english | deutsch

iPhone backup SMS extractor

..convert your iMessage texts, SMS and address book to PDF, CSV and XML!

new: conversion of iPhone SMS and iMessages to Android format now also supported!


What's this all about?


If you want to export your SMS / texts or address book contacts from an iPhone (i.e. save it onto a PC) and can't use Macintosh tools like Syphone (probably because there is no Syphone for Windows), this webservice may be useful for you: upload your iPhone backup file containing your iMessages or contacts (iTunes creates it with every sync) and in return download your SMS and contacts in plaintext, PDF, CSV or XML for further processing, archiving, recovery, etc. No Jailbreak necessary!
NEW: you can also use this site to convert your iPhone SMS to a XML format which is useable with SMS Backup & Restore in order to store them on your Android phone.
NEW: iOS 7 and iOS 8 compatible!

Try it! Save your iPhone's text messages and address book onto your computer in 3 easy steps:

1. For iMessages / SMS: locate the file named 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28 or sms.db on your computer.
For address book contacts, the file's name is 31bb7ba8914766d4ba40d6dfb6113c8b614be442

  
2. Upload that file to this website:
3. In return, download your iPhone's SMS/texts respectively addresses as PDF, CSV (for use with Excel, etc.) or Android XML!

Can't find the file?

The file containing your iPhone's text messages resp. address book entries is stored on your computer within iTunes' backup folder:
On Windows Vista / Windows 7, you have to go to the folder C:\Users\[your username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\[some id]\ and search for a file named 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28.mddata. Note: the file's extension could also be .mdbackup instead of .mddata or even be empty.
On Windows XP, the folder is named C:\Documents and Settings\[your username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\[some id]\ and on Mac OS X, the file may be located in your home folder: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/backup/[some id]/ but better just try searching it with spotlight.
Starting with Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), Apple has begun to hide the Library folder from the user. To still access it, open a Finder window, press ⇧ + ⌘ + G on your keyboard, type ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync and proceed from there. Alternatively, hold down the Option key ⌥ while accessing the "Go" menu of the Finder and choose the Library menu item as shown here.
If that file does not exist or isn't working, you are probably using an older itunes version. the file you're looking for then is named 0b1fe6f87c054ebb6d00cfafb6bacd343a7f6fa1.mdbackup instead. After you have found the file, upload it to this website and get your texts in PDF-, CSV- or XML-format in return!

Please note: iTunes offers the feature to encrypt the iPhone backup files and/or store them online on iCloud instead of on your computer. Both these features must not be enabled in order to create readable iMessage backup files for this site! In other words, the configuration options in iTunes must exactly look like this:

After changing these settings you need to synchronize your iPhone with iTunes in order to apply them.

How it works:

After syncing an iPhone, iTunes splits the iPhone's backup data (messages, contacts, images from the iphone camera and lots of other stuff) into several files with the extension .mdbackup.
On windows, they're located in C:\Documents and Settings\[your windows login name]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\[some id]\
These files are binary plists. once converted to plaintext plist files which have an xml structure, one can extract the <data> tag which contains the backup content encoded in a sqlite v3 database format. Using php's built-in sqlite functionality it's a simple task to extract the actual data out of that iPhone iMessage backup file then.
Most of the time the file containing sms data is named 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28.mddata, in iTunes versions older than 8.1 it is named 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28.mdbackup or 0b1fe6f87c054ebb6d00cfafb6bacd343a7f6fa1.mdbackup. If you have jailbroken your iPhone, the file is named sms.db. But in rare cases the filename may differ. If so, you can search within all *.mdbackup files for the string "sms.db" to determine which file is the right one. as Windows' built-in file search usually completely fails on this task, an easy way to determine which file contains text/sms data would be using grep for Windows:
execute C:\Documents and Settings\[...]21ae31eddf\>grep -l sms.db * in the iTunes backup folder.


Contact / legal:

Before uploading your iphone backup files to this service please consider that this service is not free of charge and that all content of those files could be (but won't) accessed by the creator of this page. But you should be aware of things like that anyway. All uploaded data is deleted automatically after 24 hours.
Created by: axi[ät]insend.de
Last modified: 2014-07-19