Mobile text messages often contain important information such as bills, schedules, or account details. Sometimes, you want to export these messages to email or back them up for printing. Or, there is an urgent need to restore the accidentally deleted text messages. So, you may wonder "Where are text messages stored on Android phones? Are deleted text messages recoverable?"
Don't worry. This article will guide you to find the location of your Android SMS/MMS. You can also learn how to back up messages on Android to the computer and retrieve deleted text messages.
Before you try recovering or saving your Android text messages, the first thing you should know is where text messages are stored on your phone. In general, Android SMS are stored in a database in the data folder located in the internal memory of the Android phone. However, the location of the database might vary from phone to phone. You can find the texts in the following locations according to your Android version.
Android 4.3 or older:
Android 4.4 or later:
Android 7.0 and above:
Android text messages are stored in the SQLite database folder which you can only find on a rooted phone. Also, it is not in a readable format, you need to view it with an SQLite viewer.
MMS, short for Multimedia Messaging Service, is a standard way to send messages that include multimedia content like images, video, and audio files to and from a mobile phone over a cellular network.
When you receive an MMS message, the phone saves the message to the phone's internal memory, which is called mmssms.db. You can manually save your MMS pictures or videos, making them accessible via the path: /storage/emulated/0/download or in the Gallery app on your Android device.
- Long press and hold the picture or video contained in your MMS message to activate a menu of options.
- Select an option - "Save attachment", "Save to SD card", or "Download Attachment".
- Choose the location where you want to save.
- Once the download is completed, you can then view saved MMS pictures or videos in the Gallery app or other saving folders.
Transferring your message from Android to your computer can serve as a backup to prevent data loss. Using a data cable is the easiest way, but you can only transfer part of the data. Therefore, it is wise to choose a better and more efficient way to backup and transfer your message files from Android to your PC.
FonePaw DoTrans can be of great help. It enables you to save everything on your Android mobile to a computer (It's currently only available for Windows. Mac users could turn to FonePaw Android Data Recovery). Moreover, it has a preview function and can filter the sender information, time, and content of mobile text messages, helping you quickly export the text messages you want.
With its user-friendly interface, and ultra-fast transferring speed, you can effortlessly back up all your text messages to a computer folder with a few simple clicks. Here's how to do it.
Step 1: Connect Android to the computer
Install and launch the program on your PC. Then connect your Android phone to the PC and enable USB debugging on the device. The program will detect your Android phone and show the following screen.
Step 2: Choose a Data Type and Start to Save SMS
On the left side, you can choose 5 types of data to export. If so, just select "Messages". DoTrans will instantly scan your SMS / MMS messages on your mobile phone.
For higher Android OS, the program will request access to your SMS or MMS app. Tap Allow on your phone to allow the process to continue.
Step 3: Start the SMS backup
After the quick scan, DoTrans will show all the messages on your Android. Select the ones you want or just check the "Select All" option. Then click the export button above. Choose a format and location for your SMS messages. And the transfer will start automatically.
Note: If your text messages are important and you don't want anyone else to access them, here I suggest using the encrypted backup option. Just click "Encrypted Backup" to add a password and memorize it well.
When the progress bar reaches 100%, the messages on your Android phone have been successfully saved to the computer. You can restore the text messages from the backup and save the messages in HTML or CSV format.
If you delete the texts accidentally and want to recover them, you should know that, unlike the existing messages, deleted ones cannot be found in the folder, because files that have been marked as deleted are hidden and can be overwritten at any time.
Here we recommend you try FonePaw Android Data Recovery to recover those deleted SMS text messages and MMS. It comes with powerful scanners that can scan your device and display a list of recoverable messages. You can filter messages by file type, date, sender, or other criteria to make it easier to find the desired SMS.
Most attractively, FonnePaw offers a preview of your SMS text messages for free. If you do not need to export a text message literally, you can directly take screenshots to save it. To recover deleted text messages on Android, it just needs some simple steps.
Step 1: Install and run the program. Then, connect your phone to the computer and enable USB debugging.
Step 2: When your phone is detected successfully, choose "Messages" and click "Next" to scan. To proceed with scanning and recovery, you need to follow the on-screen instructions to install the FonePaw App on your Android and authorize it to access your deleted files. This app will be automatically removed when the recovery is completed, so do not worry.
Step 3: After scanning, you can see the deleted text messages in detail. Preview them and mark down the messages you need, then click "Recover" to retrieve them back to the computer.
You can view your deleted messages on your computer now.
Watch our tutorial video: How to Recover Deleted Text Messages from Android
Now, you've learned that your text messages are stored in a hidden SQLite database folder in the Android internal memory. You can access them through certain paths on your device, and you can use FonePaw DoTrans to back up the important messages and the attached media files (photos and videos) to your computer. Hit the download button and have a try!