If the day comes that you need a hard copy print out of your iPhone SMS and iMessage conversations, the question is simple: How do I print iPhone text messages? There are a few ways to print iPhone text messages that we'll address here.
Print iPhone Text Messages Method 1: Screenshots
Taking screenshots of your iPhone SMS or iMessages is one solution that works for some people. This method usually works best when you need to print only a very small number of messages. If you fall into this category and have a limited number text messages that need printing out, here is how to take iPhone screenshots to print your text messages.
Steps to print iPhone text messages using screenshots
- Open the Messages app on your iPhone and open the text messages that you want to print.
- With the message(s) that you want to print visible, press the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time (iPhone 6/6 Plus/7/7 Plus/8/8 Plus). If you don't have a Home button, instead press the Side button on the right side and the Volume Up button at the same time to take the screenshot (iPhone X/XS/XS Max/XR). If your sound is on you'll hear the camera photo taken sound as you take the screenshot.
- Tap the thumbnail of the screenshot in the lower left corner of your screen, or open the Photos app and open the screenshot photo.
- Tap the up arrow button and then tap Print to print the messages directly from your iPhone.
- Alternatively, tap the up arrow button and then tap Mail to email the screenshot from the camera roll to yourself, and then print the photos on your computer after opening your email.
Again, if you only need to print a few text messages, the screenshot method is free and quick. However, if you have more than just a few iPhone text messages to print out, taking and organizing a lot of screenshots will get out of hand quick.
Disadvantages of screenshots for printing text messages
- The contact name and number is not on each message in a screenshot.
- The exact time is not on each individual message in an iPhone screenshot, only a general time for several messages.
- Taking a screenshot of every single screen of messages that you need to print can take up a lot of your time.
- With a large number of screenshots, you have to manually order and organize the images so that you can print them chronologically. Some users also then try to import the images into a program like Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, or Preview, to properly collate and organize the print outs. That is a lot of work!
- Other iPhone screen data is in the image that isn't relevant to the messages themselves.
For these reasons, if you have more than a few messages, we don't recommend using the screenshot method to print your text messages. It's often too time consuming to be worth the hassle!
Print iPhone Text Messages Method 2: Decipher TextMessage
Decipher TextMessage is desktop software to quickly save and print iPhone/iPad/iPod text messages in just a few easy steps. The program first saves text messages from iPhone to your Mac or Windows computer and then you can immediately print out the exported PDF of all your SMS messages or iMessages. Quick, simple, and easy!
Items needed to print text messages from iPhone/iPad
Four steps to print iPhone text messages:
- Plug your iPhone in to your computer and open the iTunes app on your computer. Select your iPhone or iPad in the iTunes window and then press the "Back Up Now".
- After the iTunes backup finishes, open the Decipher TextMessage app on your Windows or macOS computer.
- When you see all your iPhone contacts listed in the middle column of the program, choose any contact and then click "Export as PDF". You'll be prompted to select where to save the exported PDF.
- Open the saved PDF of your iPhone text messages on your computer and select the Print option.
- How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - Apple Support
- How do I Backup my iPhone with iTunes? - Decipher Tools FAQ
- How do I print my iPhone text messages? - Decipher Tools FAQ
Can I print iPhone text messages from a specific date range?
Yes, you can print text messages from only certain dates! Many iPhone users don't want to print every single text message from a specific contact but rather they prefer to narrow down and only print SMS messages from a few days or even a single day. To accomplish this, you can click Export > Export Current Conversation > PDF (Date Range) in Decipher TextMessage.
How do I print text messages with the date, time, and contact on every single text message?
Decipher TextMessage has a special preference that lets users print text messages with the name and phone number on every single iPhone text message, both sent and received. Click Preferences in the program and make sure "Show Contact on Every Message" is checked.
This is useful for business, trial, and legal reasons. It's important that the contact name and phone number be visible on every single text messages for documentation and verification purposes. This feature also provides a quick visual reference of who each message is from when anyone is browsing through print outs of the text messages.
- How to Gather Technology Abuse Evidence for Court, Self-Represented Litigants Series - National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Any questions about how to print text messages from iPhone?
Learning how to print iPhone text messages is a very useful skill that comes in handy both for personal text messages and also for business-related SMS exchanges and conversations.
If you need any further advice on how to print text messages on iPhone or iPad, simply email us or leave a comment below and someone from either our Phoenix or San Francisco team will respond. Happy text message printing!