How to Backup Messages from your iPhone: Try iExplorer
I don’t encourage lawyers to communicate with clients about their cases through text message, but, if you are going to do so, you need to preserve those messages and put them in the client’s file. I am not talking about messages such as, “see you in five minutes” I am talking about text messages that contain substantive information.
Why don’t I like it when lawyers communicate via text?
- Most attorneys don’t properly preserve their texts. Substantive communication needs to be preserved in the file. This can be key if a client complains about your ethics or your representation later on.
- Given the nature of texts, clients might expect you to respond immediately. Lawyers have the right to a life and clients might get upset with you if you don’t answer.
- Following up with the quick aspect of texts, lawyers are in the business of thinking and then answering. A knee jerk quick response might just be incorrect and come back to haunt you later on.
- If you bill hourly, you might forget to bill for these sorts of quick communications.
Back the Texts up in a Usable Format
All of my concerns aside, if you are going to text, it is critical that you preserve them and store them properly. Backing them up with the usual tools won’t do it. The texts, photos and other communications need to be backed up in a usable format that can be properly stored with the client’s file. You should back your texts up periodically to make sure they are not lost if something happens to your phone.
Try Macroplant’s iExplorer
Recently, I was asked to preserve some photos a client had sent to a lawyer via text. The lawyer had gotten a new phone, so the old phone no longer had service. I also wanted to preserve the texts the lawyer had actually exchanged with the client when the client sent the photos. The texts weren’t substantive, but I wanted to be able to show the connection between receipt of the photos and the texts in which they were sent. This lead me to a program called iExplorer. iExplorer has a free version, but that version is quite limited. If you want to do what I needed to do, export photos, for example, you need to buy the full version. The full version is $35 for 1 license.
Easy to Use
Setting up iExplorer is very easy. The free version is a quick download and install. You will be offered the chance to buy the full version as you work with the program. Use is simple as well. Plug in your iPhone and go from there. Much like an iPhone, the program is very straight forward. I was able to easily to create a backup of my text messages (or anything else on the phone) and then export the pictures as well as the conversation itself. I didn’t try other aspects of the program, but it also allows backup of voicemail and contacts as well as everything else on your phone. This kind of freedom means you can separate out the different types of files on your phone in a much easier fashion than you can using iTunes itself.
If you are looking for a way to easily manage your iPhone, give iExplorer a try. I think you will find it quite useful.