[2024 Guide] Backup and Restore iMessages on iPhone/iPad

Want to know how to backup and restore iMessages? This guide will introduce 3 iMessages backup and restore methods for you to choose from.


By Lena / Updated on December 28, 2023

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Want to learn iMessages backup and restore method?

iMessage is Apple's built-in instant messaging service, with it you can send or receive not only texts but also emojis, photos, audios, videos, documents and even locations with friends and family. Sometimes, we may need to backup iMessages on iPhone.

● To prevent important iMessages from being lost. If there is no backup, you may lose all those memories because of accidental deletion or other factors. To make sure all memories are safe, it’s a smart idea to backup iMessages on iPhone.
● To free up iPhone storage space. All iMessages are saved on the iPhone, however, the iPhone space is limited, so you have to delete some iMessages to free up space. In order not to lose important messages, backup iMessage is very necessary.

iMessages contain all kinds of information and it’s necessary to spend some time learning how to backup and restore iMessages on iPhone and iPad. When you have a backup of iMessages, you can quickly restore the messages when you need them.

3 ways to backup and restore iMessages

There are 3 ways that can help you backup and restore iMessages on iPhone. Each of the methods has its advantages and disadvantages. You can read first and then choose the most suitable one according to your situation.

Way 3 is a better choice if you want to backup selected messages to computer. (Allows you to view iMessages on computer.)

Way 1. Backup and restore iMessages with iCloud

If you do not have a computer at hand, then you can choose to backup iMessages to iCloud. It provides two iMessages backup and restore methods: only backup iMessages and text messages to cloud server or backup all iPhone content including iMessages.

The free iCloud storage space is limited (5 GB). If you need to back up a lot of iMessages, you may need to pay for more iCloud storage.

How to backup iMessages to iCloud

In iOS 12 and later, you can turn on Messages in iCloud to upload all text messages and iMessages to iCloud server to achieve the backup.

Go to Settings > your name > iCloud to find Messages and toggle it on. When your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi, it will automatically sync iMessages to iCloud.

You can apply this way to transfer messages to new iPhone. The uploaded messages can be viewed on any device using the same Apple ID if the Messages in iCloud is enabled. However, please note that if you delete a message on one device, it will be deleted on every device.

Messages in iCloud

In addition, you can choose to create a backup package to backup all content and settings including the iMessages.

Connect iPhone to Wi-Fi > Go to Settings > your Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup and toggle it on. Then tap Back Up Now to make a backup immediately.

iCloud Backup

How to restore iMessages from iCloud backup

If you want to restore iMessages from iCloud backup, you should first erase the iPhone and then choose to restore from the backup. You will lose all existing data on iPhone so please backup your iPhone in advance.

  • Erase iPhone: Go to Settings > General > Reset (Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset in iOS 15 and later) and choose Erase All Content and Settings option > Enter your passcode to confirm.
  • Set up your iPhone until you access the data transfer screen > Choose Restore from iCloud Backup > Select the correct backup to make it.

Restore iMessages from iCloud Backup

Way 2. Backup and restore iMessages with iTunes

You can also choose to backup and restore iMessages using iTunes. Like iCloud backup, iTunes will backup all iPhone data and only lets you restore everything. But there are still advantages compared to iCloud, computers generally have a lot of storage space, so you don't have to pay extra to get enough space.

How to backup iMessages to iTunes

  • Download and install the latest version of iTunes on computer.
  • Connect iPhone to computer and trust the computer.
  • Click the Device tab > Go to Summary > Choose This Computer > Click Back Up Now to start the backup.

Backup iMessages with iTunes

How to restore iMessages from iTunes backup

  • Plug in your iPhone and run iTunes.
  • Click the Device tab > Go to Summary.
  • Choose Restore Backup... option and choose a backup to restore.

Restore iMessages from iTunes Backup

Way 3. Backup and restore iMessages via FoneTool

If neither iCloud nor iTunes can meet your needs, then you use one third-party backup tool such as FoneTool to achieve iMessages backup and restore. This tool is recommended if you want to:

  • backup iMessages to computer/external hard drive/USB flash drive
  • backup selected iMessages instead of all of them
  • view the backed up iMessages on computer
  • run an incremental backup to backup the newly sent/received iMessages
  • restore selected iMessages back to device without data erasing
  • transfer selected iMessages to another iPhone/iPad without data erasing

MobiBackup supports all iPhone models from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 14. You can click the download button below to get it and try it by yourself.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
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How to backup iMessages to computer

Step 1. Launch FoneTool > Connect your iPhone to computer via USB cable > Unlock your iPhone so that MobiBackup can access your device.

Step 2. On the home interface, click Selective Backup option > Click Messages icon.

Custom Backup

Step 3. Select the iMessages you want to backup > Click OK.

Choose iMessages

Step 4. Click Backup Storage Path to choose a storage path to save your iMessages > Click Start Backup.

Backup iMessages

How to restore iMessages from backup

You can check the backup task on Backup Management interface, from there you can view the backup files, restore the backup files, run an incremental backup, delete the backup files.

  • To restore iMessages from backup, you can click the Restore button and select the iMessages you need.
  • If you want to transfer the iMessages to another iPhone or iPad, please connect the device to computer and perform the restoration to achieve the transfer.

Restore iMessages from Backup

With only a few clicks, your iMessages will be backed up to the right place. You can also choose to backup photos, videos, music and contacts.

Besides backup and restore, MobiBackup also allows you to transfer photos, videos, songs and contacts between iPhone and computer, between iPhone and another iPhone/iPad.

Final words

That’s all about how to backup and restore iMessages on iPhone. There are 3 methods for you to choose from.

  • If you have enough iCloud storage space, then you can turn on Messages in iCloud to upload all messages to the server.
  • If you want to backup iMessages as well as other iPhone data, then you can let iTunes help you create a backup package.
  • If you prefer to backup selected iMessages to computer/external drive/USB, then FoneTool is the best choice.

Which method do you prefer? If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we will reply to you as soon as possible.