Best Tips on How to Archive Messages on iPhone

If you are looking to archive messages on your iPhone, you have come to the right place. This guide tells you if it is possible to archive messages on an iOS device, and if so, then how you can go about doing that on your device.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Mar. 09, 2021

For legal purposes, I must archive specific text messages received from multiple individuals. However, an archiving or “save as” option does not appear to exist on my iPad (or iPhone). Backing up the text messages to icloud, unfortunately is not appropriate for my purposes.

Any assistance or advice on archiving text messages would be appreciated.

You may need to archive iPhone messages for print or other purposes like the above user. However, one of the things you can do when you have finished your task with a message on your iPhone is to delete that message. And this makes you lose the opportunity to ever see that message again on your device. Here in this post, we will discuss some tips to archive messages on iPhone. Also, you may find a way to retrieve archived text messages.

Let us find out what the deal with archiving messages and emails on an iPhone is.

Can you Hide or Archive Messages on iPhone?

By now, you have probably checked out all the options in the Messages app on your iPhone to see if there is an archive option.

Unfortunately, the iPhone does not offer the option to archive your messages. You can delete your messages, which means your messages will be gone, but you cannot move your messages to an archive section.

How to Archive iPhone Messages

Just because the stock Messages app lacks the archive option does not mean you have no ways at all to archive your iPhone messages. There are some ways that you can use to do this task.

Method 1. Take a Screenshot of Your Messages

Believe it or not, taking a screenshot of your messages is the easiest way to archive your messages in some sense. You have probably already been capturing screenshots on your iPhone, and you can now use that very same feature for message archiving.

Since this will create new images in the Photos app, make sure your phone has enough storage to store these new files.

  • Open the Messages app on your iPhone and tap the message you want to archive.
  • Take a screenshot of the message. On most iPhones, you can do this by pressing the Home and Power buttons at the same time.

On the iPhones with Face ID, press the Side button and the Volume Up button at the same time.

  • Get back to the main Messages interface and tap Edit in the top-left corner.
  • Select the messages you just took a screenshot of, and tap Delete.
Delete the Messages that You Now Have Screenshots

Delete the Messages that You Now Have Screenshots

If you ever want to find the archived text messages on your iPhone, simply open the Photos app and you will see the screenshots of your messages.

Method 2. Save the Messages in Notes

Since text messages are basically nothing but some blocks of text, you can actually save the text from your messages to the Notes app on your iPhone. Then, you can get rid of those messages from the main app.

This method makes the whole job of archiving messages easier and more organized.

  1. Launch the Messages app and access the message you want to archive.
  2. Tap and hold on the message and select Copy.
  3. Launch the Notes app, start a new note, tap and hold on the blank area in the new note, and select Paste.

    Store a Copy of Messages in Notes

    Store a Copy of Messages in Notes

  4. Get back to the Messages app and delete your message.

If you ever need to retrieve your archived text messages, launch the Notes app and you will find all your messages there.

Method 3. Archive Messages with iOS Data Manager

Except for the above methods, you can also try to extract and back up iPhone messages with the professional iOS data manager. Here we’d like to recommend AnyTrans to you. You can check the features below to see how can it help you easily:

  • It allows you to back up iPhone messages wholly with archival backups, which means that you can create multiple backups without overwriting data earlier.
  • Also, you can transfer special messages on computer in different folders you created.
  • What’s more, AnyTrans enables you to find and recover those archived text messages. So you can unarchive the data according to your needs.
  • And AnyTrans will keep your data safely and securely.

Now, you can get the latest version of AnyTrans on your PC/Mac, and follow the simple steps below to achieve messages on iPhone and retrieve archived messages:

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Tip 1. How to Archive Messages with Backup Manager

Step 1. Go to Backup Manager

Once you launch AnyTrans, you can find Backup Manager as the picture shows below. Connect your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch and tap on Back Up Now.

Choose AnyTrans Backup Manager

Choose AnyTrans Backup Manager

Step 2. Here are some options that you can choose. Change Backup location and start backing up.

Make Backups with AnyTrans

Make Backups with AnyTrans

Tip 2. How to Access and Restore Archived Messages

Step 1. Click Backup History

Go to Backup Manager and Backup History, which allows you to view and manage your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch backups.

Choose Backup Manager and Click Backup History

Choose Backup Manager and Click Backup History

Step 2. Find and Open Archival Backups

Here you can view all archival backups. And you can restore them directly. Or, click Open button to view the special data files. Also, you can delete or find them on your computer folder.

Find and Open Archival Backups

Find and Open Archival Backups

Step 3. Unarchive Text Messages

Next,  AnyTrans will give you the option to retrieve messages to PC or print them according to your needs. Select one message list and click To PC button.

Retrieve Archived Text Messages

Retrieve Archived Text Messages

Also Read: How to Transfer Text Messages from iPhone to Computer >

Method 4. Use iTunes to Archive iPhone Messages

As you already know, iTunes lets you create full backups of your iPhone and these backups include your text messages. You can make a backup of your phone with this app, and then head to a specific folder on your computer to find your messages.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes on your computer.

Step 2. Click your iPhone at the top and then select the Summary tab on the left.

Step 3. On the right pane, click the Back Up Now button to start backing up your iPhone with your computer.

Archive iPhone Messages with iTunes

Archive iPhone Messages with iTunes

Step 4. Once the backup is created, launch the Messages app on your iPhone and you can delete all your messages.

To unarchive your text messages on your iPhone, you are going to need to head to the following folder on your specific computer, and then find a file that has your messages saved in it.

On Windows, head to C:\Users[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup and use an SQLite editor to open your text message files.

On macOS, navigate to the Library > Application Support > MobileSync > Backup directory and find files with either mdbackup, mddata, or mdinfo extension. Use an SQLite editor to read these files and access your messages.

How to Archive Emails on iPhone

Unlike text messages, your iPhone allows you to archive your emails. This way, you can get your emails out of your sight but without deleting them in the Mail app on your phone. You can always view your archived emails by tapping an option in the Mail app.

Step 1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Mail.

Step 2. Select Swipe Options followed by Swipe Right. This lets you assign a task to the swipe actions.

Step 3. You will see a few actions on your screen. Tap the one that says Archive.

Archive Emails on iPhone

Archive Emails on iPhone

Step 4. Open the Mail app on your iPhone, find the email you want to archive, and swipe right on that email. Your email will instantly be archived.

The Bottom Line

If you want to remove messages but without deleting them on your iPhone, archiving your messages is how you do that. The guide above should teach you various ways to archive text messages as well as emails, so your apps look uncluttered but without losing any content. And AnyTrans can help you easily archive messages on iPhone, access and retrieve archived messages when you need. If you want to manage iPhone/iPad/iPod data flexibly, why not give AnyTrans a try here?

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.