Extracting all Text Message Attachments and to PDF


New member
iPhone 7
iOS 11.1.2
iTunes 12.5.7

I'm trying to find a good program that will export all my text message attachments and save my text messages as PDF. I purchased Macroplant iExplorer because I have had good results with them in the past, but I'm currently experiencing issues. Does anyone have any good similar programs that they have not experienced issues with (preferably free, since I already spent money on iExplorer)? Also, does anyone have any good programs to extract Whatsapp messages and attachments in the same fashion?

Has anyone ever used Macroplant's iExplorer and experienced my issues? If so, anyone know what to do to bypass them? This is what I sent to them (and still haven't heard back) (screenshots of issued attached in PDF to this post):

I'm trying to export all the attachments from a chat conversation, but I'm getting a couple of different errors. I've attached a Microsoft Word document with some screenshots that should be a helpful reference. I have to mention that I am reading a backup that was made with the latest version of iTunes (version - 12.7.1) and not directly off the phone. I have tried to re-backup (thinking there could've been something wrong with this back up, but I'm getting the same results). I did not, however, try to do this directly from the phone yet - but the results should not be different.

Error 1:
The first "error" is that the export will only stop after the first two attachments in the list have been exported from a selected conversation. See "Picture 1" in the Word document. Clearly there are over 2200 attachments in this message, not two. The third attachment seems to be of an unknown format and is represented by a question mark icon. Why don't all the rest of the attachments export? Does iExplorer, upon first arrival of an unknown attachment, fail to do the rest? Is there a way to skip and go past to the next "readable" attachment and continue from there? I tried selecting particular attachments and exporting those, but it did not work. Also, I can only select attachments one by one, an arduous task as you can imagine when you have more than 2200 attachments to go through. I'm able to export other conversations that contain no unknown (question mark icon) attachments.

Error 2:
I tried to export the same selected conversation from Error 1 to PDF. It does not create the PDF and I get the message "Export completed with the following errors: The given key was not present in the dictionary." This makes me think this is the in the same vein as the first error: it won't look past the first "unknown attachment" and then fail.

Error 3:
I've tried to export attachments from other conversations and I'm receiving the message: Export complete with the following errors: File exists at target path. The folder that I'm exporting these attachments to is completely empty. This, to me, makes me think there are duplicate attachments with the same name trying to be exported to the same place, but this is not the case as I checked the names of them.

Sorry for the long-windedness, but I figured the more detail you have, the better so you understand all the issues and possible outcomes. Can you please help me with these issues? I really like this program for what it can do and how it presents the output. This is, however, very frustrating that I spent $40 only to receive errors.



Staff member
I haven't seen the need to keep messages, or many of the attachments, so this is an area I have very little knowledge in.

When you backup though, your messages and attachments are included in there so you may be able to take advantage of that to get your messages out.

There is a sponsor on this site with several posts on messages transfers. Maybe their software can help. I don't think it is free.


New member
There are many app available at play store and apple store ,some are free and most of them are paid. For ios sms backup these is very common matteryand it mostly included in ios recovery or ios explorer software.