How to Transfer Messages from iPhone to iPhone

If you have got a shiny new phone and you do not want to lose any precious SMS messages on your old iPhone, help is at hand. This step-by-step instruction will guide you through how to transfer messages from the iPhone to another iPhone or iPad.

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Updated on Feb 27, 2024

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Applies to: iPhone 13 Pro Max/ 13 Pro/13/13 mini, iPhone 12 Prox Max/12 Pro/12/12 mini, 11 Pro Max/11 Pro/11, iPhone XS Max/XS/XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone7/6, etc.

You may need to transfer text messages from iPhone to iPhone in two typical situations:

  • You get a brand new iPhone and don't wish to lose any messages on your old device, so you may want to transfer these messages to your new device. 
  • You want to deliver some important messages to another iPhone for safekeeping.
  • You want to forward some large messages to someone else but there is no network coverage. 

Whatever your reasons for transferring text messages from iPhone to iPhone, this guide will guide you through the process of doing that. Before proceeding, it's wise for you to back up your iPhone because some of the methods below may cause data loss. (If you use a Mac, check how to transfer messages from iPhone to Mac instead.)

Method 1. Back up Messages from iPhone to Another via iCloud Sync

iCloud provides an easy-to-use backup service to its users. Once you've turned on Apple's Messages in the iCloud service, all of your messages will be backed up to the cloud and synced to different iOS devices signed in to the same iCloud account. (iCloud also works to export iMessage when needed.)

But on the downside, this service has iOS version restrictions - only iOS devices running iOS 11.4 and later versions can get it. You can go to check your iOS version by heading to the Settings > General > Software Update. If your device is running iOS 11.4 or a later version, then you can enable Messages by following the steps below.

Step 1. Open your iPhone and go to the Settings.

Step 2. Click on your Apple ID and then click on the iCloud.

Step 3. Find the Messages and turn on it.

Note: If there is a need, you can download text messages from iPhone to PC in several ways offered in this post.

Method 2. Transfer Messages to a New iPhone

If you have a new iPhone and want to get all of your messages from the old iPhone to the new one, you can sync your new iPhone with the latest iCloud backup. But there are some prerequisites to use this method. 

  • Make sure your iCloud has enough storage space on your new iPhone. Otherwise, the messages that exceed the storage limits won't sync to your new iPhone.
  • Keep your old iPhone in charge and connect it to a stable and reliable Wi-Fi network.

If everything gets ready, you can follow these steps to transfer messages to a new iPhone via iCloud backup.

Step 1. Turn on your new iPhone. 

Step 2. Go through the setup process. (If you have set up your iPhone, you need to go to "Settings" > "General" > "Reset" > "Erase All Content and Settings" to reset your iPhone, by which you can set up your iPhone and go to the Apps & Data screen again.)

Step 3. Tap "Restore from iCloud Backup" when you come to the "Set up your iPhone" page.

Step 4. Enter your Apple ID and password and choose the latest backup. 

Step 5. Then, your new iPhone will start to download all data, including text messages from this backup. 

Step 6. You can see the messages together with other files backed up in iCloud on your old iPhone shown on your new iPhone, which means you have successfully transfer messages from one iPhone to another.

Restore iPhone from iCloud backup

Method 3. Sync Messages from iPhone to iPhone with iTunes

iTunes is also a good option to transfer messages between the iPhones. The steps are very similar to iCloud. First, you need to make a backup of your old iPhone content via iTunes, then restore your new iPhone from the iTunes backup. This may replace all data on the destination device with files you synced from iTunes. If you don't mind it, just follow the detailed steps to do it.

Step 1. Connect your old iPhone to the computer via a USB cable and launch iTunes.

Step 2. Click "Device" within iTunes and choose "Summary". (iPhone 8/X won't connect to iTunes? Fixed here!) 

Step 3. On the left side of the panel, click "This computer" and "Back Up Now" under the Backups section. Next, choose "Apply" to complete the iTunes backup, including text messages.

Step 4. Disconnect the old iPhone, re-connect the new device to the computer and run iTunes again.

Step 5. Go to "Summary" and click "Restore Backup..." to restore the previous backup created just now on your target device. When the process is done, you can view the messages from your old iPhone on your new device.

How to transfer messages from iPhone to iPhone - using iTunes

With one of the two methods above, you can copy messages from one iPhone to another within minutes. Choose the one that you think is better to get things done. If necessary, learn how to make a backup of your iPhone messages to computer from the methods below. (If you want to print text messages from iPhone, the following steps are a major part of the process.)

Bonus Tip--How to back up text messages on iPhone

It's no doubt that you can back up your iPhone text messages using iCloud or iTunes. However, the backup made by iTunes or iCloud is not accessible to you. Thus, if you want to access and view the backup of your iPhone messages (SMS messages and iMessages), using iTunes or iCloud is not a good choice for you. To save your iPhone text messages to the computer and view the backup anytime you like, all you need is EaseUS MobiMover, professional software for iOS data transfer, file management, and video download. 

Now, let's see how to back up your iPhone text messages to the computer with FOUR steps using MobiMover.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to your computer (Mac or PC) and click Trust on your iPhone to trust this computer. Launch EaseUS MobiMover and navigate to "Content Management". Choose "Messages".

How to save iPhone text messages to computer - Step 1

Step 2. Go to "Settings" to choose a folder to save the items to be transferred. 

How to save iPhone text messages to computer - Step 2

Step 3. Select the messages, including text messages (SMS) and iMessages, you want to save from your iPhone to the computer and click the "Transfer to PC" button. After that, MobiMover will start downloading text messages from your iPhone to the computer automatically. When it has finished, you can go to the selected folder to check the messages. (The items will be saved an HTML file on your computer, thus you need to open it with a browser to view its details.)

How to save iPhone text messages to computer - Step 3


That's all about our guide on how to transfer text messages from iPhone to iPhone. By reading this post, we hope you have moved your messages from an old iPhone to a new one. As you can see, both iTunes and iCloud will cause data loss on your target iPhone, which is more available for a new iOS device without setting up. If you've set up your device and have had some data stored on it, you'd better use EaseUS MobiMover. 

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Updated by Myra

Myra joined EaseUS in 2017. As a big fan of Apple products, she mainly focuses on iOS data transfer and iOS troubleshooting tips. Meanwhile, she is expanding her knowledge and skills in other fields like data recovery and disk management.

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