How to backup and save text messages on an Android phone

Do you need to backup important text messages on your Android Smartphone or make sure they are safe and secure? Here’s a few ways to save your SMS messages from your device.

It’s a good idea to stay on top of your message management and do some cleaning on your Smartphone every so often. It’s amazing on how fast SMS messages can add up. Sometimes there are important messages that you need to keep though. Harassing messages from an X, important names and numbers, important info sent to you from work or school, whatever the reason if you need to save your Text messages here are a few of the easiest and most affordable ways to do so.

Unfortunately there is no default way to backup SMS (text messages) on phones running on the Android OS (Operating System), at least not yet anyways. Lucky for us where there’s a will there’s a way and I’ll show you a few ways to do this.

Due to the power and convenience of the Android Play Store there are some pretty good apps that that will fulfill our needs.

SMS Backup and Restore

This app is awesome when it comes to backing up your messages and conversations to a memory card and you can even e-mail your backed up files as well, SMS Backup and Restore is what I recommend as your first choice when choosing an app to save your messages, and best of all its FREE.

Hop onto the Play Store and do a search for “SMS Backup” or “SMS Backup and Restore” then install and open the app. I am not going to go into too many details as to how to use the app, simply because It’s very user friendly and you shouldn’t have any problems performing a manual backup, setting up automatic backups, choosing which conversations you want to backup, and review or go over what you have backed up.

Note: if you don’t have a memory card then… get one! Ha, ha, just kidding, but seriously a memory card makes your life so much easier when it comes to backing up saving and securing information on your phone. If you don’t have one then look into what memory card might be right for you. If you don’t have a memory card than I recommend you e-mail a copy to yourself before resetting the device. Open the email as well to make sure you got everything as an extra precaution.

You can read more about this application here.

Saving to your Gmail account with SMS Backup +

SMS Backup + is another good free app for saving Messages, this one allows you to save your information to the Google account you already have setup on your phone. If you don’t remember your Gmail account then go into the phones Settings and then go to Accounts (it sometimes says Accounts and Sync), on that Accounts page you should be able to see the Gmail account you used to setup your phone. If you’re doing a reset on your phone then click on that Gmail account and make sure it shows the days date next to sync contacts, that way when you reset your phone and log into your Gmail your contacts will pull back automatically, but that’s really for another post. If you need some tips on how to reset your Android Smartphone you can read more here, but I digress.

Start out by logging into your Gmail account; you can do this at Go to the Settings and then Forwarding and POP/IMAP and than Enable IMAP, then Save Changes.

Once you have done that your Gmail account is ready but you need to still setup the app. Go to the Play Store and download the SMS Backup+, then open it, tap Connect, Log into the Gmail account you want your messages synced to, you might need to Grant access to the app to use your Gmail. Backup your messages (this is your goal in the first place so don’t skip this step tap backup). It will give you progress bar as it starts backing up your information.

Then hop on over to your Gmail account, click on the SMS option, usually located on the side of the screen, and BOOM all your messages should now be saved to your Gmail account.

Note: I recommend you setup the apps Auto backup as well, not too often because it’s going to use a data connection to do so, but daily wouldn’t be a bad idea, perhaps in the evening when your phone is at home and connected to a home WiFi for internet as opposed to using the data plan from your wireless provider. Auto backup will allow you to sort of set and forget just in case anything happens to the device you will be covered.

Forwarding Messages

The two apps mentioned above should be more than enough to backup your messages. If for some reason these options are not available then you should be able to forward your messages to a friend or family member or possibly even an email address. This can be time consuming if you have quite a few messages but it is an option.

Good Old Pen or Paper

Pretty old school I know, but you got to do what you got to do, if you have basic information that you need recorded than write it down and make sure you got a hard copy just in case.

Other Things to Consider

The apps mentioned above are a great choice if your phone is acting strange or giving you issues and you need to perform a reset on the device, that way you don’t lose your texts along with everything else. For a tool that can backup more than just your SMS messages look into the Titanium Backup application.

Note: these apps are great when it comes to SMS (texts) but some are not intended for MMS (Multi Media Messaging like pictures and videos) so save any important pictures from these messages to your SD card or make sure that the app you chose saved them as well.


So enjoy the newfound knowledge that your text messages are secure and safe on your SD card or Gmail account. Also don’t forget that new applications are being created every day and that you can hop onto the Play Store and do your own search for any new messaging or backup applications that might be available. Just remember to watch what apps you download onto your phone, if you ever download an app and your phone starts acting up or having issues then you should uninstall and refrain from using that app. Other than that you should be in pretty good shape when it comes to saving your messages and I hope you enjoyed the article.

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2 thoughts on “How to backup and save text messages on an Android phone”

  1. Great article
    Absolutely love your series (associated links) of Android information. Clear, detailed and informative for everyone including the non-techy. Thanks for taking the time to write these articles.

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