How to Transfer Messages from iPhone to iPhone (4 Ways)

You can transfer texts as well as iMessages from one iPhone to another with iCloud syncing, iCloud or iTunes backup, as well as some new way. Keep reading to learn more.

Roger Smith Posted on: Aug. 31, 2018, Last Updated: Oct. 30, 2019
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AnyTrans for iOS – Full-way iPhone Messages Transfer

Free download AnyTrans to 1-click to transfer iPhone messages, including Sms, Mms, iMessage from old iPhone to new iPhone.

Q: “I have a brand-new iPhone. Can I transfer text messages from my iPhone 6 to the new iPhone 11 Pro, because I don’t want to lose the text messages? Is it possible to transfer only messages instead of the whole backing up and restoring process?” Thanks for sharing.

— A User from Apple Support Communities

Apple has released the new iPhone 11 this September. When you get a new iPhone, the first thing you need to do is to transfer data from the old iPhone to the new one. And of course, the text messages (SMS) or iMessages are always something you don’t want to leave behind. In this tutorial, we will share with you 4 ways to move messages from iPhone to iPhone: including the iCloud & iTunes way, as well as a new way to transfer iPhone messages.

Method 1. Transfer iPhone Messages with AnyTrans for iOS

This is a new way to get old messages on new iPhone, the tool we will use is AnyTrans for iOS. It works on both Mac and Windows PC, and it’s compatible with all iPhone models including the latest iPhone 11/11 Pro/Pro Max, as well as iOS 13. Check some of its main features on iPhone Messages management:

AnyTrans for iOS – iPhone Data Transfer

  • Copy ALL messages from iPhone to iPhone in one-click.
  • Transfer all messages like SMS, iMessages, message attachment, etc.
  • No harm to the existing content. No need to erase anything.
  • Export iPhone messages to computer for print and backup.

Free Download100% Clean & Safe

Free Download100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Here is a video tutorial about transferring iPhone messages with AnyTrans.

[Video Tutorial] Transfer Messages from iPhone to iPhone with AnyTrans

Now, Free Download AnyTrans for iOS on your computer firstly, then follow the simple steps below to copy messages from iPhone to iPhone in minutes.

Step 1. Launch AnyTrans for iOS > Connect your two iPhones to computer with USB cables. AnyTrans for iOS will detect the two devices automatically > Click the “Phone Switcher” button.

Enter Phone Switch Part on the Main Interface

Enter Phone Switch Part on the Main Interface

Step 2. Make sure the transferring is correct by checking the target device (the right one). And then click “Next”.

Confirm Target Device and Source Device

Confirm Target Device and Source Device

Step 3. Choose Message among various types of data, and click “Next” to transfer all messages to your new iPhone.

Choose Message and Click Next to Proceed

Choose Message and Click Next to Proceed

It might take a while to finish this transferring process, please be patient and never unplug your device.

Part 2. Transfer Messages with iCloud Backup

Does iCloud backup messages? The answer is YES. For iPhone users, iCloud is the most convenient and most used cloud service to backup iPhone contents in case of any potential data loss. Except for making iPhone backups, iCloud also can be used to transfer or move data from one iPhone to another. The messages, including text messages and iMessages, are all included. Next, we will show you how to transfer text messages and iMessages from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud backup.

Before you start:

  • Transferring messages from iPhone to iPhone 11 highly depends on Wi-Fi connection. If your iPhones are under poor Wi-Fi connection, the transferring process may be quite time-consuming, or worse, the transferring process gets interrupted.
  • iCloud restoring process involves erasing all exist contents from your new iPhone. That’s to say, if there are some data on your new iPhone, they will be deleted during the transfer.
  • Besides messages, all other unwanted contents like contacts, settings will also be transferred to your new iPhone.

Steps to transfer messages from iPhone to iPhone by iCloud restore:

1. Connect both of your iPhones in charge and Wi-Fi connection.

2. On your old iPhone: Go to Settings > Tap your Account Name at the top of the screen > Tap iCloud > Scroll down and tap iCloud Backup.

3. Tap on the Back Up Now option, then it will start backing up your iPhone, you just need to wait for it finishes.

4. Take out your new iPhone. You need to ease all the content and settings on your iPhone:  Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings > Erase iPhone > Set up and activate your iPhone again > Select Restore from iCloud Backup > Select the back you just created.

Note: If it is a new one and hasn’t been activated, please set up and activate it firstly, till when asked tap Restore from iCloud Backup. Then tap Next > Enter your Apple ID and password > Select the backup you created above.

6. Wait for the restoring process finishes, and all the messages on your old iPhone will be transferred to the new one.

Transfer Messages  to New iPhone - Restore from iCloud Backup

Transfer Messages  to New iPhone – Restore from iCloud Backup

Part 3: Sync Messages from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud Syncing (iOS 12 or later)

Besides, since iOS 11.4 released, Apple has already brought back the Message in the iCloud feature. This feature enables users to share messages across different devices. So you can also apply this feature to transfer messages from old iPhone to new iPhone.

  • This method only works for those iPhones are running iOS 12 or later.
  • With this method, only the iMessages can be synced to another iPhone. In other words, the messages sent by other iPhone users can be moved, if some of your friends or family working with Android devices, their messages won’t be moved.

1. On one iPhone, go to Settings > Click the account name > Choose iCloud.

2. Scroll down to locate Messages > Toggle it on if it is not, then all iMessages on it will be synced to iCloud. Please make sure your iPhone has connected with stable Wi-Fi.

3. On another iPhone, do the same as above. And then both devices will share all the iMessages.

One thing that needs to mention is that iCloud won’t inform you when the sync process is finished, so you need to check the process by yourself.

Sync iMessages from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud Syncing

Sync iMessages from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud Syncing


Method 4: How to Transfer Messages from iPhone to iPhone with iTunes

  • It backs up the whole device, and restore the whole backup file to the new iPhone. You can’t restore only messages via iTunes, it will be a full restore.
  • Like restoring from iCloud, the files on your target iPhone will be erased firstly.  All the data on your target iPhone will be replaced with the files in your iTunes backup.
  • To transfer messages from iPhone to iPhone 11 with iTunes, you need to back up messages from the old iPhone, and then restore your messages to the target iPhone.

Detailed steps to backup iPhone messages to computer with iTunes and restore to new iPhone:

1. Connect your old iPhone to your computer via USB cable > Launch the iTunes app on your computer. Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.

2. Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod when it appears in iTunes > Click on Back Up Now option to back up your old iPhone.

Back Up Your Old iPhone with iTunes

Back-Up Your Old iPhone with iTunes

3. After the process completes, you can see if the backup finished successfully on the Summary screen in iTunes.

4. Open your new iPhone and reach to the App & Data screen > Tap on Restore from iTunes Backup. If you already set up your new device, you need to erase it first.

Restore from iTunes Backup Screen

Restore from iTunes Backup Screen

5. Connect your new iPhone to your computer with USB cable > Open iTunes on your computer and select your device.

6. Click on Restore Backup option > Choose the backup contains the messages you want to transfer.

Bonus Tip: How to Save Messages from iPhone to PC or Mac Computer

For those who want to save iPhone text messages to computer as a backup, iTunes is helpful. You can make an iPhone backup with iTunes on computer, and it will include messages. However, it’s impossible to open and view those iPhone text messages from your iTunes backup.

A new way to try is using AnyTrans for iOS. It helps transfer iPhone messages to PC or Mac, and in a readable format like PDF, HTML, TXT. With the one-click export feature, all iPhone messages with attachments will be exported to the computer in different folders as you need. Here is a step-by-step tutorial tells you How to Save iPhone Messages to PC/Mac Computer >

Save iPhone Text Messages to PC/Mac

Save iPhone Text Messages to PC/Mac

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Trouble Shooting: Messages Didn’t Transfer to New iPhone

I am transferring my iPhone X to a new iPhone Xs Max. My messages on the new phone stop about six weeks before today. All of the messages prior to that did transfer. The missing messages are still on my iPhone X and on my iMac. How do I get them back on my new phone?

— A User from Appple Support Communities

Some users report that messages on their old iPhone didn’t transfer to the new iPhone. And here are some tips you can try if you have the same problem:

  •  Make sure you have turned on iMessage sync in the iCloud preferences: Go to Settings on iPhone > Tap your Apple ID > iCloud > Turn on Messages.
  • Make sure both iPhones are logged in with same iCloud account.
  • Enable Wi-Fi on both iPhones. It may take some time if there are lots of data to sync.
  • Try resetting iPhone: Go to Settings app > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, that’s all about transferring messages between two iPhones. In addition, if you want to transfer more data to your new iPhone, or to computer, and vice versa, you can download the free trial of AnyTrans for iOS to give it a try. If you have any problems with iPhone transferring, please leave a comment and we are happy to help.

Roger Smith

Work for iMobie team for 5 years as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS or Android related issues.