Ok, I've read past posts, and found good articles on Lifehacker, but I want to crowdsource my worries for a moment: Can I safely extract my SMS messages from my iPhone 4 running iOS 4.3 without jailbreaking or paying money?

I'm not scared of the SQLite db holding the info and would love to learn a bit about it in the meantime. I would likely use my MBP running 10.6 to do so, but have SUSE Linux and Win 7 systems on hand if that's easier.

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    If you don't want to jailbreak, a solution is to backup your iPhone in iTunes and access the backup to look for the SMS database. – Loïc Wolff Apr 5 '11 at 15:08
  • possible duplicate of How to copy SMS from Nokia phone to iPhone? – user588 Apr 5 '11 at 15:20
  • The above link discusses how to get SMS without jailbreak or costs. The file is currently sitting on your computer... – user588 Apr 5 '11 at 15:21
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    Funny how both of you Loic and mankoff added a comment rather than just answering what would become the accepted answer. :P – cregox Apr 6 '11 at 5:24
  • use PhoneView to do this – Ken Aspeslagh Oct 8 '13 at 1:24

Do a backup of your iPhone. Backups are located here here ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup. Find there a file called 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28 (it might have some extension, can't remember from top of my head if it has one at all).

It is an SQLite db file so you can open in in SQLite browser of your choice then and access all your text messages.

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    It's important to note that this won't work if your iPhone Backups are Encrypted with an Password. – Syclone0044 Nov 8 '11 at 19:55

PhoneView is awesome for the Mac, but you are on a PC. According to their FAQ:

Q: Is there a Windows version of PhoneView?

A: At this time, PhoneView is Mac-only. We recommend TouchCopy for Windows users.

Looks like TouchCopy will do what you want.

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