Recommendations for a tool to download and read/access SMS from an iPhone 4 on a Windows PC?

Mike Lazarus
Mike Lazarus used Ask the Experts™
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I need to reset my iPhone (latest iOS update) and can't restore from backup ... have an OS issue that needs fixing.

Is it possible to just restore the SMS database after a reset (like it is on a Blackberry)?

Or, if not, can I get the SMS data (from iTunes backup or other) and keep it available and readable after the reset?
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when you try to use the backup with iTunes what error message do you get?

which version of iOS was the backup done with?

which version of iOS are you on now?

Which version of iTunes are you using?
Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM Consultant

Author

Commented:
Backing up is fine.

I need to do a reset (and not restore) because of a development issue with a beta app.

Email will come back from Exchange ... everything else will re-load from their own systems, except SMS (at least can't think of anything else)

iOS 4.3.5
itunes 10.0.4.80

I can backup and do anything now ... but, after I reset, I don't think it can reload the SMS from iTunes backup without restoring everything

Commented:
You're right - reset won't re-load the SMS messages no.  BUT, a restore does NOT restore the OS, only the settings.  Have you already tried the following:

- Backup iPhone
- Custom Restore (IPSW)
- Restore from Backup (when prompted for it...)

I frequently will do an upgrade/downgrade and choose this process for the very fact that the OS does not restore.  Hence if it's an OS issue, it's rectified AND the data is restored.
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Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM Consultant

Author

Commented:
What's IPSW (after the restore)?

I think the need is to also remove the records in the Call Logs - there was an error in an export of data and iOS doesn't allow modifying the data...

If I do a full reset, can I later restore from the backup? Can I create separate backups to restore from?

I think iOS is only mobile OS that doesn't allow you to select to backup/restore individual built-in app databases.

Commented:
Yes you can restore.  Simply right-click on the device in the left side of iTunes.  Backups are stored on the local computer (unless you select iCloud for iOS5 when that's out).  

IPSW is the restore file (I only mentioned that because you mentioned development issues).  It is the actual file that you could download locally and custom restore from.  

I always get my SMS, calls, phonebooks, etc back.  The only things that don't get restored is the OS itself, photos, and songs.  By default you would re-sync those back on.  
Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM Consultant

Author

Commented:
Hmmm ... when I backup, it doesn't ask for a filename. Can you have different backups?
Act! Evangelist - CRM Consultant
Commented:
All ok ... I've found I can read all the backup files (including SMS) and export to Excel using: http://www.sqlmaestro.com/download/#sqlite
Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM Consultant

Author

Commented:
I found a tool to do it

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