App for Restoring Text Messages from Semi-Dead Phone


Moto G3, Old plan from beginning, Includes all.

This being the 2nd Moto G3in the last six months to screw up, it started boot looping a couple of weeks ago. Can’t get it to go beyond a certain point to do a Moto Migrate to the new phone.

I have installed Republic Anywhere to get at least a few more text messages, but they are no all there, obviously, since I couldn’t migrate.

I was told that there might be 3rd party apps, etc that might be able to retrieve this info. Anyone have any thoughts on this? I really need the texts as some of them are business oriented which unfortunately I don’t have written anywhere.

Amy B

Notable Newbies: Welcome!
Notable Newbies: Welcome!

in what way does moto migrate fail on you? does the phone reboot while trying to run the app, or does the app just fail to transfer data? i’m worried that any other app might have the same issues you’re facing with migrate…

i use this app myself:
on a regular schedule it backs up all my SMS/MMS to cloud storage so that if/when my phone dies i don’t have to worry about retrieving the messages… they are already up in the cloud ready for recovery. it works great, but does require that the phone generally be working in order to run it.

alternatively you could use the android debug tools to backup texts to a PC if you like: [link redacted; it wasn’t actually helpful. sorry but turns out this method of backup does NOT include your SMS/MMS history]

once you’ve got a good backup i suggest you do factory reset and REFRAIN from restoring anything to the phone. don’t even log in to your own google account. it’s uncommon to have so many issues with these phones and there’s a chance that the problem is being copied to your new phones each time you restore backups/settings/etc.



Hi @amyb9

Just to make sure, what is the current status of your phone. Since you mention boot looping, what can you do with your phone in general? Is it able to stay on like normal but some apps crash the phone? Or is it more like a time before it reboots?

In addition to bit’s recommended apps, there are other apps remote apps which can help retrieve (but not back up the texts). This includes Airdroid, maybe other sms apps such as MightyText which are made to help use your phone via your computer (similar to Anywhere) which can display the history of your text messages so you can manually copy them down.


The phone is still boot looping. It makes it’s way through the typical set up after the Motorola symbol, but stops somewhere in that process and reboots. It’s also not holding a charge.

Thanks, yes, that’s what I was hoping for. Assuming those both work the same way, over the computer and then maybe could transfer to the new phone?


Can’t get to the app because the old phone is boot looping. I have never had issues with the app before but haven’t had the problem of boot looping except for the issue with the Defy.

Can’t do a factory reset… not anything is working. Therefore, I have nothing from text messages. Everything else has been copied over to the new phone.


yikes - can’t even get to the app! ok.
have you tried booting into recovery mode?

follow the [EXTERNAL RESET] instructions here:,6720,9390

(copied here for reference)
Android 5.x (Lollipop)/Android 6.x (Marshmallow) Steps

  1. With the phone powered off, press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button at the same time until the device turns on.
  2. Press the Volume Down key to highlight Recovery mode.
  3. Press the Power key to restart into Recovery mode.
  4. The screen will display an Android robot with a red exclamation mark.
  5. While holding down the Power key, press and release the Volume Up key, then release Power.
  6. Use the volume keys to scroll to Wipe data/factory reset and press the Power key to select it.
  7. Scroll down to Yes - erase all user data and press the Power key to select it.

(note: the described process with erase everything - but if you can’t even boot android right now i’m afraid there is little hope of recovering anything. you can try everything up to but not including step 7 without actually affecting the phone)


Yes, got into recovery mode, but nothing works within that either. Can’t seem to get it to do anything. Hoping somehow one of those apps can transfer the text messages to computer.


ok, so this is what i gathered from your observations so far:

  1. you got into recovery mode! that’s great news!
  2. recovery mode is a completely different set of software than the usual android operating environment; if your problems exist here then you’ve got some kind of physical issue rather than corrupt software
  3. worst case physical issue would be a memory/cpu hardware fault, but in that case it’s highly unlikely you’d be able to boot into recovery mode at all
  4. what exactly happens in recovery mode when “nothing works”? does it reboot, or does it simply not respond to input the way you expect/intend?
  5. this might seem basic, but if you’ve got a case and/or a screen protector: remove them. it’s possible the phone is responding to unintended inputs due to phantom button presses and/or screen taps from those.
  6. note that if you can’t boot into android properly then you won’t be able to install or run any apps to backup your text messages. i’m sorry, but that seems to be the situation you’re in. unless you find some way to resolve the underlying issue (at least enough to boot up normally and run some apps) you simply won’t be able to backup your text messages.


Ok, nothing seems to be happening in recovery mode. Nothing changes, just goes back to the boot looping.

Case has already been put on the “new” phone.

I also just discovered that my whole gallery of photos/videos are gone. I am really pissed!


Ok, nothing seems to be happening in recovery mode. Nothing changes, just goes back to the boot looping.

do you mean that it boot loops AFTER you manually exit recovery mode, or that it bootloops outside of your control WHILE you are in recovery?

Case has already been put on the “new” phone.

ok, so the case isn’t the culprit. it was worth a shot

I also just discovered that my whole gallery of photos/videos are gone. I am really pissed!

i strongly suggest using Google Photos, Flickr, Dropbox, or any of the myriad other automated backup systems to keep your photos and videos always sync’d to the cloud via wifi. There are free options of all the above but notably Google’s free offering is the most complete for this purpose. That’s the one i use personally. it’s quick to configure and easy to use - setup one of these on the new phone right away!


Unfortunately I had no idea that the phone didn’t do automatic backups. According to Google Drive, it had backed up the day before the phone started freaking out. But what was backed up is an unknown. Photos had apparently not backed anything up since 2015. So technically I lost 2 years of photos/vids and text messages of course.

I need a techie who can maybe glean some info from safe mode. There are areas in there that I don’t know what they do, but I suppose someone does.


The only chance to get back you text messages from a dead phone is to rely on a recovery tool since you have no backup files. The tool will firstly fix your dead device and help extract your data to your computer.


Well where would I find a recovery tool. It’s boot looping, but not dead…


My Moto G3 is doing the same boot looping where no instructions seem to work. Where it breaks down is at the 3rd step “Press the Power key to restart into Recovery mode”. Instead of the robot with an exclamation mark, it just goes straight into the ‘M powered by android’ screen that you always see on startup. Then it reboots but of course fails, ending with the Boot loader logs in red and yellow fine print. The only robot I see is when initially in boot loader mode there is a robot on its back with its front panel open, presumably for repairs. Before all this happened it was telling me there wasn’t enough memory to update apps. So, if some OS updates were happening anyway then perhaps the memory topped out at the worst possible time and now it has lobotomized itself.


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