How To Read SMS Backup & Restore Backup Log File in Plain Format

SMS Backup & Restore is a simple Android app that backs up and restores Android phone’s text messages and call logs. The app is super easy to use and does the job very well in that regards. But there is a real problem if you just want to read the data in the backup file without having to restore it to the phone first because it saves the data in an XML format that is not so user-friendly in terms of reading or reviewing purpose.

Here are three ways to help you out.

Option 1 – using web browser

In order to display information correctly in a readable format, you need a style file that defines how XML gets displayed.

For SMS Backup & Restore:

  • Download (right-click on the link and select “Save Target As” or “Save Link As” or equivalent on your browser) sms.xsl for SMS Backup & Restore file and store it in the same folder as the SMS backup XML file.

For Call Logs Backup & Restore:

  • Download (right-click on the link and select “Save Target As” or “Save Link As” or equivalent on your browser) Calls.xsl file and store it in the same folder as the call log backup XML file.

Once done, simply drag the XML file in a browser of your choice you will get a much readable result just in a second.

However, when it’s working it works nicely but it doesn’t always work.

Option 2 – Opening it in Excel

Yes, that’s right. Microsoft Excel is smart enough to display an XML file in a table format without any help from a style define file. Simply open it in Excel, and Excel will take care of the rest for you. You may get a few warning messages along the way like below. Just click OK to move forward until you see the result.

Option 3 – a web app to rescue

Head over to this SMS Backup Reader 2 web app, click Select SMS Backup… button, pick the backup file in XML format, and wait to see how nice the result is on your screen.

That’s about it. Enjoy.

3 thoughts on “How To Read SMS Backup & Restore Backup Log File in Plain Format

  1. It’s not clear how I save a file that to even try to open in Excel when the file being saved is a folder on gmail? It saves as a web browser… as you can see, I have no idea about anything beyond the basics.

  2. “Download (right-click on the link and select “Save Target As” or “Save Link As” or equivalent on your browser) sms.xsl for SMS Backup & Restore file and store it in the same folder as the SMS backup XML file.”

    The part I don’t get is the “store it in the same folder as the SMS backup XML file.” I saved it to a general file in my documents. How can it be stored in the same folder as the “SMS backup XML file?” That is on the gmail account, right? I am not aware of it being on the actual computer.

  3. THEY JUST NEED TO SIMPLIFY THIS PROCESS.
    Even with the XSL solution or Excel, the page is still HARD TO READ because it doesn’t GROUP the messages.

    Sending people to a website that converts the xml is out of the question, since that would mean transmitting SMS that contains personal stuff over the web.

    The App should just backup as GMAIL format (NOT google drive) like one of their competitors does, GROUPED properly.

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