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.
- 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.
Cloudwards updated this article with new information and rearranged to a step-by-step structure.
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.
- Find Your Google Settings
Launch the settings app, then scroll down and tap “Google.”
- Choose to Use the Backup Service
In the “services on this device” list, select “backup.”
- Start Backing Up Your Data to Google Drive
With the “back up to Google Drive” option enabled, tap “back up now.”
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Choose to Set Up a Backup
On the home screen, click the large green button labeled “set up a backup.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Install IDrive
In the Google Play Store, find IDrive and tap “install.”
- 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 Your Device
Tap the big red “backup” button in the middle of the screen to go to the “backup your device” section.
- 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.
- Begin the Backup
To get IDrive to start the backup, tap “backup now.”
- View Your Backup
To view your SMS backup, tap “access and restore” and then “my device backup.”
- 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.
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.