Best Non iCloud Way to Back Up Text Messages?

I have been having trouble finding one, and I am not even sure if I can accomplish my goals. Is it possible to backup text messages to my Mac in a method that allows me to compare and view them more like images, where I can simply click on a discussion to view the entire exchange similar to how you can click on a picture in a JPEG file?

I have attempted using the finder and just making a backup, but it appears that doing so results in an unreadable file.


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I’ve been using iMazing for years and it’s fantastic. Saves chats as a text file.

Unfortunately, I have not found anything that allows you to save it with photographs; this must be a limitation of iOS or macOS.

Backing up iPhone messages for easy Mac viewing without iCloud is tricky. Here’s why:

  • Standard Mac backups (like Finder) create unreadable files.
  • Third-party software lets you back up messages, but viewing them might not be ideal - think basic interfaces, not image clicks.
  • iTunes backups create encrypted files that require extra steps and tools to view messages.

There’s no perfect solution, but here are some options:

  • Try third-party backup software (like dr.fone) but be aware viewing might not be super easy.
  • Consider exporting conversations (one by one) as text files, but you’ll lose formatting like pictures.**

Hopefully, this helps!