At Last! How to Have Text Messages Backed Up from Your iPhone to Gmail Like SMS Backup Does for Android!
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Oh how we have longed for this day! After we made the switch to the iPhone, after being staunch Android fans for so long, the thing that we missed most about Android was apps like SMS Backup, which automatically forward your text messages to your Gmail account. This means that if you are at your computer, and not by your phone, you still get your text messages. It also means that you can maintain an archive of your text messages, if you like. This function has not existed in any app for the iPhone, and in fact we tried having it developed on our own, and ran into obstacles at every turn (mostly restrictions by Apple). But now, at last, we have our beloved SMS backup to Gmail function back, on our iPhone, and we are very happy campers.

Now, we do have to say up front that you will have to jailbreak your iPhone – we know, we hated to do it too, but we did it specifically to be able to have our text messages going to Gmail again, and we have never looked back. And the jailbreaking was easy, and flawless.


After you have jailbroken your iPhone (see link below), your phone will have what you can think of as a new app store, called Cydia (it’s more than that – but for these purposes you can think of it like that). Cydia is the system installed by the jailbreak, but it runs underneath your normal OS, so it is like an add-on, it doesn’t actually replace your OS.

This is the Cydia icon – it should be on your homescreen once your phone finishes jailbreaking:

cydia-logo

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Open Cydia, and at the bottom of the screen on the menu bar, choose “Search”:

 

cydia-search

 

…and search for “DeskSMS”:

 

 

iphone-sms-backup

 

Install DeskSMS, and launch it (it installs an icon on your homescreen).

Toggle “DeskSMS” to ‘on’, and “Push to Gmail” on, and enter your Gmail username and password.

 

desksms-iphone-backup-text-messages

 

That’s all there is to it! Now every text message you receive will also show up in your email!

Here’s what it looks like (note that

 

desksms-email

 

See at the bottom where it says ” Please follow your response with two empty lines to ensure proper delivery!”? That is because you can sign up for their service which allows you to just hit ‘reply’ to the email, and they will send it back to the person’s phone, just as if you had sent them a text message response. But you don’t have to sign up for this service – we haven’t – and you will still get your SMS messages backed up to (forwarded to) your Gmail account.

Note that we occasionally get error notifications from DeskSMS, but we have found that we can safely ignore those, and it keeps working just fine.

Here is the link to a tutorial with everything you need to jailbreak your iPhone:

iPhone jailbreaking instructions at RedmondPie.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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