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Restore SMS/MMS from backup?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by 46hand, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. 46hand

    46hand Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I am hoping to restore my text messages from a backup I made to my PC before I wiped the device (that I thought I was going to return....). I had originally copy/pasted the entire contents of the device to a folder on my PC from the phone folder. Is it possible to restore my previous communications?
     


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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    What did you use to make the backup?

    There are dozens of SMS/MMS backup tools, so without knowing how you made the backup it's hard to say anything.

    However, I'm a bit worried by talk of copy/paste the entire contents of the phone. That will only copy the /sdcard virtual volume, which is not where messages are stored. So if that's all you did and you hadn't previously run an SMS backup app it's unlikely that you have a copy of the messages on your computer.

    (For the record messages are stored in a database in the /data/data/ area, which you cannot view directly without root and is not visible to a PC over an MTP (USB) connection).
     
    #2 Hadron, Jun 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  3. 46hand

    46hand Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I don't like the sounds of this... I used SMS Backup and Restore. I thought it had backed everything up (to Drive), but the backup only went a few months back (and maybe overwrote the older ones?). I was looking for about 5 months more worth of messages... I'm guessing it will only back up a certain amount per session. I suppose if I had to do it again, I'd focus on backing up messages from particular people I wanted a record of. If they're gone, all is not lost. I have a pretty good case, I think.
    My provider told me they have zero access to text messages, is this the case? I thought they'd have them, even if it meant hiring an attorney to subpoena them.
    Thanks for your input.
     
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  4. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    That app has always backed up everything for me. But there's an "archive mode" setting where I'm not sure what that does - the description is unclear, in that a literal reading says it does what the app does for me with it turned off. The size limit for backups is claimed only to apply to local, not drive. So I don't know what happened there: it's always restored everything for me, though it's almost 2 years since I had to restore (but my SMS use has dropped a lot in that time too)

    If you used that app you probably have a local backup amongst the stuff you copies: look for an SMSBackupRestore folder in those data. Copy that back to the phone and you could restore from that (though it should be the same as what's on Drive).

    It's quite possible your provider was telling the truth. I don't know where you are and hence what laws apply, but they may only need to keep metadata (who you were communicating with and when) longer term rather than the messages themselves.
     
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  5. Mr Manos

    Mr Manos Lurker

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