There are different ways you can export text messages, iMessages and attached files from iPhone to PC or Mac. iTunes is the official tool for iPhone users to back up content on iPhone, but it is not the easy way. In an earlier guide, we used an easy iTunes alternative to export contacts from iPhone to computer and import contacts from PC to iPhone. Today we will use the same tool to demonstrate how your text messages and iMessages can be copied from iPhone to your PC or Mac for backup or future reference.
Export messages from iPhone to computer
Get the this iPhone file transfer on to your PC or Mac below. We will use the Windows version on a PC in this demo.
Run this phone manager software on your computer and connect up your phone to PC or Mac via USB cable. To download your text messages or iMessages from iPhone to computer, switch from Home to Information tab, click SMS from the left category, then you will see a list of all your chat history via the messages and iMessages. You can click on the contact name to view your chat history with this person on the right column. You can click the checkbox before a conversation to select the whole message thread with this person. You can select multiple text messages, iMessages or simply click the checkbox at the top to quickly select all messages. Then click the Export button from the top tool bar, you will get a drop-down menu with three options: 1) Export to HTML; 2) Export to CSV; 3) Export to Text.
If you save iPhone messages to computer as HTML files, the sent and received files in the messages will also be extracted to computer. If you choose CSV or Text file, you get only the text, no other files will be exported to computer. The HTML export option will create an HTML file for each chat, if you have select multiple chat conversations via text messages or iMesages, you will get multiple HTML files.
Export text messages for printing
Choose HTML as the output file format to save your text messages on PC or Mac as HTML files for printing purpose. HTML along with the CSS will keep your messages well organized in style. They will also look better when you print them out onto papers from any web browser on your computer.
Update May 2018: this article was originally published in July 2017 and has since been updated. In this update, the old Tunesgo iPhone manager was replaced by the new iPhone file transfer above.