[3 Ways] How to Transfer iMessages to External Hard Drive

How can you transfer iMessages from iPhone to external hard drive? If you are looking for an answer to the question, just try the three methods introduced in this guide.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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How do I save messages from iPhone to an external hard drive?

There are thousands of text messages on my iPhone. I am wondering whether there is any way I can transfer texts from my iPhone to an external hard drive to make a backup and free up my iPhone storage space. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

- Question from Apple Community

Text messages may capture a lot of crucial information in our everyday lives, thus you might be wondering how to copy and transfer iMessages to external hard drive from iPhone to keep the text message history secure and conserve storage space on iPhone.

transfer imessage

This post will show you three effective ways about how to save iMessages to external hard drive to satisfy your specific needs.

Way 1. Transfer iMessages to external hard drive with iOS data management tool

The most effective way to transfer iMessages to external hard drive is, of course, to rely on a professional iOS data management tool. FoneTool, the free professional iPhone data backup and transfer software, is highly recommended. Let’s take an overview of the features and advantages of FoneTool first.


▶ Preview and select the wanted text messages to transfer to external hard drive.
▶ Support for transferring selective messages, photos, music, videos, contacts among iDevices, Windows computer, and external hard drives. 
▶ Quickly transfer data with one-click.

▶ Keep the original quality of transferred files.
▶ Compatible with iPhone 4 to iPhone 15, iPad, iPod, Windows 7/8/10/11 and Windows Server.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

The steps are pretty simple. Download FoneTool to your computer, and to know how to transfer text messages from iPhone to external hard drive with the steps below.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone and the external hard drive to computer with compatible USB cables > Open FoneTool on your computer > Locate Selective Backup and click Get Started.

Custom Backup

Step 2. Check only the Messages icon (You can also check other icons to backup relative files at the same time) > Preview and choose the conversations you want to save to external hard drive > Click OK to confirm.

Select Messages

Step 3. Click the Backup Storage Path to choose the external hard drive as the destination to save the text conversation > Tap Start Backup to begin the task.

Backup Messages

Anytime when you want to browse or restore the iMessages, you can go to the Backup History screen, locate the backup files, and click the icon of the three horizontal lines to make it.

Way 2. Transfer iMessages to external hard drive using email

Apart from the third-party tool, you can save iMessages to external hard drive with the help of emails. Just send all wanted messages to your computer with email and save them to the external hard drive as a PDF file. Here are how to transfer iMessages to USB/external hard drive.

Step 1. On your iPhone, open the iMessages app > Tap the conversation you’d like to copy.

Step 2. Long press the conversation to Copy the message > Create a new email and paste the message in the content box.

Step 3. Send the email to yourself and check the email from a computer.

Step 4. Open the email on your computer > Copy and save it in your external hard drive as per your need.

Way 3. Save iMessages to external hard drive via screenshot

If you want to keep the original copy of your text conversation in the iMessages app on your iPhone, you can screenshot the text conversation to save it as an image on your iPhone and transfer it to external hard drive directly without computer.

If your iPhone is running iOS 13 and later, the external hard drive is  ExFAT, FAT32, HSF+, or APFS, follow the steps to transfer iMessages to external hard drive. You can also make use of the tool mentioned in the first part to transfer photos from iPhone/iPad to external hard drive without limitation.

Step 1. Screenshot the wanted conversations on your iPhone.

Step 2. Connect your external hard drive to your iPhone with a lightning to USB adapter. You can go to the Files app to check whether the external hard drive had been connected.

Step 3. Go to the Photos app on your iPhone > Locate and select the screenshots of the iMessages > Tap the Share button in the bottom left corner.

Step 4. Tap Save to Files > Choose your external hard drive as the destination > Tap Save.

Save Photos To External Hard Drive Directly


That’s all for the three ways to transfer iMessages to external hard drive. It is simple to use the backup tool - FoneTool to save iMessages to external hard drive. You can also take screenshots or email transfer iMessages to external hard drive. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.