Messaging now seems to be more popular than actually calling somebody, and this is great for being able to reminisce about old conversations, or to keep a record of what was said for legal reasons. When you connect your iPhone to iTunes (or Finder if you are using macOS Catalina or higher), a backup will be made of your device, and this backup contains all of your messages stored on the device at this time. This is handy, because if anything then happens to the iPhone (messages deletion, water damage, screen breakage, stolen device), at least your data will be backed up.
The only problem is, you can't just access the contents of the backup in order to see or save individual messages. However, you can use an iPhone SMS extractor like iBackup Extractor to access your backup, extract any SMS, MMS, iMessage, WhatsApp and LINE conversations from your iPhone backup, and then save them to your computer.
Extract text messages from iPhone backup
Download and Install iBackup Extractor from the button below.
Start iBackup Extractor from your Desktop (PC) or from Launchpad (Mac).
Select a backup from the list of available backups which you would like to access.
Click the Messages tab.
Select the messages you would like to save and click "Save as PDF".
To view SMS, MMS and iMessage content in your backup, click the Messages feature from the list in iBackup Extractor.
iBackup Extractor displays a list of contacts with whom you have had conversations. Clicking on a contact or group in the list shows the text (SMS), multimedia (MMS) messages, iMessages, WhatsApp or LINE messages sent and received in that conversation.
With a contact selected and a conversation displayed, select an export type in the iBackup Extractor control bar to save that conversation to your computer:
PDF: Saves the selected conversation as PDF, including all attached images in the same file. This option is great for sharing.
HTML: Saves the conversation as an HTML file. You can view HTML files in internet browsers like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Safari. In iBackup Extractor options, you can choose to embed images or save them into a separate folder.
Text: Saves the conversation as Plain Text. This format will not save attached media like images, nor will it be styled with coloured message bubbles.
Print messages from an iPhone backup
If you wish to print messages out from a backup made of your iPhone, simply select the conversations you would like to print and click "Print" from the iBackup Extractor toolbar. You'll be presented with your PC or Mac's default print settings. When you're happy with the settings, hit Print.
Extract WhatsApp messages from a backup
iBackup Extractor can also access and extract messages sent and received using WhatsApp. If your backup contains such messages, they will be displayed under the WhatsApp header in the Messages tab in iBackup Extractor. As with other types of messages, simply click on a contact to open the conversation, and then you can save them to your computer or print them out.