Transferring SMS from an old iPhone to the new one is one of the most-searched-for things by iPhone users. In fact, I'll extend that demographic and have BlackBerry and Android users too: anyone migrating to the new iPhone wants to know how to transfer SMSes.
If you rely on good old backups (iTunes or iCloud), it's going to be a straight-forward process. You just restore the backup to the device and all the messages appear magically. But it's when you don't want to use backups (or when you can't) that trouble starts to show. But worry not. There's a solution. In fact, quite a lot of them.
Transferring SMS from old iPhone to new
Unless we're talking about a routine backup+restore, we have to rely on third-party softwares to get this done. There are two recommended apps:
iBackupBot is not the easiest way (but it's relatively easy) but it's the cheapest way to transfer SMSes from an old iPhone to the new one. Note that the iBackupBot method only works between two iPhones (or iPads, for that matter).
To transfer SMS from an old iPhone to new one using iBackupBot:
- Download and install iBackupBot on your computer
- Connect your old iPhone to the computer.
- Open iBackupBot
- In the side-bar/pane in iBackupBot, click on your device's name.
- On the right-pane, click on Back Up.
- Now, remove the old iPhone and connect the new one.
- Side-bar, click on the “+” icon next to the new device's name.
- Click on the “+” icon next to User App Files
- Click on User Information Manager
- On the right-pane again, tap on Messages tab
- Click on Restore
- You get this Restore Options window. Leave the settings in default mode and click OK.
- Your iPhone will go through a restore and reboot. Once it reboots, you should see the old SMS/iMessages appear on your new iPhone.
Note that when you restore, iBackupBot writes the whole SMS data as new on the new iPhone. So you'll lose any SMS data you have on the new iPhone before the restore.
The other method is using Phone Transfer. Unlike iBackupBot, Phone Transfer has a more friendly UI. There are also other softwares like CopyTrans which help you transfer SMS/iMessage from your old iPhone to the new one. All these softwares, except iBackupBot, work almost the same way, with similar interfaces.