The iPhone stores its SMS messages in an SQL database file named sms.db. When a text message is deleted, the information contained in the text is still there, and all that happens is that the header information is deleted.

 If you look at the file itself, you can read the contents of the text, just not the other information in the database, like sender, time received, etc. The contents of each text message in plain text are contained in the file, but are intermingled with other characters. SQL readers don’t display the “deleted” messages, but the contents are still there.

What I am looking for is software that will extract the readable text from the file. Does anyone out there know of such a program?

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Anonymous · August 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I assume by now you found a program?

Divemedic · August 25, 2013 at 6:15 pm

No, I have not.

Anonymous · August 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I had some issues with my phone a while back and dug up some programs to get at that data. I'll rummage around and dig those up and send you some links this evening.

Anonymous · August 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Here are the two programs I used:



The first one will identify the physical file. Then you can do on the identified file and it will show you the full table structure.


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