How to Backup Text Messages on Android in 2021: Save Your Texts on the Cloud

Considering how much important data is on modern smartphones, you might not think to put your SMS messages into your backup. However, losing them because your phone was smashed or stolen can make a stressful situation worse. That’s why we put together this guide on how to backup text messages on Android.

Robin Barber
By Robin Barber (Assistant Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-09-26T21:06:41+00:00

Whether you’re clumsy and lose phones all the time, or are looking to get a new phone soon and want to move all of your data across, you shouldn’t leave your messages behind. By learning how to backup text messages on Android, you’ll be able to keep any message, call log or contact safe from a disaster.

Key Takeaways:

  • The built-in Google Drive backup is the easiest way to protect your SMS messages.
  • Apps like “SMS Backup & Restore” can help you backup messages to an SD card.
  • Online backup providers such as IDrive let you backup texts to the cloud.

Before you begin making a backup, you should consider getting one of the best backup apps for Android. We’ll be sure to give recommendations as we go, but following the 3-2-1 rule and having both local and cloud storage space to put your SMS backup is generally a good idea.

If you have a rooted device, you should first look for your messages in the “com.android.providers.telephony” folder. However, for the vast majority of people who don’t root their phones, you’re going to need to use some kind of backup software to protect your messages.

  • 07/27/2021

    Cloudwards updated this article with new information and rearranged to a step-by-step structure.

  • The easiest way to make backups of text messages is to use Android’s integration of Google Drive, which will let you automatically save any texts to the cloud. However, you can also use third-party services like IDrive to save your data to the cloud.

  • To transfer your text messages on a new Android phone, move the backup file over to the new device, download the service you used to create the backup, connect your new device to your old account (if necessary) and find the “restore” setting in the app’s menu.

How to Backup Text Messages on Android Using the Built-in Google Drive Backup 

If you don’t want to download a third-party app and don’t mind using Google Drive to store the backup, then the backup feature built into Android will work fine. (Read our full Google Drive review if you want to learn more about this service.) It’ll also backup your call history, device settings, contacts and app data alongside your messages for a more complete backup.

Although you won’t be able to access this backup directly, you will be able to restore your messages on any Android device. You can do this by logging in to your Google account on a second phone and choosing the “restore” option.

  1. Find Your Google Settings

    Launch the settings app, then scroll down and tap “Google.”

    backup sms google drive settings
  2. Choose to Use the Backup Service

    In the “services on this device” list, select “backup.” 

    backup sms google drive choose to backup
  3. Start Backing Up Your Data to Google Drive

    With the “back up to Google Drive” option enabled, tap “back up now.”

    backup sms google drive begin backup

How to Backup and Restore Text Messages on Android With an SD Card 

Although simply moving files shouldn’t require software, without a rooted device, you’ll need third-party apps to access your SMS messages in the first place. Luckily, with the right software, you can save this backup anywhere you want, including an SD card or online backup service.

We’ll use the “SMS Backup & Restore” app for this guide, as it’s a popular, easy-to-use program. However, options like “SMS Backup+” and “Super Backup & Restore” are also great ways to create your backups.

  1. Install Your SMS Backup App

    First, you’ll need to go into the Google Play Store, install the free “SMS Backup & Restore” app and launch it.

    backup sms backup and restore install
  2. Give the App the Requested Permissions

    In order to access your messages and call logs, the app will need several permissions. Tap “get started” and allow these permissions to continue.

    backup sms backup and restore give permissions
  3. Choose to Set Up a Backup

    On the home screen, click the large green button labeled “set up a backup.”

    backup sms backup and restore set up backup
  4. Select What You Want to Backup

    Here you can choose to backup SMS, MMS and call logs. If you can’t see MMS messages, make sure you tap “advanced options.” When you’ve selected what you want, tap “next.”

    backup sms backup and restore modify backup
  5. Save the Backup to Your Phone

    There are options to save the backup to Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive. However, to save it to an SD card, you need to tap “your phone.”

    backup sms backup and restore save to phone
  6. Choose the Destination Folder

    Tap “your own folder” and select your SD card. You can also save it to your internal storage, which will allow you to upload it to the cloud or your computer.

    backup sms backup and restore save to an sd card
  7. Schedule Recurring Backups

    “SMS Backup & Restore” lets you update your backup hourly, daily or weekly. Simply select your choice and tap “back up now” to begin the backup.

    backup sms backup and restore schedule auto backup

How to Create an SMS Backup With Cloud Storage

You could also use software like “SMS Backup & Restore” to save your messages to any cloud storage — including our favorites, Sync.com and pCloud. However, online backup providers like IDrive have Android apps that can backup messages without needing a second app (you can read our full IDrive review here). This is how you backup messages through IDrive.

  1. Install IDrive

    In the Google Play Store, find IDrive and tap “install.”

    backup sms idrive install
  2. Create a Free Account

    You can either sign in to an existing account or create a new one. Remember to enable “private encryption” for extra security.

    backup sms idrive create an account
  3. Backup Your Device

    Tap the big red “backup” button in the middle of the screen to go to the “backup your device” section.

    backup sms idrive tap backup
  4. Add SMS and Call Logs to the Backup

    Make sure you select “SMS” and “call logs” before you begin the backup. However, if you’ve forgotten to add either of these, you can simply add it to the backup by going through this process again.

    backup sms idrive add sms and call logs
  5. Begin the Backup

    To get IDrive to start the backup, tap “backup now.”

    backup sms idrive begin backup
  6. View Your Backup

    To view your SMS backup, tap “access and restore” and then “my device backup.”

    backup sms idrive view backup
  7. Check That Your SMS Messages Are All There

    In the “my device backup” screen, you can tap “SMS” to see all of your backed-up SMS text messages and conversations. You can use this to find out if the backup got everything successfully or if you’ll need to run it again.

    backup sms idrive check backup

Final Thoughts 

Backing up text messages on Android might not be a flashy process or immediately useful, but you’ll thank yourself if you ever have to recover the data from your phone. An SMS backup can also be useful if you want to move message files to a new phone and continue where you left off, with all of your conversations kept intact. 

You can even backup other data from your Android phone with these techniques, thanks to excellent services like IDrive including options to backup your music, calendar, documents, photos and more. Also, you can read our full guide on how to backup Android if you want to keep everything safe.

Do you like to keep your data safe? Have you backed up text messages on Android? Did you use any of these methods? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and if you decide to switch devices, we also have a guide on how to backup text messages on iPhone. Thanks for reading.