Help with jailbreaking and Cydia for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.

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How to fix some mysterious problems.

is it possible to back up these databases (SMS, Call Records, Notes and Contacts) manually by copying certain .db files on the iPhone, i remember once seeing this for SMS but not sure of the file name and location as well as the same for the other information.

asked 01 Mar '11, 13:11

knightz4u's gravatar image


closed 29 Dec '14, 11:16

Tilerone's gravatar image


The question has been closed for being "Solved" by Tilerone, 29 Dec '14, 11:16

You can do it, they're all in the /var/mobile/Library directory, but you need to be careful, as if you try to restore them then sync, the identifier for each record will be different (e.g. all your contacts in your Address Book will appear to have changed completely!)

A safer way is to use PkgBackup, backing up to Dropbox. It lets you backup all your Apple data as well, Notes, SMS, Calls, even Photos as an option.

If you still want to do it manually:

  • /var/mobile/Library/AddressBook/AddressBook.sqlitedb
  • /var/mobile/Library/AddressBook/AddressBookImages.sqlitedb
  • /var/mobile/Library/Calendar/Calendar.sqlitedb
  • /var/mobile/Library/Notes/notes.idx
  • /var/mobile/Library/Notes/notes.sqlite
  • /var/mobile/Library/SMS/sms.db
  • /var/mobile/Library/SMS/Parts/*
  • /var/mobile/Library/Voicemail/voicemail.db

And so on...

I think the Call Records are sometimes in /var/mobile/Library/Logs/ADDataStore.sqlitedb , but can't recall 100% from when I did this all last. My only CallHistory directory is in /var/wireless/Library, which isn't familiar. It may have changed since I last went through this.


answered 01 Mar '11, 22:48

Endareth's gravatar image


edited 01 Mar '11, 23:56


I think you can ignore /var/wireless/Library/CallHistory. I have that folder. On my iPod. ;)

(02 Mar '11, 00:04) spockers ♦♦ spockers's gravatar image

Notes and contacts get backed up/synced to an application via iTunes The others get backed up, but not synced with any application.


answered 01 Mar '11, 17:33

dhlizard's gravatar image


What i'm looking for is a practical and sure way of backing up these databses such as the /private/var/mobile/Library/SMS/sms.db file which stores all SMS messages.

If i copy this file to somewhere safe, i can restore it even if i nuke both iPhone and computer.

Do you know of something similar for the callrecords, notes and contacts?

(01 Mar '11, 22:42) knightz4u knightz4u's gravatar image

You could always copy the raw filesystem through SSH or something, but since I'm sure you know that, I'm guessing you want something like i-Funbox with the added capability of knowing where SMS, Call Records, Notes and Contacts are stored?

(01 Mar '11, 22:50) spockers ♦♦ spockers's gravatar image

Basically, we put alot of stakes on what information is stored on our iPhones and i find iTunes to have many bugs that in some cases iTunes would stop working or missbehave and stop recognizing the iPhone, I once couldn't fix without reinstalling windows in whole!!

So i need a method i can trust to save the data, looking at the backup folders that iTunes creates these are in excess of 600 MB and perhaps we can use a software such as iBackupBot for iTunes or use PkgBackup to backup certain files and folders as @Endareth suggested.

Assuming that during restoring these files back to a new iPhone i'm worried about two things:

  • On the first Sync after copying back the .db files, will iTunes take the update or enforce an erase.
  • Besides the file access rights (rwx) for eac user group, is there something else that needs to be done to tidy the restore.

answered 02 Mar '11, 01:46

knightz4u's gravatar image


edited 02 Mar '11, 01:47


Maybe have a chat to the developer of PkgBackup, he might be able to help you with info?

(02 Mar '11, 19:52) myphone myphone's gravatar image

I did a manual restore of those files, after doing an iTunes sync. When I next synced, there were no errors, I just got the usual warning message about more than 10% (or whatever) of my contacts/calander entries being changed (because now the IDs referred to different entries in the database). Accepting all the changes worked fine for me.

I don't believe anything (other than permissions) needs touching for it to work.

(02 Mar '11, 21:21) Endareth Endareth's gravatar image

Messages are stored in a SQLite database file on the device. You cannot access this file and move it to your PC or mail it to yourself unless you jailbreak and unlock the device.


answered 29 Dec '14, 09:22

hugowright's gravatar image


Don't wake up threads 3.5 years old

(29 Dec '14, 11:15) Tilerone Tilerone's gravatar image

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Asked: 01 Mar '11, 13:11

Seen: 8,269 times

Last updated: 29 Dec '14, 11:16

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