Does iTunes Backup Messages? It Depends

Does iTunes backup messages? That depends on whether have saved messages in iCloud. This passage would show why iTunes did in this way and tell you how to backup messages with iTunes.


By Dylan / Updated on June 6, 2023

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Does iTunes backup messages?

Does iTunes backup messages on my iPhone? I’ve got my new iPhone 15 and there are many important messages on it, so I want to import these messages from my old iPhone X. I’m preparing to use iTunes. Can anybody tell me whether I can use it to transfer messages to my new iPhone 15?

- Question from

Messages/iMessages play an important part in our life. iPhone Message is a good feature allowing users to have communication with their friends and families.  After years, you may have a lot of messages on your iPhone taking up much storage space. So to avoid important messages lost and free up some space on your iPhone, you will backup your iPhone via iTunes.

But iTunes doesn't support previewing the backup items. So you have no idea what the iTunes backup includes and the iTunes backup location on your PC. So are messages backed up on iTunes? Refer to the following part, you will find the answer.

iPhone Messages Icon

Does iTunes backup messages? How does it work?

Yes, iTunes would backup messages/iMessages on iPhone unless you haven’t enabled Messages in iCloud setting. Generally, iTunes won't backup items you have uploaded to your iCloud. If you updated your messages to your iCloud, iTunes thinks the messages are well-protected, and you are able to complete a message transferring via iCloud.  You might be a little confused about this because you don’t know what iTunes backup includes.

What iTunes backup includes:

iTunes would backup most local files and settings on your iPhone, after restoration with iTunes, you need to download apps and media files from the server to complete restoration. If you haven’t upload messages to iCloud when you backup iPhone, iTunes would save text messages to computer and you could find all your messages/iMessages in the Messages app on iPhone. If you have uploaded messages to iCloud before backing up iPhone, you need to go to iCloud settings to sync messages from iCloud by turn on iCloud Messages after restoration.

iTunes Logo

How to backup messages with iTunes?

If you still want to use iTunes to backup messages, you should go to iPhone Settings > Your Name/Apple ID/iCloud Banner > iCloud. And make sure the Messages option is toggle off. Then follow the steps below to save text messages with iTunes.

Step 1. Download and install iTunes. Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable.
Step 2. Click the phone-shape icon in the upper-left corner. Click Summary in the sidebar.
Step 3. Click Back Up Now and wait for several minutes to let iTunes create a backup of your iPhone.


●1. You could locate your iTunes backup on PC, but you could not view your messages in that backup for iTunes wants to protect your privacy.
●2. If you want to restore your message from that backup, click Restore Backup and the right task, but iTunes would restore your whole iPhone, not only messages so you should back up the needed files before restoration.

How to preview and selective backup messages without iTunes

There are too many limitations when you use iTunes to backup messages. You could have a more convenient way to backup iPhone messages without iTunes.

FoneTool is a free professional iPhone backup software. You could save all your text messages from iPhone to PC and restore them to another device like iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. In addition, you could also use this application to backup iPhone contacts at the same time.

  • Preview and Select: You could preview the messages on your iPhone and select the needed one to be included in your backup. When you restore these messages, you could also transfer the wanted ones to new device.

  • Easily View Backup: You could view your message backup with one click with FoneTool.

  • Widely Compatible: You could easily use this software for it supports most iPhone models from iPhone 4 to iPhone 15 and would be perfectly compatible with the latest iOS 16/15.

How to backup your messages to computer in 3 steps with FoneTool

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Step 1. Download FoneTool for free. Connect your iPhone to computer with USB cable and tap “Trust” on it.

Step 2. Click "Phone Backup" and go to "Selective Backup". Uncheck the other features if you don’t want them. Click the icon of Messages to preview and select messages and then click "OK" to return.

Select Messages

Step 3. Click "Start Backup" and your message would be saved to computer.

Backup Messages

You could view your messages by clickingthe eye icon in "Backup History". If you want to restore messages to another device, connect the device to computer, click the three-dots icon and choose "Restore".

restore messages to device


iTunes would backup messages on iPhone if you haven’t backup them to iCloud, or you need to sync messages with iCloud after iTunes restoration. You could not view messages or export just messages to iPhone with iTunes. If you want to break the limitations, you could download FoneTool to backup messages and other important files at the same time. If you like this passage, would you please share it to help more people?

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.