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Backup SMS (sms.db) on your iPhone the easy way (openSSH)

9 August 2008 46 Comments

We all love SMSs from our loved ones, don’t we? I always had issues with SMS since I tend to loose them with so many different firmware installs and I always have issues with setting up the iPhone from a backup (it just messes everything up!).

Anyway, openSSH comes to your rescue! Make sure you have openSSH installed via Cydia or installer and boom, use Fugu, Cyberduck or any FTP tool (Windows and Mac) and login to your iPhone (ip address from WiFi settings, username : root, password : alpine, port: 22).

This is the path you have to check for SMS.db file which has all your SMSs!


Copy the SMS.db file locally and make sure you update the cop before and after you restore a new firmware! Told ya its easy 🙂 Lemme know if you have any issues with this process…


  • javen said:

    i did the same thing.. but when i tapped on "send" button, the SMS app closed automatically..

    iPhone 3GS, version 3.1.2 (7D11), Window 7

  • brian said:

    I had the same problem – delete the SMS directory on your iPhone. Send a message. REBOOT. Then upload the old sms.db file

  • Backup your SMS messages when you get the iPhone 4 said:

    […] two different ways: Try This or This. If you have a jailbroken phone you just need to backup /var/root/Library/SMS/sms.db […]

  • adfafae said:

    plzzzz plzzzz tell me how to change permissions to 644

  • Waritis said:

    Nice tips. Thank you so much. I have an iPhone iPhone SMS Backup program to copy sms from iphone to computer for backup. Now I know how to do the backup with SSH.

  • longercheng said:

    Sounds good!

  • Catherine said:

    I'm trying to get in via Terminal on a Mac and keep getting this error?

    ssh: connect to host xxx.xxx.x.xx port 22: Connection refused
    [Process exited – exit code 255]

    (The x's are my I.P. address)
    I'm not exactly the most experienced in using stuff like this, any ideas?

  • Kiran said:

    I am hoping you jail broke your iPhone already. Did you install openssh from cydia?

  • angelo said:

    Hi guys! I've done the whole process and it works great, I get back all my SMS but… when I delete one sms it disappears from the sms APP but when I close the SMS app on the Iphone and enter again the SMS app… the SMS I had deleted appears again!! It seems I can delete no SMS anymore!

    Can anyone help? Thanks in advance!

  • Thanos said:

    change the rights of the sms.db

  • hallaryduff said:

    Bulk SMS
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