Recover messages on an Android phone

Backup & Restore: This feature is unavailable in the latest version of Droid Transfer, due to changes in Google's Play Store policies. However, you can download and install version 1.34 which provides this functionality for you - details on which are below:

Messages are one of the most precious types of data on a phone. Depending on the device, a user could have thousands and thousands of messages in conversations with loads of different contacts. Just imagine losing all this data if a software update goes wrong, or if you accidentally delete a conversation.

This can be easily overcome by regularly backing up your messages to your computer. That way, if anything should happen to the device, you can restore them to the same device, or to a new phone!

As mentioned above, this feature is not available in our current version of Droid Transfer. If you need to access this functionality, you'll need to use previous versions of both Droid Transfer (version 1.34) and Transfer Companion (version 2).

Quick Jump to:

  1. Download and install Droid Transfer 1.34
  2. Download and install Transfer Companion 2
  3. Backup Messages with Droid Transfer
  4. Restore Messages with Droid Transfer
  5. Will this duplicate or overwite my messages?

Summary - Backup and Restore with Droid Transfer

Restoring messages is easy with Droid Transfer. Let's see how we restore messages to an Android device...

  1. Download Droid Transfer 1.34 on your PC and Transfer Companion 2 on your Android.
  2. Connect your Android device. You can connect using a WiFi or a USB connection.
  3. Hit the "Messages" tab from the feature list.
  4. Click "Backup & Restore".
  5. If you have already backed up your messages with Droid Transfer, click "Restore".
  6. Select the file you would like to restore from, and click "Open".
  7. On your phone, follow the on-screen prompts to temporarily switch your default messaging app to complete the process.
  8. In Droid Transfer, choose which conversations to restore!
Recover messages from android phone

Download and install Droid Transfer 1.34

For this task, you'll need to install version 1.34 of Droid Transfer on your Windows PC or laptop.

Free download for Windows:

Droid Transfer 1.34

Like what you see? Get a license for the full version of Droid Transfer.

Download and install Transfer Companion 2

To Download Transfer Companion 2 APK on your Android device, follow these steps...

Part 1: Enable APK Installs

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
    • Android 8 and higher: Scroll down and tap "Apps and Notifications".
    • Samsung Galaxy: tap Biometrics and security.
    • Android 7 and lower: (1) Scroll down and tap Security (or Lock screen and security). (2) Tap to toggle on "Unknown sources". (3) Confirm by tapping OK if prompted. (4) If you're on Android 7 or lower, you can now skip to Part 2.
    Enable APK download on Android
  2. Tap "Install Unknown Apps". Depending on your Android, you may instead see "Install other apps". If you see neither of these options, you may first need to tap "Special access".
  3. Choose the browser (such as Google Chrome) you want to use to download the APK file.
  4. Toggle the "Allow from this source" switch to 'on'.
  5. Tap "OK" to confirm these settings if you are prompted to.

Part 2: Install the APK from your chosen browser.

  1. On your Android, tap the icon from your app menu to launch your chosen browser (such as Google Chrome)
    Ensure that this browser is the one you picked in Part 1 if you needed to choose one.
  2. Download the Transfer Companion 2 APK using this link:
  3. If prompted, tap "OK" to confirm that you want to download the APK.
  4. If prompted, tap "Open" at the bottom of your screen.
    If you are not prompted, open your Downloads folder from your Android app menu and tap the Transfer Companion APK to open it. Download Transfer Companion APK
  5. Tap Install to install Transfer Companion 2. Install Transfer Companion APK
  6. Tap "Open" to open the app and begin using it straight away.

Creating a backup of your Android phone messages

Droid Transfer allows you to create backups quickly and easily. A backup file is required if you wish to restore messages to a device in the future.

Once your phone is connected to the program, open the "Messages" feature, and click "Backup & Restore".

Then, click "Backup" and choose whether to backup all conversations or selected conversations. When choosing selected conversations, all contacts with a tick next to their name will be backup up. Untick contacts to remove them from the backup list.

When you have chosen what to back up, hit the "Backup" button. Droid Transfer will now back up your chosen conversations and produce a '.mbf' file for you. This file is encrypted for your security, so you will not be able to view its contents.

Check out our previous page if you instead wish to save messages to your PC in readable formats.

Restore Messages to Android

Restoring messages to an Android phone

If you have created a backup of your android messages using Droid Transfer, you can restore these messages to a device.

To restore a backup to a phone, click "Backup & Restore" in the Droid Transfer "Messages" tab. Then click "Restore".

You will be prompted to select the backup file that you wish to restore to your device. Click "Open" once you have made your selection.

On your phone, follow the on-screen prompts to temporarily change your default messaging app for this service. Your default app will revert automatically when the process is complete, and you will not experience any disruption in receiving messages.

In Droid Transfer on your PC, you will now be able to choose which, if not all, conversations from the backup to restore to your device.

Restore Messages to Android

Duplicating or Overwriting data?

When restoring messages to your phone, you can rest easy knowing that Droid Transfer will not duplicate or overwrite data. Droid Transfer ensures that only the gaps are filled in, and if a message or conversation exists already, it will not be duplicated.

Additionally, when restoring a message conversation from a contact which does not yet exist on the device you are restoring to, Droid Transfer will intelligently add the contact to your contacts.

Read on to find out how to Print Android Messages.