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SMS backup/restore with desktop PC?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Novice App User, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. Novice App User

    Thread Starter

    Hi,

    Is there a way to backup and restore text messages using my desktop computer (Windows 10) and Android phone via USB without using a third-party app? I want to use my computer rather than using any kind of Google or cloud method.

    The phone has Android 9.0 (Nougat).

    Thanks.
     



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  2. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    Nope
     
    Hadron likes this.
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Avoiding clouds is easy: there are apps that will write a backup to your phone's internal storage, which you can then copy to your PC over USB. The venerable SMS Backup and Restore is an obvious one (it has a cloud option, but you don't have to use it). If you want to avoid Google, look in the F-Droid store, there are a couple of options there that do the same thing.

    The message database lives in the part of the phone's storage that isn't accessible over USB, so as Danny says there is no way of doing this without a third party app that makes a backup and puts it where your PC can see it. In principle you could copy the database over USB using ADB (Android Debug Bridge, i.e. the USB debugging interface), but you'd need a rooted device for this to work. Also I would not expect that method to allow you to transfer the messages to a new phone: for one thing the new phone would have to be rooted first, but also the database isn't designed to be portable between devices and there is no guarantee that it would work if copied to a different model running a different OS version (in fact, based on my experience when I used to root and modify phones, I'd think it highly unlikely that it would).

    So you need to use a third-party app, but there are open source options that don't require any clouds or even using the Play Store. That really should be sufficient (if it isn't I don't know how you can use a Chinese phone whose operating system is controlled by Google in the first place ;)).
     
    Dannydet likes this.
  4. Novice App User

    Thread Starter


    Thank you very much for your detailed, helpful answer. I really appreciate it. It looks like I may need to go with a third party app, and SMS Backup and Restore looks good. I checked in Google Play and it says (re: SMS Backup and Restore): "Backup is created locally on the phone by default, but has options to upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive or Email. At no time are the files sent to the developer." It doesn't actually say anything about transferring to a desktop computer via USB. I guess that the locally created backup can be moved to my computer?

    Also, I noticed on a review of this app, that it said (under the pros and cons lists): "Only partial messages being restored." Is this true? If so, what does that actually mean?

    Thanks.
     
  5. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
    Moderator

    Yes, you can transfer the backup file to your computer or SD card.

    It might refer to some MMS or RCS messages not being backed up. From what I remember you have to enable backing up MMS.
     
  6. Novice App User

    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the helpful info! :)
     

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