Locating text messages on Samsung phone


Active member
Aug 10, 2015
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Hello All,

I'm trying to understand how and where text messages are stored on a Samsung phone. My phone is a Samsung Galaxy S9+. I'm trying to understand where each messaging app, ex., Samsung Messages, Textra, etc. finds these messages when they are changed to the default app. I want to access the main folder or location on my phone to preserve all text messages, before I delete the text messaging apps. My phone is flaking out and I'm not consistently able to send and receive texts. I know I need a new phone and it might be a memory problem, but I'd like to factory reset my phone in one last effort to keep it around a little longer. Yes, I am aware of some back up apps, such as, SMS Back Up & Restore, which I think is great. Anyway, any suggestions would be great.

Thanks, Brad


Well-known member
Feb 5, 2018
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I'm using a s9+.
I use 3 different text apps. Samsung, Signal and Google.
Each stores its own data. You can see this by going to settings, apps, messages/signal etc.
Using smart switch should move everything over, and before that do a full backup.
Hope this answers your question, if not post what you use and how you can't find it.
Good luck


Well-known member
Dec 19, 2011
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Yeah, that database is controlled by the Android system and only accessible to what Android allows. That's limited to SMS/MMS/messaging apps and backup apps given the proper permissions. All those apps, whether it's a phone's stock app like Samsung Messages, Google messages, or something like Textra, they all access the same database. On my Samsung phone, I use Textra. but if I open the Samsung Messages apps, the same list of conversations are already there even though I didn't use it for any of those conversations.