I have my many precious messages on my iPhone. How can I back up to computer freely without using iTunes?
when connecting your iPhone to your computer, head over to iTunes and make a backup. Make sure you're backup on your computer not on iCloud. Please visit this Page where you find the necessary informations about viewing saved text-messages:
Hope this helps :) Cheers
You should check out the app iExplorer and export the texts without iTunes, in a variety of formats directly to your computer. You can export many other files as well, including app data, photos, movies, etc. It can also open iTunes backups to extract files you may have deleted accidentally, mitigating the need to restore the entire backup.
Just a happy customer: I have no financial stake in Macroplant.
PhoneView will do the job for you. There is a free trial so you can see how it works. I don't have any stake in the company but I use their product. It is exactly what you need.
For some reason the only open-source solutions I have found only work on computers running MacOS: https://github.com/PeterKaminski09/baskup
To export to Windows everything is commercial and runs $20-40/license. The cheapest I found (and used successfully) was http://www.smsexport.com/download.php, which is activated via App Store for just $5.