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How to move text messages to a new phone

How to keep your conversations going across devices.
By
November 18, 2022
Android Messaging apps
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you’ve just snagged a shiny new phone, you likely want to keep your messages. Here’s how to move text messages to a new phone.

Read more: Is your messaging app not working? Try these fixes

QUICK ANSWER

To move text messages to a new Android phone Open Settings on your old phone > Check that you're using the right Google account > Tap Google > Tap Backup > Ensure backups are enabled > Scroll down and ensure SMS and MMS messages are listed> Tap Back up now. Then, turn on your new phone > Log in using the same Google account you used to create the backup > Choose Restore when asked if you want to restore the data connected to your account.

For instructions on transferring text messages to other models of phones, see below.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to move text messages to a new Android phone

A Ggoogle Pixel 7Ppro next to a Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus shwing their home screens. Both rest on a concrete block outdoors.
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

You can use your Android phone and Google account to back up and restore your text messages. First, back up your messages on your old phone:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android phone.
  2. Double-check that you’re backing up to your preferred Google account at the top of the screen.
  3. Tap Google > Backup.
  4. Ensure that backups are enabled.
  5. Scroll down and ensure SMS and MMS messages are listed.
  6. Tap the Back up now button to manually back up your messages.

After you’ve backed up your messages, you can move to your new phone and do the following to download them all:

  1. Turn on your new phone and log in using the same Google account you used to create the backup.
  2. During the setup process, choose Restore when your phone asks if you want to restore the data connected to your account.
  3. After the setup process is complete, you should see your messages in the Messages app.

How to move text messages to a new iPhone

The backs of an iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14, and iPhone 14 placed on a black mat seen from above.
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Like an Android phone, you can use your iCloud account on an iPhone to back up and restore your messages. First, on your old iPhone, do the following:

  1. Ensure you have iOS 11.4 or later installed.
  2. Plug your iPhone in and connect it to Wi-Fi.
  3. Open Settings > Apple ID > iCloud.
  4. Turn on Messages to have them saved to your iCloud account.
  5. This may take a while, so keep your phone plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi until the process is complete.

After your back up your messages, you can transfer them to your new iPhone by doing the following:

  1. Turn on your new iPhone.
  2. Go through the setup steps.
  3. When prompted, tap Restore from iCloud Backup to restore your messages.
  4. The transfer process may take a while, but once it is complete, you should see your messages in the Messages app.

If the above steps don’t work, you can try using a Mac to back up and restore your messages. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open iTunes on your Mac.
  2. Click the iPhone icon.
  3. Under Backups, select This computer. This will save a complete backup of your iPhone to your Mac.
  4. Once the backup is complete, you can download it to your new iPhone during the setup process.

How to move text messages from iPhone to Android

A Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus next to an Apple iPhone 13 showing their home screens. Both rest on a blue, patterned carpet.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

You can transfer messages from an iPhone to an Android phone, but the process will be more involved. Here’s what to do:

  1. Turn on your new Android phone and follow the setup process.
  2. When prompted to “Copy apps & data,” tap Next.
  3. Turn on and unlock your iPhone, then tap Next on the “Use your old phone” screen.
  4. You will need the USB-C to USB-A adapter that came with your phone. Plug the USB-C end into your phone and then connect the other end to your iPhone using a USB-to-Lightning dongle.
  5. Sign in with your Google account when prompted on your Android phone, then hit Next.
  6. You’ll be asked what your want to copy. Make sure you choose Messages along with anything else you wish to copy. Then tap Copy.
  7. Tap Continue.
  8. Continue through the rest of the setup process.
  9. Your Android phone will remind you to disable iMessage on your iPhone. Ensure you do this so you don’t miss out on future messages.

The process is a bit more streamlined if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone. As a bonus, you can do it anytime, not just when setting up your new Android phone. Here’s what to do:

  1. Download the Samsung Smart Switch app on your Samsung device.
  2. Open the app and then select Receive data.
  3. Choose iPhone/iPad as the source. Make sure your iPhone is on and unlocked
  4. Plug the USB-C end of a USB-C to USB-A cable into your Samsung device and the other end into a USB-to-Lighting dongle connected to your iPhone.
  5. The Smart Switch app will automatically search your iPhone. Choose Messages along with other things you wish to transfer.
  6. Tap Transfer.
  7. The transfer process can take some time, but you’ll see a progress indicator on your Samsung device. Ensure that the Keep screen on option is enabled, so nothing gets interrupted.
  8. Once the transfer finishes, tap Next.
  9. Your Samsung phone will remind you to disable iMessage on your iPhone. Ensure you do this so you don’t miss out on future messages.

How to move text messages from Android to iPhone

A Google Pixel 7 next to an Apple iPhone 14 in a wood table showing the two phones' lock screens.
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Apple offers an easy way to move messages from Android to iPhone. Here’s what to do:

  1. Install Move to iOS on your Android phone.
  2. Turn on your new iPhone and begin the setup process. Make sure to connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  3. When the prompt regarding Apps & Data appears, select Move Data from Android.
  4. Make a note of the security code displayed on your iPhone.
  5. Open Move to iOS on your Android device and enter the security code when prompted.
  6. In the Move to iOS app, select the types of data you want to transfer. Ensure you choose Messages.
  7. Complete the setup process on your iPhone.

Read more: Why iMessage is such a big deal

FAQs

It depends. If you already had message backups enabled, then you should be able to get them back. But if not, it is probably too late. Messages are saved locally to a phone unless you have backups enabled, meaning if you get rid of the device, the messages will be gone, too.

Yes, but the exact amount depends on how many there are, how long they are, and whether they contain images and other forms of content in addition to text.

Yes, you can choose to back up your messages only for the transfer process and then revoke the relevant permissions in settings once everything is complete.