Disaster Recovery

Backup your Android SMS, MMS, and phone logs to Gmail

Jack Wallen takes a look at Backup Message & Call to Email, a free application that can help you save your SMS, MMS, and phone logs to your Gmail account.

When you purchase a new phone, Android does a great job of migrating your data. It's easy to move mail, contacts, and applications, but it's more difficult to transfer SMS, MMS, and phone logs. Thankfully, on the Android platform, there's an application called Backup Message & Call to Email that can help you save your SMS, MMS, and phone logs to your Gmail account. This application, created by Lucky-dog, is free and works like a champ.


Backup Message offers the following features:

  • Backup/restore SMS to/from Gmail
  • Backup/restore call log to/from Gmail
  • Backup/restore MMS to/from Gmail
  • Gmail XOAuth support
  • Hide application icon
  • Auto backup
  • Configure how many items to backup
  • Open app from system dialer


The installation of Backup Message is very straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for "backup message & call to email" (no quotes)
  3. Tap the correct entry
  4. Tap Install
  5. Tap Accept & download
  6. Allow the installation to complete

Set up

When you first open the app, you'll see the main window (Figure A). Tap the Go button next to Please setup Gmail first. This will begin the process of configuring the backup to connect to your account. Figure A

Here you see Backup Message on the Verizon-branded Motorola RAZR Maxx HD.
After you tap the Go button, you'll see the Authentication settings screen (Figure B). Tap to enable the Connect option. Figure B

After you enable this, you'll be warned that a browser will open for your credentials.

When the browser opens, enter your Gmail credentials and tap the Sign in button. A new browser window will open, asking you to Grant access to the application. Tap the Grant access button to complete the process.


All you have to do is tell Backup Messages what you want to back up.  Go back to the main window and tap to enable the features you want backed up. After you've made your selections, tap the Backup button and the backup will begin.

By default, the application will backup 100 of each item. The caveat to this is that texts are not counted by threads when they back up - so each text sent and received is considered an item. The maximum number of items you can back up at a time is 200. If you have quite a lot of texts, the backup could take some time.

When the backup is complete, go to your Gmail account and look for the following new folders:

  • Calls
  • Messages

Both SMS and MMS will be located in the Messages folder.

The restore feature is simple:

  1. Tap the More button on the main screen
  2. Tap the Restore button
  3. Wait for the restore to complete

Since I have multiple mobile Android devices, this allows me to do a pseudo-sync of SMS/MMS/Call logs to all of those phones, which is very handy.

If you're looking for a cheap, easy way to backup and mine the data from texts and phone logs on your Android phone, Backup Message & Call to Email is about the best you can find for free. Give this tool a try, and then let us know what you think about it in the discussion thread below.


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.


I just want to transfer all my texts. Will this app do it? I want all my messages


So you can only transfer 200 texts or you can transfer every text but it will take a while?


Pl pay attention to a permission you are granting the app... PHONE CALLS READ PHONE STATUS AND IDENTITY Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. This permission allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call. REROUTE OUTGOING CALLS Allows the app to process outgoing calls and change the number to be dialed. This permission allows the app to monitor, redirect, or prevent outgoing calls. Sounds fishy to me.


I found another app before this article and tried it only to find it moves only 10 sms. Anyway this worked great for me, its exactly what I needed. Had some things I couldn't lose with my mother's death and really wanted to get it on the new phone. Verizon said they couldn't transfer texts, I think the person didn't want to deal with it the little b@$tard. Thank you so much for this info!!!


Or you can use Backuptrans Android SMS + MMS Transfer. Transfer both sms/mms messages from android to computer or to another android directly.


I got a replacement phone,how do i transfer all my text messages and wasapp chats to my new phone.Both lg esteem

Nikki M
Nikki M

I have tried several different apps for this... They work okay, but the problem is when they go to my email they change the time stamp on all the text messages so they are out of order... Anyone know a way to fix this?


www.cellulike.com.au Really great service that not only backs up contacts but also photo's and video's, then you can transfer to a new phone when required.. Archives your back up's so you can view old back up's as well. Not tied to any carrier and works on all phones that can access the internet. Fantastic www.cellulike.com.au


I use VeryAndroid SMS & MMS Backup. Backup and restore Android SMS on computer with ease.


I use a sms backup app. It could backup & restore & edit & delete & export & print text messages. "ast android sms transfer", you could have a try.


I strongly recommend that you use "Apolsoft Android SMS Transfer", because I just purchased, I feel very good.


Why using an app just to backup SMS/MMS and logs to Gmail! i would not use it there's many apps that backs up everything and some even backs up to the cloud. Titanium is the best backup option and for the unrooted devices i would say G cloud backup is the best.