Android SMS Backup

On Android devices, SMS messages are stored in a database on the device, with no built-in way to sync them with some online cloud service (compared to the contacts for example, that may be synchronized to your Google Contacts account).

For this reason, it is worthwhile to put a little effort into setting up a backup scheme for SMS messages – which is the goal of this post.

I use the SMS Backup & Restore app, which is free on Google Play store, along with its free network add-on (which is required for the E-mail and Dropbox-upload features).

This post was written using v5.93 of the app.

Setting up the backup

First, set a local path for backups (Menu -> Preferences -> Backup Folder) – I prefer the external SD card:

Now it is dead-easy to run a manual backup – simply click the Backup button on the main screen, and supply a name for the XML file (or just leave it at default):

But a manual backup leaves the user responsible for maintaining it periodically, which is never a good idea. A better idea would be to put the scheduled backup feature of the app in good use!

Setting up scheduled backups

Back in the Preferences screen, enter Schedule Settings, enable it, and set a backup schedule (I like weekly):

(I find this scheduler a little odd, as it doesn’t allow specifying on a day-in-week basis…)

Now, a scheduled backup to the external SD card is nice, but it’s not good enough to protect the data in case of lost or stolen device (which usually includes the SD card..), or serious damage (drowned device?). So the next (and final) step is to set up the app to upload the backup file to Dropbox after completing a backup.

Backing up to Dropbox

Again in the Preferences screen, enter Backup Settings, scroll down to the bottom, and enable the Upload To Dropbox option:

In case you haven’t already installed the Network Add-On I mentioned earlier, the app will ask for it at this point, so go ahead and install it:

Now enter the Dropbox Settings screen, and Log In:

Not surprisingly, the Dropbox app will request your approval to allow access.

You can also supply a path into the Dropbox folder for the backup file, but the starting point is already hard-coded as Apps/SMSBackupRestore/, which is rather inconvenient if you have another directory-structure in place… (I tried using ../../My/Backup/Dir to escape, but it didn’t work.. =/ )


And this is all the effort needed in order to get some peace of mind as far as your SMS messages are concerned!

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply