How to Transfer Text Messages from iPhone to Computer for Free

How to download or export text messages from iPhone to computer? This guide shows you ways to transfer and backup iPhone messages to computer.

Author Avatar Joy Taylor Last Updated: Jul. 30, 2021

Messages app is an important tool for you to contact and communicate with your family, friends, or workmate. There are many text conversations, photos, videos, and other attachments saved in the Messages app. To avoid text messages that could be disappeared due to various factors, such as iOS upgrading, jailbreak, water damaged, etc, you need to transfer those messages to the computer as a backup. And sometimes, you want to save some text for print need or in PDF format. For whatever reason, there are useful ways for you to transfer iPhone messages to a computer for free, also you can save the one you want in other formats.

Tansfer Text Messages from iPhone to Computer

Transfer Text Messages from iPhone to Computer

Quick Tips to Save iPhone Text Messages

  • Make a full iPhone backup with iTunes on PC or Mac computer which will contain your iPhone messages. But you can’t view those messages from iTunes backup without a third-party app’s help.
  • On your Mac computer, you can log in with the same Apple ID in iMessage app, and sync messages between your Mac and computer.
  • Screenshot the text messages on your iPhone and save the photos to your iPhone and then transfer those pictures to your computer.
  • Try some iPhone data transfer or iTunes backup extractor to export text messages from iPhone or extract messages from backup.

Transfer Text Messages from iPhone to Computer without iTunes

To download text messages from iPhone to the computer, all you need is a professional iOS data transfer AnyTrans, why?

  • It enables you to export all text messages (SMS)/iMessages from iPhone in just one click, then view messages on computer without phone.
  • Save text messages on iPhone as a PDF, or other formats like .txt and .html.
  • Besides Text Messages, it also supports transferring more than 24 other types of iOS data, like photos, videos, notes, etc.
  • Work well on transferring messages to your new iPhone too.
  • Help you make a full backup of iPhone data including messages, and you can view them on computer at any time.

Here are the detailed steps to download iPhone messages to PC:

Step 1. Download AnyTrans and install it on your computer > Launch it > Connect your iPhone to computer (PC or Mac) with a USB cable. Choose the Device Manager in the main interface.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Choose the Messages category to enter the Messages manage page.

Click Messages in AnyTrans

Click Messages in AnyTrans

If this is the first time you try AnyTrans, it will ask you to make a backup of your iPhone and then AnyTrans can access the text messages on your iPhone. It takes a few minutes, please be patient.

Step 3. Preview and select text messages you want to transfer. Tap To PC button in the upper right corner to transfer text messages to the computer.

Step 4. Under To PC button, you can choose to export iPhone messages to .txt, .html or .pdf format.

Export iPhone Messages to TXT, PDF, or HTML

Export iPhone Messages to TXT, PDF, or HTML

AnyTrans works for all iPhones and iOS systems including iOS 14:

  • Supported iPhone: iPhone 5/5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6/6s (Plus), iPhone 7 (Plus), iPhone 8 (Plus), iPhone X/11 series, iPhone 12/12 mini/12 pro/pro max.
  • Supported Computer: Windows 7/8/10, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc.

Video tutorial on how to transfer iPhone messages to computer with AnyTrans:

Transfer iPhone Text Messages to Computer for Free (on Mac)

If you are a Mac user, congratulations, you can export your iPhone messages to Mac by syncing with the iMessage app. The step-by-step guide below will show you how. Please keep reading and learn more about it.

Step 1. Find the icon of the Messages app on your Mac and launch it.

Step 2. Sign in with the same Apple ID you used on your iPhone.

Step 3. Once you have logged in, your messages on iPhone will be synced to your Mac automatically.

Check the Messages on Mac

Check the Messages on Mac

Transfer iPhone Messages to Computer with iTunes for Free

With iTunes, you can make a backup of your iPhone on the computer and it will contain messages. But as we mentioned, you are not allowed to view the exact content of your messages.

Steps to Transfer Messages from iPhone to Computer with iTunes

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Windows or Mac computer and launch iTunes if it doesn’t open automatically.
  2. Trust the computer on your iPhone.
  3. Click the iPhone icon in iTunes. Check this article if your iPhone has problems with iTunes.
  4. Click Back Up Now to back up your iPhone to the computer.
  5. Then your iPhone backup, including Messages and other data would be stored. And whenever you want to restore messages from iTunes backup, it’s useful.
Backup iPhone to iTunes

Backup iPhone to iTunes

Where to Find iTunes Backup on Computer

After backing up your iPhone to computer, you can find the backups but you are not allowed to view them. Here is where iTunes backups stored on computer:

On a Windows computer, the location of your iTunes backup folder is: \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

You can use “Search Bar” on your PC to search “%appdata%”, and then go to Apple Computer > Mobile Sync > Backup, to find all backups files on your Windows computer.

Find iTunes Backup Location on Windows

Find iTunes Backup Location on Windows

On a Mac computer: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

To access backup files, you can go to Finder menu bar > Go > Go to Folder…, > Type into the location > Click “Go”.

Or on iTunes menu bar > iTunes > Preferences… > Devices, control-click a backup and go to show it in finder.

View iPhone Backup on Mac

View iPhone Backup on Mac

If you want to view and export the text messages from the backup, please keep reading the 4th method:

How to View and Export Messages from iTunes Backup

With PhoneRescue for iOS, an iPhone data recovery & backup extractor, you can view and export text messages from iPhone backup. Now download the free trial to have a try:

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 1. Run PhoneRescue for iOS on your computer > Select Recover from iTunes Backup > Click right arrow to continue.

Choose Recover from Backup

Choose Recover from Backup

Step 2. Select the iTunes backup you want to restore messages > Click right arrow > It will pop up a screen for you to choose data types. So choose Messages > Click OK button.

Choose Messages to Scan

Choose Messages to Scan

Step 3. Now, you can preview the Messages and select the items you want to save on computer > Click on To Computer.

Preview and Choose to Recover Texts

Preview and Choose to Recover Texts

Also Read: How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC without iTunes >

The Bottom Line

That’s all about transferring iPhone text messages to a computer. If you have any questions about this guide, please let us know in the comment section or via Email. Also, don’t forget to try AnyTrans on your computer, and you can now download the free trial.

AnyTrans – Full-way iOS Data Manager

Free download AnyTrans to sync iPhone text conversations to computer, you can choose to export as pdf. txt. or html. format. Also, with AnyTrans, printing the messages as you need is easy to do.

Author Avatar
Joy Taylor Twitter Share Facebook Share

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

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