How to save iPhone messages to your computer

These days your iPhone is more than just a phone. It’s a camera, video recorder, GPS, and more. All of us have important messages and message attachments like photos, videos from relatives, friends, lovers, or life partners on our phones that we need to back up to a computer so they’re not lost if something happens to our iPhone.

People don’t want to delete messages generated in years. However, those messages eat up iPhone storage. So folks save all messages to a computer, then delete messages on iPhone to release the storage for other things. There are two methods for saving iPhone messages to a computer

Method 1: Using “iTunes Backup”

If you back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you’ll have a copy of your information to use in case your device is ever replaced, lost, or damaged.

On a Mac:

  1. Connect your iPhone and your Macwith a cable.
  2. In the Finder sidebar on your Mac, select your iPhone.
    To use the Finder to back up iPhone, macOS 10.15 or later is required. With earlier versions of macOS, use iTunes to back up iPhone.
  3. At the top of the Finder window, click General.
  4. Select “Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.”
  5. To encrypt your backup data and protect it with a password, select “Encrypt local backup.”
  6. Click Back Up Now.

On a Windows PC:

  1. On your Windows PC, open iTunes. If you don’t have it on your PC, download iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable.
  3. If asked for your device passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the onscreen steps.
  4. Select your device in iTunes. 
  5. Click Summary.
  6. If you want to save Health and Activity data from your device or Apple Watch, you need to encrypt your backup. Select the “Encrypt local backup” checkbox and create a memorable password.
  7. Click Back Up Now.
  8. When the process ends, you can see if the backup finished successfully. You’ll see the date and time of your last backup.

However, there are issues with using the iTunes Backup. For one, you’re unable to backup only messages to the computer; you have a full backup of all things in the iPhone. The iTunes Backup procedure may take a lot of time based on the files and data the iPhone (or iPod touch) has.

You’re also unable to see what’s in the backup directly. The only way to see what’s inside is to restore the backup file to the iPhone — and this will erase all existing data on the iPhone. So actually this way doesn’t users save messages and revisit them whenever they need.

AnyTrans offers a solution to the issues of using iTunes Backup.

Method 2: Using AnyTrans

AnyTrans covers nearly all types of iPhone data. That includes non-purchased music, which is really convenient.You can back up and transfer selected content OR all content with a single click.

AnyTrans isn’t just a one-time tool for data backup or transfer. It’s also an iPhone manager that will help users save time and effort when it comes to tasks such as data backup, making custom ringtones, backup/upgrade/manage iPhone apps, downloading online videos, mirroring an iPhone screen to a computer, etc. 

With AnyTrans, there’s no need to do a full backup. You can just save messages only to a computer, including those in SMS, MMS, and  iMessages formats — as well as all message attachments like photos and videos.

With AnyTrans, users can choose to save messages with selected persons only or, with a single click, save all messages and attachments to the computer. Multiple formats are available for saved messages. Users can choose PDF, txt, and even HTML according to their needs. 

The PDF format lets users view messages from the computer and hav the same experience on the iPhone. The HTML format enables users to view the messages via a browser and play videos in the message dialogues.

With AnyTrans, users can view the messages directly from the computer whenever they want. And there are no tedious steps involved; users can save all or selected messages with a simple click.

How to use AnyTrans

Here’s how to use AnyTrans:

Step 1. Download AnyTrans and install it on your computer > Launch it > Connect your iPhone to computer (PC or Mac) with a USB cable. Choose the Device Manager in the main interface.

Step 2. Choose the Messages category to enter the Messages manage page.

Step 3. Preview and select text messages you want to transfer. Tap To PC button in the upper right corner to transfer text messages to the computer.

Step 4. Under To PC button, you can choose to export iPhone messages to .txt, .html or .pdf format.

AnyTrans works for all iPhones and iOS systems including iOS 14:

  • Supported iPhone: iPhone 5/5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6/6s (Plus), iPhone 7 (Plus), iPhone 8 (Plus), iPhone X/11 series, iPhone 12/12 mini/12 pro/pro max.
  • Supported Computer: Windows 7/8/10, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc.

You can view a video tutorial on how to transfer iPhone messages to computer with AnyTrans by going here.

You can find more info on AnyTrans’ exporting feature by clicking here. And you can find a guide about how to print iPhone messages by going here. Finally, you should view this YouTube video about how to save iPhone messages to the computer.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.