By default, the backup is stored in the "SMSBackupRestore" folder of the first/default SD Card of the phone (/sdcard/SMSBackupRestore). The app confirms the default backup location when the first backup is created.
There is also an option in the preferences to change this folder.
You can View and Search the backup files directly from the app from the main screen.
When Restoring or Viewing your backup(s), you have to option to Use System Browser to look for backups on phones with Android v4.4 or later.
To access the files on a computer, you can either send them using the Send File menu option or by mounting the SD Card to a computer and then browsing to the SMSBackupRestore folder. Backups made to the cloud are browsable via the app, and accessible via the cloud provider directly.
Some of the messages were MMS and they did not get backed up, and hence cannot be restored with this app.
The Restore process did not finish completely, and therefore not all the messages were restored. Try the Restore again and see if you get more messages this time. When the Restore completes, it shows the number of messages it restored.
Newer versions of Android have a setting for specifying how many messages they will store (defaults to 200) per conversation and any message older than that gets deleted automatically. If you have lots of messages, then make sure the setting is either disabled or has a higher number set.
When Scheduled Backups are enabled, the app displays a notification after each backup with information about how many messages were backed up, etc.
If you are not getting this notification, then the scheduled backups are not working. Here are some of the things that can cause this:
New power saving features in Android Marshmallow can prevent certain tasks from running if your phone has been sitting idle for a while. If you think this may be an issue, see this article for info on how to fix it.
Since v3.1, this app can be installed on the SD Card on phones which support this (FroYo 2.2 onwards). One of the problems is that if the app is installed on the SD Card, then it is not able to start the scheduler when the phone reboots. So, if you use Scheduled Backups, make sure the app is not installed on the SD Card.
Whenever an app is updated, Android removes all its scheduled events and the schedules can only be set again by the app when it is opened. So every time you update the app, make sure you open it at least once after the update, otherwise the schedules won't be enabled.
Some other “Task Manager” or “Task Killer” app is killing this app, thus making the backup impossible. This is especially a problem if the other app is set to “Auto Cancel” or “Auto Kill” every hour or so. If this is the case, make sure “SMS Backup & Restore” is excluded from the apps which are auto killed.
The date is backed up in the same format as its stored on the phone; it's the Java date representation (including millisecond) of the time when the message was sent/received in UTC. Check out www.epochconverter.com for information on how to do the conversion from other languages to Java.
Please note that the site does not include milliseconds in the date it generates when converting human readable date to java/epoch date. To add milliseconds, just add 000 at the end of the number generated by the site.
New power saving features in Android Marshmallow can prevent certain tasks from running if your phone has been sitting idle for a while. If you think this may be an issue, see this article for how to fix it.
If you get an Error during SMS Restore, please try restarting the phone and restore again. Sometimes the internal database for the messages gets corrupted and is fixed upon restarting the phone.
Some logs suggest an antivirus app interfering with the restore. Uninstalling/Disabling the antivirus app fixes the restore issue.
Make sure you've enabled logging int he app before you retry the backup or restore operation, and also please send us the logs as soon as you get the error; otherwise the logs will not contain the information needed.
If you're getting an error, then we will need to have a look at the logs to figure out the issue and either make a fix in the app, or determine if there's something wrong with the phone.
This app has a built-in option to Send Logs in case of errors. This option normally appears when the app encounters an error, and allows the user to send us an email containing details of the app’s activity and the error it encountered. Sometimes this information is not enough to figure out what could be wrong, as there could be other components of the device that could be causing the problem. In such cases, we need the System Logs generated on the device. For devices running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or above, you need to have a rooted device to be able to send System logs.
If you have a rooted device or a device running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich ) or lower, follow the following instructions to send detailed System logs:
New in Android Marshmallow is a feature called "Doze mode," which prevents certain tasks from running if your phone has been sitting idle for a while. If you think this may be an issue, see this article for how to fix it.
Handcent appears to display messages in the order they are added instead of the date of the message, so if you restore messages after you have existing messages in Handcent, they may appear in the wrong order.
Although SMS Backup & Restore gives you the option to check for duplicates during restore, sometimes it may not work properly or Handcent may misunderstand the update of an existing message as a new message, and hence display a duplicate.
The only known workaround is to create a new backup and then delete all the messages from Handcent, as well as using SMS Backup & Restore’s Clear Phone feature. A restore after this action should result in the correct ordering of messages as well as clearing up duplicates.
More and more phones now come with built-in storage. In such cases, the internal storage appears as the SD Card to the app, and when it looks for the backup files it is not able to find the backup files on the external SD Card.
There are two methods of restoring on these types of phones:
Copy the "SMSBackupRestore" folder to the internal storage and then restore from there:
Create a new backup on the new phone, this will make sure that the required folder is created. You can name the file so that it's easily identifiable later
Connect the phone to a computer and mount the storage so that it's accessible on the computer
Locate the "SMSBackupRestore" folder on the phone’s storage and copy the old backup file to that folder
Unmount the storage from the computer
Perform the Restore and select the file copied in the earlier step
Change the Backup folder in the app to point to the external storage card:
v5.90 onwards, the app has built-in options to browse and select external storage cards. Open the Preferences screen (Menu > Preference)
Click on the “Backup Folder” preference
The app will list the storage cards that it has detected on the phone.
Select “External Storage," if it's listed. The path in the text box will change to the detected storage card path
Tap the “Browse…” button
Locate the existing "SMSBackupRestore" folder on the SD Card. For example:
Samsung Vibrant/Galaxy S phones: “/sdcard/sd/SMSBackupRestore/”
Samsung Galaxy S II phones: “/sdcard/external_sd/SMSBackupRestore/”
Some other phones (Motorola Droid/X/3/Bionic): “/sdcard-ext/SMSBackupRestore/”
“Archive Mode” is this app’s way of incrementally adding new messages to an existing backup file and can be enabled from the preferences. Here's how it works:
Whenever the app successfully backs up one or more messages, it stores the latest message’s Numeric ID and TimeStamp to be used later.
The next time the app runs, it only requests messages that have a larger ID or a later TimeStamp than the stored values.
If it finds any messages that satisfy the above criteria, it starts copying the existing backup file’s records into a new temporary file (displays “Processing existing backup file…” in the progress dialog).
Once it has copied all the contents of the existing backup, it then adds the new records to this new file.
If backup verification is not disabled, it then verifies this new file to make sure that the backup file is readable.
It renames the existing (older) backup file to another temporary name.
It renames the newly created backup file to the name specified in the “Archive Filename” preference.
It deletes the older backup file.
While this mode will work fine in most cases, there are some cases in which it may not work properly:
Android reassigns the Numeric ID if the message with the largest ID is deleted and a new message is received after that.
A message is received with an older TimeStamp than the TimeStamp stored by the app.
Since the app uses both these things to check for new messages, it will work fine if only one of the above conditions are true. However, if for some reason both these conditions are true (e.g. you deleted the latest message and then received a new message with an older timestamp), then the app will not be able to figure out if there is a new message that it should back up.
It is very rare for this to happen, but it is a possible cause for messages missed from being backed up. If you delete messages often, and do not care about whether those deleted messages are backed up or are missing when using the “Archive Mode,” then we suggest you do not use it. You can use the normal backup, and if you use Scheduled Backups then it can (optionally) automatically delete older backup files so you don’t end up with lots of backup files with similar content in them.
All the restored messages get the time of restore. These phones basically do not accept the time stamp supplied when restoring; they store the supplied time stamp internally but use the time of restore to display to the user. This problem was fixed in v4.4 of the app. If you are still having this problem, please make sure you are running the latest version of the app then delete your messages and restore again. If you are still experiencing theis problem then please let us know by clicking the "Send Feedback" button in the footer below.
The sent messages get the correct time, but the received messages are off by a few hours. This is also the result of messages getting grouped incorrectly in conversations, with a lot of sent messages appearing together and then a lot of received ones appearing later.
This problem is caused by the phone either not storing the correct time zone information, or by adjusting the time zone when displaying to the user. The app has an option to adjust the time zone in the time stamps when viewing or restoring messages.
Open the preferences screen and then check the appropriate boxes under the “Adjust Time Zone” section. You’ll need to delete your existing messages from the phone and perform a Restore again.
Sometimes this problem also occurs if you have an app like “SMS Time Fix" that adjusts the time stamp on messages after they arrive. If this is the case, please disable this other app to confirm whether or not the issue is still occuring.
There is a default setting in the Messaging app that deletes older messages from conversations that have more than 200 messages.
When thousands of messages are restored, this setting can cause a lot of problems because it keeps trying to delete messages when you try to open the conversation. If you are restoring lots of messages, please disable this setting by opening the Preferences of the Messaging app.
Some phones can take a lot of time to index and process newly created messages, especially if there are thousands of them. If you get a blank screen, or if the phone asks you to “Force Close” or “Wait,” just press “Wait” and leave the Messaging app running. Eventually it will finish processing and start working normally.
Depending on the make/model of the phone, a factory reset can delete everything on the phone’s memory and storage area, including SD Cards. To make sure that you don’t lose the messages on the phone, do the following:
Before Factory Reset:
Open the Preferences screen of the app and select “Backup Folder”
Make sure it's set to use the “External Storage Card” (if available on the phone)
Create a new backup
Make sure that a copy of the backup is stored outside the phone by:
Emailing the backup to yourself (using the Email feature on the main screen of the app)
Dropbox or Google Drive by using the Add-On app
Manually copy the backup file to a computer
After Factory Reset:
Install the app again
Press the Restore button
If the app cannot find the backup file:
Copy/download the backup file created before the reset back to the phone
Change the Backup Folder setting to the folder in which the backup file exists
Depending on the make/model of the phone, a factory reset can delete everything on the phone’s memory and storage area, including SD Cards.In cases like these the backup file may actually be deleted from the phone and hence the app is not able to find it.
Before attempting a factory reset, always make sure that a copy of the backup is stored outside the phone. If the app cannot find the backup files, then you can try searching for them by connecting your phone to a computer and searching for *.xml files on the storage card of the phone.