Most messaging apps allow you to back up and restore text messages, but they don’t let you export or read messages outside of your Android phone. Plus, backups eventually expire or are replaced by new backups, which is not ideal as it introduces the risk of data loss or incomplete restoration. Luckily, there are some apps and workarounds available to export your text messages from your Android phone. In this post, we will exactly show you how to do it.
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Save and Export Text Messages From Android Using 3rd-Party App
In this method, we will use the 3rd party app called SMS Backup & Restore. Unlike the regular messaging app, this one offers more than just backup and restore functionality. It allows you to export and read all your text messages from any device. Here’s a full setup process:
1. Download the SMS Backup & Restore app from the Play Store.
2. Open the app and tap on the Hamburger Menu and then select the Back up now option.
3. Now, from the list of given options, enable the toggle next to the Messages option. Under the Advanced Options, you can enable the Attachments and Media option or select the date range for exporting your SMS.
4. Once that part is covered, scroll down and you will find several backup locations, including Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and phone storage.
Pro Tip: Having trouble deciding which cloud storage to use, check out our in-depth comparison between Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and iCloud.
Let’s say you want to go with Your Phone option. Now all you need to do is select the folder where you want to store your SMS backup and hit the Use This Folder button.
5. Confirm it by tapping on the Allow button. After that, hit the OK button.
6. Once everything is configured properly, tap on the BACK UP button. Tap on Yes to confirm.
That’s it. All your text messages will be saved to your phone storage, allowing you to share and export them to any device from your Android phone.
However, the problem with this app is that all your backup is saved in the XML format and you need to have an appropriate app or tool or some type of workaround to open your backup from your computer, mobile, or any other device. To address this problem, we have compiled a list of potential solutions for you to consider.
View Saved Text Messages in XML Format on Any Device
Your backup file will be saved in XML format, which you can easily open within the SMS Backup & Restore app. However, what if you wish to open it outside of the app? Say, you want to read exported text messages on your computer.
This may cause inconvenience if you don’t have the appropriate application to open the file in XML format. Thankfully, by visiting the app developer’s official website, you view your messages in XML format. Here’s how:
2. Now select the backup file or drag n drop the file and click Apply.
Now you can read all your backup messages in XML format from any device with the help of a web browser.
If you’re worried about your file security, the developer clearly states that “All the processing is done on the browser and the file is never uploaded to any servers.” So it’s up to you to decide whether you feel comfortable with this level of assurance regarding the protection of your files.
How to Save Text Messages on Android in PDF Format
1. Open the app and hit the Hamburger Menu and then select the View backups option.
2. From there, choose the storage location where you have backed up your messages and select the backup and then choose the conversation that you want to save in PDF file format.
3. Now tap on the Kebab Menu (3-dots icon) in the top right corner and select the Print Conversation option.
4. Now all you need to do is tap the PDF button, select the file location, and hit the Save button.
That’s it. Now you can open your text messages from any device without worrying about the app compatibility issue. The only pain point of this method is you can’t convert your text messages into PDF in bulk. So you have to manually select the conversation and convert it to PDF.
How to Export Text Messages From Android to Computer
Instead of going through all the trouble, you can directly export all your SMS from your Android device to your Windows computer via wireless or USB cable.
To do that, we will be using an app called Droid Transfer, and here’s how it works:
2. After that, open the software on your PC, and there you will get two options to connect — one via Wi-Fi and the other via a USB Cable.
In this method, we will use the Wi-Fi method as during my testing I found it more effective than the USB connection.
3. Once decided on the method for connecting your Android phone to the PC, open the Droid Transfer app on your phone.
4. Select the Scan Droid Transfer QR Code option and then point your camera toward the QR code shown on the Droid Transfer software (Desktop). Alternatively, you can also enter the IP address shown below the QR code to connect to your PC by selecting Enter IP Address Manually option.
Quick Note: Make sure both your phone and PC are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
5. Give all the necessary permissions and your phone will be connected to your PC.
6. Now go back to your computer screen and select the Messages tab and within a few seconds, it will display all your messages on the right pane.
7. Select the conversation that you want to save to your PC and then click on the Save as PDF to PC button.
8. Choose the location to save your file and hit the OK button.
And that’s all. You’ve successfully exported text messages from your Android device to your Windows PC.
Limitation of Droid Transfer:
1. During our testing, we found out that it doesn’t support RCS messages. So if you use any messaging service that actively uses RCS over SMS, then this software is of no use to you.
2. You can only transfer the first 5 messages of the conversation. To lift that restriction, you need to purchase the full version of the Droid Transfer, which is priced at $30.
3. Sometimes the USB method doesn’t work.
Preserve Your Precious Text Messages With Ease
World has already moved on from text messages to better alternatives like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, etc. However, there are still many people who prefer SMS as a mode of communication or to receive credential information. That’s why it is important to have an app that can save and export all your text messages from your Android phone.