Backup, transfer and restore your Call Logs and SMS from any Android phone to /e/OS

Mission:

Learn to backup, transfer and restore call logs and SMS from your Android phone to /e/OS without Google Account. It works for one /e/OS phone to another as well. It is a universal method as long as you are using Android based ROMs.

Prerequisites:

  • A phone running /e/OS to restore your SMS and call logs
  • Another or same phone [before you flashed /e/OS on it] running any Android based ROM to backup and transfer your SMS and call logs from.

Let’s roll.

For the purpose of this guide, I am using OnePlus 7T running OxygenOS for backup/transfer and a phone running /e/OS based on Android Oreo for restore.

1. Install ‘SMS Backup & Restore’ from /e/ Apps Store

SMS Backup & Restore is a closed source freeware with ads available on both /e/ Apps Store and Google Play.

Open /e/ Apps Store

image

Tap on Search from bottom menu to look for ‘SMS Backup & Restore’ .

Once installed on /e/OS, follow the same on other device as well.

Similarly installed on OnePlus 7T running OxygenOS

.

2. Open ‘SMS Backup & Restore’ on smartphone you wish to use for backup and transfer. OnePlus 7T for the purpose of this guide.

Note: At this point, I would recommend you to turn OFF Wifi and/or Mobile data on both device owing to the closed-source nature of the app used before opening it. I have not audited its network behavior as of yet. Albeit, it is a reputed app.

On Welcome screen, tap ‘GET STARTED’ button on the bottom to continue.

Tap DENY to continue.

Tap ALLOW to continue.

Tap ALLOW to continue.

Tap ALLOW to continue.

Tap ALLOW to continue.

Tap SKIP to continue.

Once the App is ready to backup your call logs and SMS, a screen as seen in the image below is presented showing number of entries for call log and SMSes.

3. Time to Backup your SMS conversations and Call logs on your phone and transfer it when done.

Tap ‘SET UP A BACKUP’ to tap NEXT to continue as seen the image below.

Tap on radio button to the right of ‘Your phone’ to backup data on device.

Tap OK to continue.

Tap YES to continue. Tap Next to continue.

Turn off Scheduling by tapping on the radio button to grey / left.

Tap OK to continue.

Tap BACK UP NOW.

Your call logs and SMS data is backed up locally.

Tip: You should now Uninstall this application. Once done, you are at liberty to turn OFF the airplane mode or switch ON - Mobile data or Wifi.

4. Transfer your data to phone running /e/OS

For the purpose of this guide, I am using Bluetooth but you can use any method you prefer or trust like Telegram Saved Messages or data cable to transfer your data.

Above said app has backed up your data in two separate .xml files in SMSBackupRestore directory. It does not create a complex structure of files at all.

Navigate to SMSBackupRestore folder in Files Manager on device to select the two .xml files as seen in the image below in order to share it via a preferable medium.

Select both Files to share via Bluetooth.

Received on /e/OS running Oreo via Bluetooth.

4. Restore your SMS conversations and Call logs on smartphone running /e/OS

Privacy Tip: Turn Airplane mode ON until the restoration of backup is done and the application is completely uninstalled. Network bahaviour of this app is not audited by me as of yet.

Open SMS Backup & Restore on /e/OS from App drawer and follow Step 2 above until you see the following screen to tap on MORE OPTIONS

Tap on Restore to continue.

Tap on LOCAL BACKUP LOCATION to continue.

Select LOCAL FOLDER to continue.

Navigate to the folder containing your .xml backup files to tap ‘USE THIS FOLDER’ to continue

Tap RESTORE to continue

Owing to restoration technicality, you need to make this App your default Messaging app. Tap OK to continue.

Tap YES to grant permission.

Restoration of backup in works

Conversation Threads get updated and its done! Wo-ho!

Immediately switch to App Drawer and uninstall this app to turn OFF Airplane mode.

5. Open /e/OS Message to see your SMS threads and navigate to Phone dialer to check call logs.

When asked to make it default SMS app, tap YES to continue.

Message app has all your SMS threads in the state you left them before backup.

Phone Dialer has call logs with precise details intact therein.

Isn’t it a fun, quick method to backup, transfer and restore your call logs and SMS?

Thanks for reading!

8 Likes

Thanks @manish !

I use this app for months and was able to backup/restore across full wipe.
Hint : I choose a sub-folder of 'Documents" as target, so my backup get synchronized with my eCloud :wink:

3 Likes

Good tip and cool idea. My aim was completely local and offline transfer. /e/cloud is nifty and lovely once you get on /e/OS.

1 Like

Thanks :slight_smile:

Another tip : in “Backup Settings” you can choose the retention of backups (useful if you have lot of MMS :wink: ).
However I don’t know if it works once app uninstalled …

And also remove ads in “Settings” :slight_smile:

Yes, a lot of things can be done if you use this application persistently. But, this guide is for migration of data when you switch to /e/OS and not beyond.

Oops, sorry :pleading_face:

Don’t be sorry. I am just explaining the limited scope of this guide. :smiley:

Thanks @manish for this amazing guide!!!
This is one of the things I struggled with the most when I helped my family migrate to /e/…
Hopefully it will be very helpful for many others.

2 Likes

Thank you very much for this step by step guide.
As donut3 said, it was one of the items I struggled with when moving from an Android phone to a /e/OS one, and I really hoped there was an easiest method (kind of backup and restore from the default SMS app, so that it was possible to easily move everything… perhaps one day).

1 Like

@manish
Thank you very much for your great work!

Just a hint (but your solution is the versatile one!):
Espacially when you migrate within the same Android version you can also use Titanium Backup (Pro) to migrate call logs, SMS/MMS and even e.g. WLAN access, data usage.

1 Like

I have been using SMS Backup and Restore Pro for years. Since I multiboot on most of my devices the app gets a lot of use. Don’t believe it has ever failed to do the job regarding SMS (don’t backup call logs since I rarely make or receive calls). A must-have app in my opinion.
Nice to see it get a write-up. :+1:

Only issue I ever had, not the app’s fault, was with some OEM stock ROMs. When messages were restored the system would automatically give MMS messages (with images) the current time stamp. Totally messing up threading. That was a long time ago though.

All but one of the devices have external storage which I use for the app’s backup location. The Essential PH-1 with /e/OS only has internal storage. Many thanks @smu44 for the Documents subfolder tip. Excellent.

EDIT: Just found out that /e/ does SMS syncing now. Nice.

2 Likes

In case you only want to use apps without tracker to backup and restore your SMS, you could :

On the old phone :

  • Install QKSMS from F-Droid (direct download link here),
  • open it,
  • set this app as the default SMS app,
  • display the menu with a swipe from the left to the right,
  • click on “Backup and restore”,
  • click on “Backup now”,
  • allow access to the internal storage if the pop up askking for this permission is displayed,
  • open the “Files” app,
  • save the “QKSMS” directory.

On the new /e/ phone :

  • Paste this directory on the new phone, at the same place,
  • open the pre-installed “Message” app,
  • display the menu with a swipe from the left to the right,
  • click on “Backup and restore”,
  • click on “Restore”,
  • click on the wanted backup,
  • click on “RESTORE”.
4 Likes

Or, if you’re ok having your messages in /e/ Cloud, ask support to enable “Phone Sync” for your account :wink:

1 Like

I tried that - they said “No”. Actually they said it was currently limited to developers, but as I’m not a developer, that amounts to 'No" :slight_smile:

HI @Anonyme,

Still interested in backing up SMS… and I found againg your post,
which is quite interesting and leads me to the following question (I still have an old version of /e/ installed, thus my question):

  • click on “Backup and restore”

Does the current version of the app have the backup and restore function? I do not have it in mine (3.6.4).
Is it possible to copy the backup to an external memory?

Thank you in advance for your reply

Hello @sonyxa2,

Yes it has the restore function.

And yes once the backup is done you can copy the file wherever you want. Though for Message to find the file in order to restore it, try to paste it at the same place it was (so copy the entire folder instead of just the backup file).

Thank you very much for the information.
As I am quite interested, I guess I will consider moving to a more recent version of /e/OS (the fear or losing something has prevented me from doing it before) or the SMS app only (if it is possible to update it without losing the messages… I would need to search for it)