When you back up your iPhone to your computer using iTunes, it creates a single database file containing all of your iPhone's data. However, these backup files can only be reloaded to an iPhone for viewing -- you cannot open and read them on a computer. Third-party apps, such as PhoneView, DiskAid and iExplorer can download text message logs from your iPhone, so that you can store and read them on your computer.

PhoneView

Step 1

Visit the Ecamm developer webpage and download the desktop Phoneview software, priced at $30 as of October 2013 (link in Resources). Run the installation package.

Step 2

Launch PhoneView and connect your iPhone to your computer with the USB cable.

Step 3

Select "Messages" and your iPhone text message conversations will appear.

Step 4

Highlight the messages you wish to copy and click "Copy from iPhone." You will be prompted to choose a hard drive location for the message logs. Click "Save."

DiskAid

Step 1

Visit the DigiDNA developer website and purchase the DiskAid software, which was listed for $30 as of October 2013 (link in Resources). Download and run the PC installation package.

Step 2

Connect your iPhone to your computer with the USB cable.

Step 3

Launch DiskAid and select "Messages" from the sidebar, under the "Data" category.

Step 4

Highlight the conversations you want to save and select "Copy to computer."

IExplorer

Step 1

Purchase iExplorer from the Macroplant developer website link in Resources); the program costs $35 as of October 2013. Download and install the software.

Step 2

Plug your iPhone into the computer with your USB cable.

Step 3

Launch iExplorer and click on the "Data" tab.

Step 4

Select "Messages" and highlight the conversations you wish to save.

Step 5

Select a message log format by clicking "Export to PDF," "Export All Images" or "Export to TXT."