I have had to restore my iPhone 4S to factory settings - wiping everything on the device. Fortunately I have frequent backups so I was able to restore most of the settings and stuff.

However, is there a way (on mac) to restore SMS messages from the backups. I just don't know how to get them back on the device. The back ups are all encrypted.


If you used the iTunes backup restore process or the iCloud backup restore process, then your messages should have been transferred automatically back to your phone as these are included with the iTunes/iCloud backup.

If for some reason this did not happen, you might want to try restoring again or restoring from a different backup (if available).

Reference: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4946

Note the mention of Messages in the list of data that is backed up.

iTunes will back up the following information 
    - Messages (iMessage and carrier SMS or MMS pictures and videos).
  • Confirmed. I've been doing a lot of restores lately, and my SMS history has always persevered. Jul 29 '12 at 8:31

If you have back up your sms, you can restore from the backup.

To restore information from a backup, use one of the following methods after connecting your iOS device to the computer with which you normally sync:

  1. Right-click (or Control-click) the device and choose Restore from Backup
  2. If you have a new phone, you can connect to iTunes and it will prompt to restore from your backup

Solution from Apple.com: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1766

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