How to Restore SMS on a Windows Phone

Windows Phone devices use a similar interface to Windows 8 computers.
... Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Windows Phone's built-in Backup feature can be configured to back up text messages to Microsoft SkyDrive. If you subsequently get a new Windows phone, you can restore these text messages alongside your other apps and settings. You can also restore messages to an existing device by resetting your phone first. In order to back up your SMS messages, you must sign in to your phone with a Microsoft account and select “Turn Text Message Backup On” from the device's backup settings menu. This instructs the phone to include text data in its regular cloud backups.

1 Reset Your Phone

2 Left on the Start screen

Flick left on the Start screen to open up the App List and then tap the “Settings” icon.

3 Tap the

Tap the “About” menu option and then select “Reset Your Phone.”

4 Tap Yes on the first warning screen

Tap “Yes” on the first warning screen and then tap “Yes” again on the second warning screen. Your phone will reset itself to default settings, a process which may take a few minutes to complete. Once the device powers back on it will act as a brand-new, unconfigured phone.

5 Restore Backup

6 Sign

Sign in to your phone with the Microsoft account that you have your data backed up to and then tap “Next” to open the “Restore Your Phone” menu.

7 Select the backup

Select the backup that contains the SMS messages you wish to restore and then tap “Next” to open the “Preparing To Restore” screen.

8 Tap Next

Tap “Next” to restore the backup to your phone. This process may take a few minutes to complete.

9 Skip

Tap “Skip” on the “Restored Accounts” screen to complete the restore process and open the phone's Home screen. Open the Messaging app to view the restored messages.

  • Restoring your phone from a backup affects all apps, accounts, messages and settings on your device. The Windows Phone operating system does not allow you to select individual backup components (such as text messages) to restore.
  • Information in this article applies to phones running the Windows Phone 8 operating system. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

Andy Walton has been a technology writer since 2009, specializing in networking and mobile communications. He was previously an IT technician and product manager. Walton is based in Leicester, England, and holds a bachelor's degree in information systems from the University of Leeds.