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how to store text messages on external drive

wilhelm

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Hello, I've recently had a very frustrating conversation with Apple about the fact that my icloud storage is almost full with the primary culprit being text messages. I could turn off text messages on icloud but I'd like to be able to continue texting from my ipad and keep it up to date with my iphone. So what I want to do is simply download all my text messages (presumably going back to the date I first started using iphone) and store them on an external drive. Well, I've been advised by Apple tech support this is not possible. Texts stored in the ios messages app (or on icloud) can only be stored either on the device or on icloud, nowhere else, says Apple tech support.

My aggravated conclusion is that this is a cheap, underhanded ploy to force me to shell out $ for more icloud storage space. Why the hell should I have do that when I have a 3 terabyte drive sitting here? So I'm pretty frustrated with Apple about this. I should be able to take that data and store it anywhere I like it seems to me. But Apple has basically shut the door in my face on this query, so I've gone hunting for a forum where equally frustrated folks may reside who have found solutions to these $ driven road blocks Apple puts up.

So am I in the right place? If so, then how can I take my text messages off my phone and archive them on an external drive? I just would like to keep the past year or so on the device (and on icloud) and archive the rest. If I'm not in the right place then the question is, where is the right place and can I please have directions? Thanks in advance for any help!!
 
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wilhelm

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IMazing, an excellent backup utility for PC and Mac, backups up messages, which can then be read off line and exported in various formats (pdf, csv, text)

I hope that this helps you.
thank you NSquirrel, this looks like an excellent solution. I am able to see all my texts safely stored on my laptop (something Apple told me could not be done) so deep bow of respect to you.

Now I plan to change my iphone settings to only keep the past year of texts on icloud rather than forever, which should clear out some space on icloud. I also asked iMazing to perform an ongoing backup daily. May I ask a few questions about these things please?
  1. to do the initial backup required that I connect my phone to the laptop usb port but it appears that ongoing backups will be performed wirelessly, as long as the iphone and laptop are on the same wifi, is that correct?
  2. will subsequent backups be merged with the first one or will they be new, separate backups?
  3. the initial backup is about 24 GB and my iphone is 64 GB and I have a never ending reminder “iPhone Storage Almost Full”. So where are the 40 GB that weren’t important enough to be backed up? And if they aren’t important enough to be backed up, do I need them? I’d certainly like to rid myself of that “almost full” message that pesters me daily.
Thank you again, I’m very happy to have found this forum. Cheers!
 

NSquirrel

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Good to know that the solution works for you.

1. I tend to back up via a cable link, but yes to wifi backup. You will soon see if the iphone is recognised by the laptop Via the wifi link.

2. I think that they do merge, but then you can go back to previous backups. So I assume, and others may well correct me or expand on this, the first backup is a full copy and subsequent backups are the incremental changes.

3. The backups are compressed, which explains the 24GB. Also there are various area that Apple do not allow to be backed up and I have never been quite sure what is not backed up.I assume mainly security aspects.

As a precaution, before deleting files, I just look through the backup, with the iPhone disconnected so that I am looking at the backup and not the current contents, just the check that the files will be in the backup.

I hope this is of use.
 

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