I recently reimaged my iPhone, however I forgot to check my SMS history before deleting my original backup. I assumed, incorrectly, that it would sync via iCloud, or by the SMS Forwarding feature that brings these messages into Mac OS X Messages. So, I have no sms.db, but I do have chat.db and the supporting Attachments. Extensive searching turns up nothing.

How hard is it to translate a chat.db file into an sms.db file suitable for restoring from an iPhone backup? Major surgery? Minor hacking? Rename the file?

1 Answer 1


This will surely frustrate later arrivals who only have chat.db available, but I later realized I have other iOS devices with up-to-date Messages. I extracted sms.db and Attachments from those backups (using iPhone Backup Extractor), merged them into my latest iPhone backup (using iBackupBot), and restored the backup. I'd suggest turning on airplane mode to avoid receiving texts in the backup/restore interim.

This tutorial provides details on where these files go.

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