When you change phones, you may need to transfer text messages (SMS) from your old device to the new one. There are several apps on the Play Store that will allow you to do this for free. If you are using Samsung phones, you can use the Smart Switch app to transfer your messages between 2 devices wirelessly.
Method 1 of 2: Use a transfer app
Step 1. Download a message backup application
The fastest method to transfer messages from one Android phone to another is to use an SMS forwarder app. A variety of these apps are available on the Google Play Store. There is no official method for transferring messages, but some of the most popular free apps include "SMS Backup +" and "SMS Backup & Restore".
Step 2. Open the SMS backup application
Open the app on the device you want to copy messages from. The process for “SMS Backup +” and “SMS Backup & Restore” is similar and will be detailed in this section.
Step 3. Connect your Gmail account (on SMS Backup +)
SMS Backup + will save your text messages in your Gmail account. Press on To log in to select an account. Use the same Gmail account you opened on your phone to make things easier during the restore process.
Step 4. Begin the backup process
Push the button To safeguard in the application to begin the backup process.
Step 5. Configure the backup location (on SMS Backup & Restore)
SMS Backup & Restore will create a local backup file for your text messages. This file can also be saved to an online storage service.
- Press on Local backup and transfer to select an online storage service or to send the backup file to you.
- Check the box Include MMS messages to include messages and message groups that include attachments such as pictures.
Step 6. Wait for the backup to complete
The process may take a while if you have a lot of messages to back up. You can reduce this time by turning off MMS backup if you don't think you need it.
Step 7. Upload the backup file (to SMS Backup & Restore)
After creating the backup on the first device with SMS Backup & Restore, you will need to transfer the file to your new Android phone. If you only created a local file when backing up, you can connect the phone to a computer and copy the XML file to the “SMSBackupRestore” folder on your new device. If you uploaded the file to an online storage service after creating it, you won't have to worry about the upload.
When you connect your Android to your computer, you can find it in the "Computer" window (on Windows) or on your desktop (on Mac). When copying the XML file to your new phone, place it in the device's main directory to easily find it later
Step 8. Install the SMS backup application on your new phone
Once the backup is created, you will need to install the same backup app on your new device.
If you are using SMS Backup +, make sure to connect the new device to the same Google account
Step 9. Tap Restore
Both apps have a button Restore on their main screen. Tap on it to start the restore process.
Step 10. Select the backup file (on SMS Backup & Restore)
After starting the restore process, you will be asked to select the restore file. If you copied it to your device's memory, use the file manager that opens to select it. If you uploaded the file to an online storage service, press ⋮ and select the service from the list that appears.
Step 11. Choose the backup application as the default email application
Before starting the restore, you will be prompted to select the backup application as the default email application on your device. You will need to do this to restore your messages. You can return to your regular email application after the restore is complete.
Step 12. Wait for the messages to be restored
The process may take some time, especially if the backup file is large.
Step 13. Return to your default email application
After you restore your text messages, you can go back to your regular messaging app to read them and send new ones.
- Open the application Settings.
- Press on More in the section Wireless and networks.
- Press on Default SMS application and select the email application you want to use.
Method 2 of 2: Use Smart Switch (for Samsung)
Step 1. Know what the application is for
The Smart Switch app is designed to transfer data from one Samsung device to another, but you can use it for transfers from a different Android device to a Samsung. Not all brands of phone are supported and the app works best when transferring from one Samsung device to another.
Step 2. Install the Smart Switch Mobile application on both devices
The application must be installed on both phones to allow fast transfer. Smart Switch is free from the Google Play Store and comes preinstalled on most recent Samsung devices.
The Smart Switch Mobile app may not work on your Android device. In this case, use the previous method to forward your text messages
Step 3. Select Android Device from the 2 apps
This will allow devices to connect to each other.
Step 4. Place your 2 devices within 10 cm of each other
Smart Switch uses NFC to establish a Bluetooth connection and works best when the 2 phones are placed next to each other.
Step 5. Tap Start on both devices
You will be asked to select the sending device.
Step 6. Choose the old phone as the "sending device"
Step 7. Select the new phone as the “destination device”
Step 8. Tap Connect on the sending device
A PIN will appear on the screen.
Step 9. Tap Next on the destination device
Enter the PIN if the device does not connect automatically. A list of the data you can transfer will appear.
Step 10. Make sure Messages is checked on the sending device
You can uncheck the other options that you don't want to transfer to your new device.
Step 11. Tap Send on the sending device
Select To receive on the new phone. The messages and all other data you selected will be transferred to the new phone.
Step 12. Wait for the "Completed" message to appear on the screen
This message indicates that the transfer was successful. You should now see your old text messages in the messaging app on your new device.