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Guide to Transferring Old Text Messages to Your New Symbian-Based Nokia Phone

written by: Karishma Sundaram•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/5/2011

Many of us keep short messages in our phone inbox much the same way we store old emails and ancient birthday cards. So when we buy new phones, and attempt to transfer them from the old ones, there is an unexpected roadblock.

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    Problem of Tranferring Texts and Other Data

    Most phone manufacturers have the facility to transfer old phone data to a newer one. With Nokia phones, this invariably is restricted to calendar and contact data; which in itself is a relief, because re-entering all the data is a rather daunting task. There are various ways of carrying out the transfer, whether by Bluetooth, infrared or cable. Nokia has quite a few applications that carry this task out, seamlessly. There is Content Copier, PC Sync, and Phone Switch. But as remarked upon earlier, there is no facility to transfer text messages.

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    A Basic Solution to Sycning Texts Across Phones

    As phones have become more advanced, most mobiles have native storage space, either in the form of memory cards, mass memory or phone memory. Subject to brands and models, each phone in the market today has some combination of the above. However, before memory came into the picture, SIM cards stored contact and message data. So in the case of transferring messages, it is possible to store the messages onto the SIM, replace the SIM in the new phone, and transfer back into the inbox. Text messages have timestamps, so the timeline won’t be lost. This is a particularly useful method if both the phones are from different manufacturers.

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    Using Memory Cards to Transfer Texts

    Along similar lines as the SIM card message transfer, it is also possible to use memory cards on your Symbian phone. Quite a few Nokia phone models have adopted the memory card as a standard to storing data. However, this method for transfer is subject to quite a few conditions, the first and the foremost being that both the phones should accept the same memory card. Additionally, the older phone should have the option of storing the messages on the memory card in the first place.

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    Nokia’s PC Suite

    Of course this only applies if both phones are Nokia or Symbian-based ones, and there is the additional caveat of both phones using the same version of Nokia PC Suite. All the data on the phone can be sent to the PC and from there sent to another phone. However, PC Suite has rarely worked, in my opinion, as mostly by the time a new series is released the old PC Suite will most certainly not be compatible.

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    Best MessageStorer

    Best MessageStorer is a handy tool that is downloadable from the Internet. Initially, it was supported by Symbianware, but now it is supported by Smartphoneware and has been Symbian Signed, meaning it is compatible with the Symbian OS. Best MessageStorer needs to be downloaded onto the phone, and then the user interface is straightforward. The user needs to select the messages they want to save, and which format. The tool supports two formats: one, it can export all the data into a text file, or the second option is to have a comma delimited list (a .csv file) which can then be read by any spreadsheet or database application.

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    Nokia Lifeblog

    However, the method that gets my personal vote is Nokia Lifeblog. All kinds of data, right from messages to multimedia content is stored in a timeline. The timeline shows all the content in order, with neat scroll bar on the top. Read messages with responses, interspersed with photographs; it gives the impression of watching a mini-movie – a really great way to get reacquainted with old memories.