Jailbreak your iPhone

Backup iPhone Contacts, SMS, Notes & Call History


After updating your jailbreaked iPhone to a new firmware it is always advised to set you phone as a new phone during the first sync after updating and jailbreaking. This will save you from battery drainage, unexpected reboot, hanging etc. If you set your phone as a new phone you will loose many valuable data like Received SMS, Contacts, Call History, Notes, Calender etc. To overcome this problem you are advised to manually backup your iPhone data before updating your iPhone to new firmware. The process is very easy all you need is a Jailbreaked iPhone with SSH installed already. Now follow our guide to access file system of your iPhone here ” How to Access iPhone via SSH on Windows Mac ” Now follow the paths given below and copy save the certain files mentioned below.

How to backup Contacts :

  • Navigate to /private/var/mobile/Library/AddressBook
  • There will be two files save them on your computer.

How to backup Messages :

  • Navigate to /private/var/mobile/Library/SMS
  • Save sms.db on your computer

How to backup Calendar:

  • Navigate to /private/var/mobile/Library/Calendar
  • Copy Calendar.sqlitedb to your computer

How to backup Notes:

  • Navigate to /private/var/mobile/Library/Notes
  • Copy notes.db and notes.idx to your computer

How to backup your Call History:

  • Navigate to /var/mobile/Library/CallHistory/
  • copy call_history.db to your computer

To restore these databases after updating and jailbreaking navigate to specified paths and replace the files with you copied and saved earlier.


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Comments ( 11 )

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  1. macselite April 27, 2011 Reply

    Rafaelo, how do you change the file permissions of files on the iPhone, or do you change the permissions on your Mac before you copy the files back over to your iPhone?

    Some have used iCommander, but that is no longer in Cydia. I’ve also read BossPrefs can be used, but I would prefer step-by-step instructions.


  2. sigmaphi December 22, 2010 Reply

    thank you this is a life saver!!!

  3. Tom May 25, 2010 Reply

    Great info. I found this tool kits is also helpful. It can backup and transfer iPhone songs, videos, photos, SMS, call list, contacts and books(you purchased via iBook Store) to computer.

    Good luck to all!

  4. rafaelo May 16, 2010 Reply

    You fix the above problem by SSH-ing in your iphone and giving full read and write right to all the folders that you’ve put back on the phone.

  5. Ande May 16, 2010 Reply

    Hey Daniel and Tay –

    I have been having the same issue for this past day – as I just had to buy a new iphone 3gs. Though its the same model and memory i bought it on 3.1.3 and then jb with Spirit
    Though I lost my old phone – fortunately just days before I had done a full folder backup of all my files through ssh. Contacts messages etc

    After jb I started copying and pasting through ssh and began to have the crashing problem- then I did some research and realized that the mobilephone.app mobiletimer.app and all those programs – I was copying into- used the files from 3.1.2 firmware.
    When only copying into mobile/library/msgs etc… I find the program works for a time then crashes.

    I know that 3.1.2 firmware mobilephone.app was NOT compatible with 3.0 so POSSIBLY this is why there is significant trouble with the programs that the .db’s are copied into- are crashing.

    I stopped replacing the entire folder and am now trying to only change the mobile/library folders. That I anticipate will cause a crashing issue as well. So I believe it is a problem with compatibility of the old Database files and the new firmware.

    MAYBE thats what you guys are experiencing. Even if not- still check the permissions on all the files you institute and if you have mobileterminal- type

    chown private/var/mobile/(<- and then the rest of the file path for the msgs calendars addresses etc)

    I'll try and come back if I experience any new revelations

  6. Daniel May 6, 2010 Reply

    I am having the same issue as Tay. Please help. I only backed up my SMS messages, so my SMS crashes when I try to use it.

  7. Tay April 30, 2010 Reply

    I did this backup using iPhone Folders and it worked. I have all my notes, calendar, contacts, etc BUT for some reason I can’t edit or add anything! Basically I can’t use my contacts, my sms crashes & I can’t write in my notes. Does anyone know how to fix this?

  8. KingKoala January 28, 2010 Reply

    Try this software:

    Can export Contacts, SMS, Notes & Call History from iTunes backup, no jailbreak required!

  9. AndryRandy December 8, 2009 Reply

    u can use this from Iphone Explorer a simple soft to use and backup anythin:) just drag and drop:)

  10. Alejandro October 9, 2009 Reply

    Really NICE !

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