How to download Messages to PC?

titan97

Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
550
I'm in the middle of a ongoing divorce battle and my ex's lawyer has issued a request for all texts between my ex and I. We both have iPhones. Is there a way to download/backup/copy/whatever all of our texts to a PC? I'd rather not have to take a billion screenshots. I don't have a jailbroken phone.
 

ghostwich

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
1,918
Ouch sorry to hear that.

You probably want to answer a few questions first:
  • Have you enabled iMessage (and if yes, have you backed it up to iCloud?)
  • Do you have access to a Mac?
  • Do you have any backups (and if yes, are they in iCloud or on a computer you still have access to?)
Those will sort of guide you on what options you have to get those messages into a different format.

A question not technical in nature- what's your lawyer's stance on the request for text messages?
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
52,003
Get another phone and take pictures of every screen. Print off on paper. Put in random order. Hand those over and smile.
 

titan97

Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
550
Ouch sorry to hear that.

You probably want to answer a few questions first:
  • Have you enabled iMessage (and if yes, have you backed it up to iCloud?)
  • Do you have access to a Mac?
  • Do you have any backups (and if yes, are they in iCloud or on a computer you still have access to?)
Those will sort of guide you on what options you have to get those messages into a different format.

A question not technical in nature- what's your lawyer's stance on the request for text messages?
iMessage is enabled.
I don't have access to a Mac
All of my backups are on iCloud, although I could probably do an iTunes backup if that would help.
 

vegeta535

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
6,258
Are you even required to hand over them by the wife's lawyer with out a judges order? I wouldn't since he is looking to find something to use against you. He won't use anything that favors you. I really hope you got your own lawyer.
 
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titan97

Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
550
Are you even required to hand over them by the wife's lawyer with out a judges order? I wouldn't since he is looking to find something to use against you. He won't use anything that favors you.
It's part of the discovery process. We can object, but we better have a better reason than "I don't want to turn them over." I don't have to turn them over if it requires extraordinary efforts or cost. However, I have several texts that I do plan to submit to use against her, but those are just a couple of dozen screenshots, which are much more manageable than the 3.5 years of texting that has happened since the divorce was finalized.
 

vegeta535

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
6,258
It's part of the discovery process. We can object, but we better have a better reason than "I don't want to turn them over." I don't have to turn them over if it requires extraordinary efforts or cost. However, I have several texts that I do plan to submit to use against her, but those are just a couple of dozen screenshots, which are much more manageable than the 3.5 years of texting that has happened since the divorce was finalized.
I see. I wish you the best of luck. It is such a shitty situation.
 

ghostwich

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
1,918
iMessage is enabled.
I don't have access to a Mac
All of my backups are on iCloud, although I could probably do an iTunes backup if that would help.
iMessage has some settings on how older messages are saved, for how long, etc. - so I would do some research on what your settings are. As for getting messages off your phone, this might help- I have no experience with this program, but a quick search (just look for things like "export iMessage backup") turned it up:

https://macroplant.com/iexplorer/export-iphone-messages-voicemail-contacts

I remember doing this kind of thing many years ago (when I used to have iTunes installed on Windows), but I haven't had an offline backup of my phone in many years either.

Screenshots can be doctored, of course, and you could make a point that this kind of backup can, too.

Best of luck.
 

Shoganai

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
1,033
I saw that program, plus the iExplorer one in my search, but they all seem sketchy. Have you used the iMobie one?
Yes, I've used both iExplorer and AnyTrans and both are not sketchy. They work well and they both have an app for Mac and Windows. I prefer AnyTrans simply because it seems to get updates more often.
 

titan97

Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
550
Yes, I've used both iExplorer and AnyTrans and both are not sketchy. They work well and they both have an app for Mac and Windows. I prefer AnyTrans simply because it seems to get updates more often.
I'll give AnyTrans a go. I can't (quickly) find a reason for the paid version. Any ideas on what that gives me?
 

titan97

Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
550
I ended up using AnyTrans to download the last 12-months of texts, printed them to a PDF, and sent the lawyers 319 pages of dialog to sift through. Thanks [H]!
 
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