
posted by silverstatue to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can take a series of screenshots, transfer/email them if needed to the PC, stick them in a document, and print it out. I've been told that making sure there's overlap (ie, the last message of screenshot 1 is the top message of screenshot 2) helps show that there's nothing being excluded.

(I am not a lawyer or LEO)
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:33 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]

Assuming you're running Windows 10 on the PC, there's a Microsoft app called 'Your Phone' that would remove the need to download screenshots of the texts (you can just capture them directly on the PC). I know there are other apps which will allow you to download SMS conversations as text files.
posted by pipeski at 6:46 AM on January 20

A co-worker recently went through this. I helped him download all the messages as a text file, using some utility. His lawyer then told him that the court wouldn't accept this format -- that he needed to take screenshots of all the messages, and print the screenshots. There were a lot of messages, so it was a long, tedious process.
posted by alex1965 at 6:47 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]

If your printer is on your wifi network, most of them will now allow printing directly from your phone. You may need to download an app from the printer manufacturer (but sometimes phones do it natively now). Then you can just take screenshots, and go to "share to ..." where you would share photos to facebook or e-mail, and instead you share it to the printer app or the printer directly.

(My android phone will NOT allow me to share entire text convos to other apps/the printer, so I think you're still stuck with screenshots.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:51 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]

If you're using Google's Messages app for SMS, you can use the "Messages for web" setting in the app to pair it with your PC, then go to to print screenshots.
posted by davcoo at 6:54 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]

If you are using the screenshot, email, print method, make sure each screenshot shows the date and time, if possible of the text messages.
posted by Sassyfras at 7:00 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]

IANYL. For legal purposes, screenshots are your best bet. Make sure they overlap.
posted by freshwater at 7:57 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]

Ok, thanks everyone. Screen shots will be super tedious, but I guess it's my best bet. At least it's not thousands of messages.
posted by silverstatue at 7:59 AM on January 20

Many Samsung phones support a scrolling screenshot method called SmartCapture. This could save you a lot of time and effort if your phone supports it.
posted by tiamat at 9:05 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]

Could you use a second phone to take a video recording of yourself slowly scrolling through the messages on the first phone?

Or, for work I sometimes use the function on my android phone that lets me read send/receive my phone messages in a desktop browser window
posted by McNulty at 9:57 PM on January 20

The Microsoft Your Phone is the preferred solution, it seems though I'm sure there are ways to capture longer messages.

It may be possible to let a capture program on the PC scroll through the long text, but I no longer use my Samsung.
posted by kschang at 5:26 PM on January 22

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