If you're selling your old iPhone on the used market, and want to back up your text messages, or you need to back up your text messages from a business-provided iPhone, you'll need a separate utility to do the task. There are third party iOS file explorers that enable you to retrieve your old SMS messages from your iPhone.

Using DiskAid

Step 1

Download and install the DiskAid program on your computer. A free trial period should see you through this process.

Step 2

Connect your iPhone to the computer with the USB cable. Turn off iTunes when it launches and start DiskAid instead.

Step 3

Click on "iMessage" within DiskAid.

Step 4

Choose the export format from the available options. You can export to plain text, PDF or comma separated values depending on which application you plan to use to read them.

Using iExplore

Step 1

Download and install the iExplore program on your computer.

Step 2

Connect your iPhone to the computer with the USB cable. Shut down iTunes when it launches and launch iExplore instead.

Step 3

Click on "Backups" and then "Messages." A list of all the people you've had SMS conversations with will display; select one (or shift-click to select multiple conversations.)

Step 4

Click "Export" and choose an export format.

Using iFunBox

Step 1

Download and install iFunBox on your computer.

Step 2

Connect your iPhone via USB cable. Turn off iTunes if it starts and launch iFunBox instead.

Step 3

Click on "Raw File System" to display a series of folders. Click on "User," then "Library," then "SMS" to get to the SMS folder.

Step 4

Copy the file "sms.db" from that directory to your computer; this is the database with all your SMS messages. To load the SMS messages to a new iPhone, repeat this process, but copy the file "sms.db" to the new iPhone.