In Anywhere, how do I update the phone number associated with a message thread?

A friend has changed phones and I’d like to transfer our old text exchanges from their old phone # to their new phone # (that I can see via the Republic Anywhere app). How can I do this?

Hi @markb.ldyak2 and welcome back to the Republic Community
A lot of us on here like the SMS Backup app shown below

SMS Backup & Restore

SMS Backup

Please see this post from @c1tobor :

This doesn’t answer my question. Please re-read my question.

Hi @markb.ldyak2,

I’ve re-read your question and I’m not quite sure what part of it hasn’t been answered. Could you provide a little more detail about where you still need guidance?

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I and my friend exchanged texts between my RW phone and their (non-RW) phone. My friend got a new phone and I DID NOT. Is it possible for me to move the texts I had received from my friend’s old phone # to their new phone # in the repository of texts on my RW phone?

I see. I think @SuperT and I both thought you wanted to move the conversation history to your friend’s new phone so they’d have the historical conversation as well.

You want to change the phone number associated with a text thread on your phone.

I don’t think we’ve seen that asked here before, but you’d think there’d be a way to do it.

I just tried changing the phone number in the “Contacts” app but that leaves the text thread associated with the old phone number and no name on it.

Interesting… let’s see if the Community can figure out a way! Do you mind if I update the title of this topic?

Please do.

Ok. Title updated, topic un-marked as solved, and I’ll throw in a $5 Amazon gift card for the first person who can figure out how to do it.

Instead of changing the number, could you just add a second number to the contact?

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Adding my friend’s new phone # (as a 2nd phone #) to their existing contact info in my phone does allow me to see all the text’s associated to my friend’s profile. And I guess this makes sense, I see two separate text threads for my friend and are not merged into one. Since my friend and I will be texting on their new phone #, the text thread of their old # will eventually “disappear” (if there’s a limit of how long the texts are retained) into the past. If I want to look farther into the past, I will just need to remember the date when I received the last text on the old thread so I can go and find that thread. Maybe put that date as a misc field on my friend’s profile.

Thank you for the suggestion.

Hi @markb.ldyak2,

Ok. I was able to do what you are asking to do. It might be more work than you were hoping for but to be honest, it’s easier than it sounds when I type it up. I’ll give you an overview, and if it’s not something you can take from there and run with, it’s probably not worth the effort.

Keep in mind, this is just something I tried based on curiosity about your request, and must not be construed in any way as a Republic-wireless “supported” process.

First, I installed the app recommended in @SuperT’s first reply to you.

I used that to create a backup of my text messages and I stored them locally on the phone. I had to be careful to pick a folder I’d be able to navigate to.

Then I connected the phone to my computer by USB cable and navigated to the folder and moved the back-up file to my computer.

(Obviously, there are other ways you could get to this point. The app itself has some options for storing the back-up file to different online locations, I just don’t like giving third-party apps my login credentials.) :roll_eyes:

Once I had moved that file to my computer, I opened it with notepad.

Then I used the find and replace function to “find” the former phone number and “replace” all instances of it with the new phone number. To do so, just type all 10 digits without any punctuation or spaces, like image

Then I saved the file with a slightly different name (just to keep the original backup file safe), moved it to the phone, and used that app’s “restore” feature to “restore” that modified backup file to the phone.

What I’ve found in the past, and it held true for this experience, was that when I “restore” the text messages, the text message database is not deleted and replaced. Instead the new data is added into the old data. So in this case, my list of text messages ended up looking exactly the same as before, except now I had a thread with the friend’s old contact number, and an identical thread with the friend’s new contact number. Once I verify all the messages moved over, I can delete the thread with the old contact number. Since you’ve already been engaged with this new contact number, the older text messages will blend into that new thread, based on their timestamp. Here’s an example of what I’m trying to describe. Let’s pretend this is my text history:


George - 919 - 111 - 1111 - Hey. What’s for supper.
Me - Froot loops
George - 919 - 111 - 1111 - Sounds good.


Chantal - 919 - 222 - 2222 - Is it raining there?
Me - Not yet, it’s supposed to start soon
Chantal - 919 - 222 - 2222 - Ok. I’ll wear my rainboots
Me - :boot:


Sam - 919 - 333 - 3333 - Feeling better yet?
Me - Yeah
Sam - 919 - 333 - 3333 - Cool. See you tomorrow.
Me - Ok


Now, let’s say Chantal changes her number to 919 - 444 - 4444 and this gets added

Chantal - 919 - 444 - 4444 - Got a new phone number
Me - Why?
Chantal - 919 - 444 - 4444 - New job paying for my phone.


Then I go through the process I described above and find & replace image with image

My text history would then look like this:


George - 919 - 111 - 1111 - Hey. What’s for supper.
Me - Froot loops
George - 919 - 111 - 1111 - Sounds good.


Chantal - 919 - 222 - 2222 - Is it raining there?
Me - Not yet, it’s supposed to start soon
Chantal - 919 - 222 - 2222 - Ok. I’ll wear my rainboots
Me - :boot:


Sam - 919 - 333 - 3333 - Feeling better yet?
Me - Yeah
Sam - 919 - 333 - 3333 - Cool. See you tomorrow.
Me - Ok


Chantal - 919 - 444 - 4444 - Is it raining there?
Me - Not yet, it’s supposed to start soon
Chantal - 919 - 444 - 4444 - Ok. I’ll wear my rainboots
Me - :boot:
Chantal - 919 - 444 - 4444 - Got a new phone number
Me - Why?
Chantal - 919 - 444 - 4444 - New job paying for my phone.


Once I confirm that very important conversation with Chantal about the boots is now safely merged into the new thread with Chantal’s new 444 number, I can delete the entire thread with her old 222 conversation.

So, @markb.ldyak2, let me know if I’m to award @cbwahlstrom the $5 Amazon card for suggesting you simply add the phone number to the contact, or if you want to give this a try and see if it’s what you were really hoping for.

Note that I tried this with a phone that does not have a lot of text messages history on it, and Notepad was able to handle the job of finding and replacing all instances of a number, but if you have a very large backup file, you may have to find a more robust editor to accomplish this task.

There’s some risk here of messing up your text history. If your not comfortable with that risk, please don’t give this a try. Republic Wireless will not be able to restore your text history or repair any other circumstance brought about, or perceived to be brought about, by the process I’ve described above.

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Thanks for the consideration, but I can make this easy. i don’t really need/desire the gift card. You documented a nice solution there.

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