Life Hacks

Preserving Your iMessage Conversations Following a Loved One’s Passing

Here are the most straightforward methods to backup and export your iMessage conversations.

Following the loss of a loved one, preserving cherished text message conversations becomes meaningful, yet accomplishing this on iMessage isn’t immediately intuitive. If you wish to back up your chat history, the initial step involves adjusting the duration for which your iMessage texts are stored. Navigate to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages and opt for “Forever” if you prefer your older texts not to be automatically deleted.

Additionally, to safeguard your iMessage texts in the event of transitioning to a new device, it’s crucial to enable iCloud sync. Navigate to Settings > [YOUR NAME] > iCloud > Show All > Messages in iCloud, and enable “Use on this iPhone.” This ensures that all your iMessages seamlessly transfer to your new Apple devices.

For an extra layer of security, consider utilizing a Mac for a comprehensive backup of your iMessages. Open the Messages app on your Mac, access the relevant chat, and scroll to the top, allowing you to go back to your initial conversation (utilizing the search function for old messages may expedite this process). Once at the top, choose File > Print or press Command+P to save the entire chat as a PDF. If you find this process too intricate, alternative third-party apps, such as iMessage Exporter, can simplify the backup of all your chats efficiently. I’ve previously covered iMessage Exporter, a free command-line tool designed for swift and comprehensive chat backups.

As a last resort, if other methods prove challenging, you can resort to the most basic approach: taking screenshots of your critical conversations. While a somewhat rudimentary method, it gets the job done. If you don’t have access to a Mac, you can manually scroll through your iMessage chat on your iPhone, capturing screenshots as you proceed. Various methods allow you to capture long screenshots on your iPhone, and these tools can stitch all the images into a single file, providing an alternative means to preserve your chat history.