Monday, 27 May 2013

How to back up text messages

It helps a lot if you use an Android phone, where your only hard part is deciding which app you want to use for the job.

And on that operating system, one of the most popular choices is the free SMS Backup+. Once you connect the app to your Gmail account, it automatically backs up your texts and multimedia messages to Gmail (or any other e-mail service that supports IMAP synchronization), where you'll find them under an "SMS" label.

There's also a newer competitor named Uppidy that copies texts to a password-protected page — which makes for a slightly cleaner presentation than shoveling them into an e-mailbox. But storing picture and video messages requires buying a $1.99 "Uppidy+" app.

Your wireless carrier may also have solutions of its own. AT&T offers a Messages app that syncs text messages, plus voicemails and your call log, between your phone, tablet or computer. Verizon recently introduced a similar service, also named Messages — although it syncs only the last 90 days' worth of texts.

Uppidy also makes a desktop iOS-message backup app for Macs and Windows PCs, as well as a Blackberry text-backup tool.

If you only want to back up one or a few special messages — maybe because they're from somebody particularly beloved or famous, maybe because they demonstrate the unintentional comedy of phone-keyboard autocorrect — you don't need to go to any of these extremes. Just take a picture of the screen (press the power and home buttons in iOS, press and hold the power and volume-down buttons on most Android phones) and copy or share that image at will.

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