When did you last write a letter? These days, we use digital technology for many of our conversations, but the added convenience comes at the cost of a paper trail. So how do you print text messages from an iPhone when you need a physical copy?
There are plenty of reasons you might want printed copies of your iPhone text messages. Some romantic souls use them as mementos of their cherished relationships, others need a physical copy to present as evidence in court.
Whatever your reason, there are only two methods to print text messages from an iPhone: take screenshots or use third-party software.
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1. Print screenshots of your text messages from an iPhone
For this method, all you need to do is take screenshots of the text messages on your iPhone screen and print them out. Take a look at this post if you only need to print the attached images from your messages.
If your printer supports AirPrint you can print directly from the Share button on your iPhone. Otherwise you can export the screenshots to a computer using email, AirDrop, or image capture software.
Although taking screenshots seems the quickest option, it comes with some considerable downsides:
- Screenshots don’t show phone numbers or contact details.
- You can’t easily view times for all the messages at once.
- Long conversations need lots of screenshots and become hard to manage.
- You need to format your iPhone screenshots to fit them neatly on a printed page.
If you still want to use screenshots to print text messages from your iPhone, follow the instructions for different iPhone models below. Otherwise, check out our section below on third-party software.
How do I print text message screenshots from an iPhone?
- Open the Messages app and load the conversation you want to print.
- Scroll to view the texts you want to print — you may need to take multiple screenshots to capture them all.
- If you need to show message times, swipe left and hold your finger or thumb in place while you take a screenshot.
- Take a screenshot of the text messages:
- On an iPhone X or later: Quickly press the Side button and the Volume up button.
- On an iPhone 8 or earlier: Quickly press the Side or Top button and the Home button.
- Return to step two, until you’ve captured all the screenshots you need.
- Share your text message screenshots:
- Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
- Tap Select and highlight all the relevant screenshots.
- Tap the Share button and send your screenshots to a printer, email them to yourself, or share them over AirDrop.
2. Use third-party software to print text messages from an iPhone
A plethora of third-party iPhone data management apps are available online. Several of them allow you to search, view, format, and print text messages directly from your iPhone. It’s normally far more convenient than printing text message screenshots.
Most of these apps run on Mac or Windows computers and access the data on your iPhone through a lightning-to-USB cable. There is usually a Messages section in the app with clear instructions for printing your iPhone text messages.
Some data management apps offer a free trial, but you normally need to pay to get full access. You should research these applications independently. Find one with good reviews that offers the features you need before you consider using it.
Remember, these apps can access all the data on your iPhone, so don’t use one that isn’t trustworthy. Even if it’s free.
Here are some of the most popular iPhone data management apps:
Now you know how to print text messages from your iPhone. Hopefully Apple introduces a feature to make it easier in the future. For now, the latest iOS 13 update doesn’t add much to Messages other than improved privacy. Not that I’m complaining.
Let us know in the comments if you found this post helpful. What method did you use to print your text messages? And what are you hoping to use them for?
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.