Jailbreak your iPhone

Restore SMS History from iPhone 3G to iPhone 3GS


Wow i just purchased a new shiny iPhone 3GS, i synced my Contacts, Notes, Calendar, Music, Photos and Videos but how can i transfer my lots of SMS saved in my previous iPhone 3G? Ok if you jailbreaked your phone than it’s damn easy just SSH your iPhone 3G and Navigate to /private/var/mobile/Library/SMS and Save sms.db on your computer then follow the vice versa with iPhone 3GS just copy sms.db from your computer to iPhone 3GS /private/var/mobile/Library/SMS folder. For more details check our previously published guide here Backup iPhone Contacts, SMS, Notes & Call History. But what if you never jailbreaked your iPhone or you are not interested in jailbreaking your new iPhone.

Here is the simple to follow procedure to Restore SMS History from Previous iPhone to New iPhone. All you have to do is to copy SMS backup files from old iPhone back up folder to new iPhone back up folder.

  • Navigate to the iTunes backup folder
  1. Windows User : C >> Users >> User Name >> AppData >> Roaming >> Apple >>  Computer >> MobileSync >> Backup >>
  2. Mac OS X User : ~/Libary » Applications Support » MobileSync » Backup.
  • In the backup folder there will be X number of folders according to number of phones you synced to your iTunes. For example i have two iPhone 2G and 3G so i have two folders named with 40 random hex characters. But i need to copy SMS from iPhone 3G so how do i identify?
  • To identify your particular iPhone backup sync both phones with 5 minutes of interval and note the time in your computer clock while syncing.
  • Now Sort the view by date–this will let you easily tell which subfolder belongs to which phone.
    • Now you knows the folder where your previous iPhone 3G backup is saved, so explore to that particular folder (iPhone 3G) and copy these two files to iPhone 3GS folder. Make sure you must synced new iPhone 3GS at least once so back up folder will be created.
  • Connect your new iPhone 3GS to the computer and launch the iTunes.
  • When your iPhone appears under Devices in your iTunes sidebar, Control-click it and select the ‘Restore from Backup…’ option.
  • Select the backup related to your device i mean iPhone 3GS.

This is the first time we published such a hack for non jailbreaked iPhone, so please post your response in comments section below. We are waiting to hear from you.


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Comments ( 14 )

Have Something To Say ?

  1. ttz August 19, 2012 Reply

    it worked! fantastic method! (but I had only ONE file starting with ‘3dod7’ not two…iphone 4s with ios 5.1.1)


  2. ben May 2, 2011 Reply

    Thank you so much! I got all of my texts back!

  3. Stef February 8, 2011 Reply

    Does anyone know the file for the notes / calendar / contacts / photos

  4. bob August 3, 2010 Reply

    is there a way to find out the long numbers that correspond to other apps and settings?

  5. Daniel May 6, 2010 Reply

    I copied and saw my texts after ssh’ing, but now I can’t send or receive any texts. Any reasons why?

  6. Macdots April 12, 2010 Reply

    1. Copy the two files as described (3d0d7e5f…) from the ‘source’ backup to a temporary directory. In addition also copy the three files:
    a) Info.plist
    b) Manifest.plist
    c) Status.plist

    For information :

    for sms: locate the file named 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28.mddata or .mdbackup on your computer.

    for address book contacts: the file’s name is 31bb7ba8914766d4ba40d6dfb6113c8b614be442.mddata or .mdbackup

  7. Aneesh March 20, 2010 Reply

    tried to copy sms messages from my old 3gs to new 3gs. didnt work. please help

  8. nic February 24, 2010 Reply

    ITS NOT WORKING…. TRIED 10000000 TIMES!!!!

  9. mekkano January 26, 2010 Reply

    I only want to transfer the sms messages. it’s not clear if this procedure replaces only sms or all data (address book, calendar, etc) from the older iphone onto the new iPhone. Could you clarify this please?

  10. mark January 26, 2010 Reply

    can we also do this with Contacts, Notes and Photos?

  11. Anil January 23, 2010 Reply

    This is simply fantastic…

    All of my data got transferred instantly..

    Thanks for this great technique.

    Regrds, Anil

  12. dulita September 16, 2009 Reply

    This doesn’t work!! I just tried it and it seems to have no effect at all though I’ve replaced both SMS files with the ones from older backup.

    Any idea why?

  13. nummy September 12, 2009 Reply

    this helped great. thanks! this allowed me to do a fresh full restoration and back up my SMS.

  14. Fird August 27, 2009 Reply

    Thanks! This is handy as I don’t plan to jailbreak my phone just yet!

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