How to Transfer (Backup/Restore) Android SMS messages from/to Android phone.

Last updated on March 21st, 2015

One of my customers asked me a few days ago how to transfer his personal information (Contacts, Calendar and SMS messages) from his old Android phone to his new one. The first part of this request was easy to do by following a single procedure: the user must sign-in to Google services by using the same Google Account in both devices and then to synchronize all the information stored in Google services (Contacts, Calendar, etc.) with his Android phones.  The second part (to transfer SMS messages) was a little more complex because there is not yet a method to transfer (or backup) Android SMS messages without installing an external app.

After doing some research and tests, I found out that most of SMS Android backup applications create a backup archive of all SMS messages in a XML format which is not easy to be viewed on a desktop computer. So for this task, I decided to use the SMS Backup+ App (by Jan Berkel) because by using this app it is easy to transfer (backup/restore) all your SMS & MMS messages to your Google account and then you are able to view them by using a web browser or transfer them to your new Android device. Furthermore, this app has some very useful features like backup call logs, WhatsApp messages, backing-up schedules, etc.


How to Transfer – Backup / Restore – Android SMS messages with ‘SMS Backup+’ app to (from) Google (Gmail) account.


Step 1. Enable POP/IMAP on Google Mail Settings.

1. Sign-In to your Gmail account using a desktop computer.



2. Click the Gear icon imageon the right and choose “Settings”.


3. Click “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” on the top.


4. Check “Enable IMAP” .



Step 2. Install SMS Backup+ on your Android phone.

1. Open Google Play on your (old) Android Device and search for the “SMS Backup+” App.



2. Tap “Install” to install “SMS Backup+”.


3. Read carefully the SMS Backup+ permission request and tap “Accept” (If you Agree).


4. After the installation, tap to open “SMS Backup+” app.



5. Press “OK” to the information message.



Step 3. Backup (Transfer) your Android SMS messages to your Google account.

1. Open SMS Backup+ app.

2. Tap “Connect” and connect SMS Backup+ app with your Gmail account.


3. Tap to select the Gmail account that you already use to synchronize with your Android phone (Google Mail, Calendar, Contacts, etc.).


4. At Permission request window, tap “Allow Access”.



5. Now, if you want to immediately backup all your SMS messages to your Google account (for the first time) tap “Backup”.*

* Otherwise, tap “Skip” in order to backup them later.



6. Wait until all your SMS messages are backed up on your Google Account.


7. After the backup operation is complete, navigate to your Google account and you will see a new label in the sidebar named SMS. Click on it and you should see all your messages from your Android device.



Additional SMS Backup+ settings.

In order to use SMS Backup+ find and tap to open the app from Apps menu list (Apps > SMS Backup+).

  • Backup: Use it anytime in order to perform a manual backup of your SMS messages.
  • Auto backup:
    – If you want “SMS Backup+” to take automatically backups of your SMS messages, then tap to enable the “Auto Backup” checkbox.


  • Auto backup settings:
    – After you have enabled the Auto Backup option, then tap the “Auto backup settings” option to define backup schedule time (e.g. every 2 hours) and connection settings (e.g. only backup when connected to Wifi).



  • Advanced settings.

In Advanced settings you will find some useful options for Backup and Restore operations. For example, you can specify which type of messages you want to backup (e.g. only the SMS or MMS or WhatsApp, the operation logs, notifications, etc.).








How to restore / transfer Android SMS to another Android device.

After you have backed up all your SMS messages to your Google Account as described in the previous steps, then:

1. On the (new) Android phone, go to “Settings” > “Accounts and Sync.

2. Under “Manage Accounts”,  select (or “Add”) the Google account you used to backup your SMS messages.

3. Install the SMS Backup+ app on your device as described in Step-2 of this article.

4. Open SMS Backup+ app and tap “Connect” and connect SMS Backup+ app with your Gmail account.*

Warning: After connection, tap “SKIP” and DO NOT perform the “First Backup”.

5. Finally, from “SMS Backup+”’s main screen, tap “Restore”.

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