Messages app on MacSource: iMore

Though iCloud and other storage services are great for storing data and personal information, it's not always easy to pick and choose what data you want to save. Having an internet-connected backup for your iPhone or iPad is an excellent safety measure. Still, if you need a locally-saved copy of your messages, voicemails, and other data on your best Mac, PhoneView is an app that can help you out.

There are many advantages to keeping track of your data with PhoneView. To use just one example, if you use your phone for both work and personal use and need to keep track of your work communication for billing and tax purposes, you may want to keep a detailed record of your call history, messages, and other communication in one handy location.

How to extract messages and voicemails from your iPhone and iPad with PhoneView

Whether you have an M1 Mac, like the iMac (2021), or an older Intel Mac, PhoneView works the same.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a Lightning cable.
  2. Launch PhoneView.
  3. Click OK.

    Launching PhoneView on Mac: Connect your iPhone to your Mac, lauinch PhoneView, and then click OK. Source: iMore

  4. Click on the type of Data you want to copy to your Mac.
  5. Click on the content you want to copy.

    Selecting the data you want in PhoneView on Mac: Click on the type of Data you want to copy, and then click the content you want to copy. Source: iMore

  6. Click Copy from iPhone.
  7. Choose your Save Settings.
  8. Click Save.

    Copying data with PhoneView on Mac: Click copy from iPhone, choose your save settings, and then click save.Source: iMore

As you can see, PhoneView can copy a lot more than just messages and voicemails. Your call history, contacts, media files, notes, and more can all be copied to your computer for safekeeping.

PhoneView App Icon


You can download a 7-day free trial of PhoneView and get a feel for how the system works to see if it's right for you. Of course, the trial version does have some limitations. For example, you won't be able to export more than ten text messages from a conversation with the PhoneView demo. The full version of PhoneView costs $29.95.

Request a copy of your data using Apple's data and privacy portal

Of course, you can always get your data directly from Apple. By requesting a copy of your data through Apple's privacy portal, you'll get much more than messages and voicemails, but everything else you've got on your iCloud account as well.

Updated February 2022: Updated for macOS Monterey