How to Export Text Messages From iPhone

How to download texts from your iPhone

What to Know

  • There is no direct way to export text messages from an iPhone, however, you can use a workaround.
  • The easiest workaround to export a text message from an iPhone is to screenshot the message (or messages) and send them as an image file.
  • You can also copy the text messages and past them into a Pages document to export them as a PDF document.

This article provides instructions for how to export text messages from iPhone running iOS 14 and later, including how to save individual messages as well as complete conversations.

Can I Export a Text Conversation From My iPhone?

There is no way in iOS to export a text message or a text thread directly from the iMessages app. However, there are a couple of work around which let you save and send your messages somewhere else. Those workarounds include taking screenshots of the texts and sending them as an image, copying messages and forwarding them through iMessage, or copying them to Pages and exporting the messages as PDF.

How Can I Save My Text Messages From My iPhone to My Computer?

Since there is no built-in, you'll need to first save them in a different format. The easiest way to do so is to take a screenshot of the message(s) and then forward the messages to email.

  1. First, take a screenshot the message or messages you want to save by pressing the Home and Volume Up keys at the same time. You may need to take multiple screenshots if you're trying to capture a long message thread.

  2. Then, select the image thumbnail of the screenshot which appears on your screen to open the screenshot editing tools.

    If you miss tapping on the image of the screenshot before it slides off the screen, don't worry. The screenshot is saving in your camera roll. Just open the Photos app, tap the image of the screenshot and then continue following the instructions below.

  3. Tap the Share icon.

  4. Choose the method you would like to use to share your photos, in this example, Mail.

    If you prefer, you can use a different program to send the image to yourself or someone else, or if you want, you can print the screenshots and save them in paper format, too.

    Screenshots illustrating how to screenshot and send text messages by email on iOS.
  5. Once you've filled out the recipient information on the email, tap the Send icon to send the message.

If you want to save the file to your computer, you'll probably need to email it to yourself and then open the email on your computer and download the exported message file.

How Do I Export an Entire iMessage Conversation?

While sending a single text message through email using the method above might be easy enough, if you have an entire iMessage conversation you want to expert, it might be easier to use a different approach.

  1. Open a text message thread and long-press on the message you want to save.

  2. If you only want to save the one message, in the menu that appears, tap Copy. However, if you want to save multiple messages, tap More.

  3. Tap each of the messages you want to save to place a blue checkmark in the circle to the left of the message thread.

  4. The press the Share icon.

    Screenshots illustrating how to copy and share multiple messages on iOS.
  5. All of the messages you've selected will be automatically pasted into a brand new message.

  6. Tap and old in the body of the message and when the menu appears, tap Select all.

  7. Tap Copy.

    Screenshots illustrating how to Select All and Copy in iOS.
  8. Next open a Pages document, tap and hold anywhere in the document to open a menu, then select Paste from the menu.

  9. Once you've pasted the messages over, tap the three dot menu in the upper right corner.

  10. Select Export.

  11. Choose PDF.

    Screenshots illustrating how to export a document in iOS.
  12. Then select where you want to export the document to. You can choose Mail or other programs, or you can save the file or print it.

Is There a Free Way to Export Text Messages From iPhone?

The only free way to export text messages from iPhone is to use one of the methods above, or to forward messages to your email. To do so, all you need to do is select the message using the tap and hold method, tap More, and tap the Share icon. Then you can add your own email address and send the message to yourself.

This method forwards the text, but not any of the timestamp information, the sender information, or the speech bubbles.

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