Import SMS, MMS & Group messages from Windows Phone to Android

Hello, everybody! Did you ever used Windows Phone or are you using it right now? Unfortunately, Windows Phone was officially announced dead, so eventually you will switch to another platform, such as Android or IOS.

The problem

If you’re switching to Android, you will see that only contacts and media files can be transferred from your Windows Phone. What about your SMS, MMS or group messages?

If you’re the type of person who keeps his/her messages it would a pity to lose them forever. All of your memories, important conversations would be stuck in your old Windows Phone forever.

I've searched how to transfer messages for my girlfriend and there was no official, easy and free way to do this. Microsoft does not allow developers to access messages programmatically from Windows Phone, so you are limited to two apps on Windows Phone which export messages: contacts+message backup and Transfer my Data. The problem is that the exported files by those apps cannot be read by Android. Both are written in different formats and none of them is compatible with Android.

Solution to this problem

I've written some code to read those files and I managed to import all of her messages. Since on the Internet a lot of people are having this issue, I decided to share this code with others by making an Android app. It is called Import SMS from Windows Phone.

Import SMS from Windows Phone can import SMS, MMS and group messages right into your Android Phone. The app has two versions: a free one and a PRO one, which is paid. All of your messages will be imported exactly as they were on your Windows Phone.

The free version can import unlimitedly only SMS messages. It has no Ads and no limit set for import.

The PRO version can import unlimitedly also MMS messages and group messages correctly. Also, it automatically corrects invalid backup files (.msg file exported by contacts+message backup) from Windows Phone. Like the free version, it has no Ads and no limit set for import.

I tried to make this process as simple as possible, so here’s what you need to do:

Export your messages on Windows Phone

If you are having a Windows Phone without an SD Card, you can use only contacts+message backup app to export your messages.

If your Windows Phone device has an SD Card, then both contacts+message backup or Transfer my Data apps can be used.

contacts+message backup

contacts+message backup app can be installed from Microsoft Store. After it is installed, it can be found on Settings as the last option on Windows Phone 8/8.1. On Windows Phone 10, it can be found on Settings -> Extras.

Open it and tap on backup. If you’re device doesn't support SD Card, select a backup location on your internal memory.

Select what do you want to export and wait for the app to notify if the export has been successful.

The backup files created by this app can be found in a folder called backup+restore. Inside of that folder the SMS messages are in smsBackup folder, MMS messages are in mmsBackup folder and contacts are in contactsBackup folder.

The messages are exported in a .msg file format. Ignore the .hsh file. I suggest to rename the .msg files if you want to import both SMS and MMS messages, because they have a similar name. Rename the .msg file which contains SMS messages sms.msg for example.


Transfer my Data

Transfer my Data app can be installed from Microsoft Store. Normally you should already have it installed because it also imports data from other devices to your Windows Phone device. It can be found on your Windows Phone apps list.

Open it and tap on the ellipsis from the bottom of the screen. Select export to SD card and choose what do you want to export. Wait until the app notifies that the export has been successful.

The backup files created by this app can be found in a folder called backup. Open it and open the Data folder inside of it. Inside the Data folder, there’s a folder with a timestamp name. Inside of that timestamp folder, the SMS messages are in the Sms folder, MMS messages are in the Mms folder and contacts are in the Contacts folder.

The SMS messages are exported in a .vmsg file and the MMS messages are exported in a bunch of .pdu files and an .xml file.

Notes

I strongly recommend to transfer the entire backup folder created by the Windows Phone app to your Android Phone via PC transfer or via cloud. For MMS messages exported by Transfer my Data app, it’s a must to transfer the entire Mms folder!

Sometimes the files cannot be sent via Bluetooth or if you’re inserting your SD card from your Windows Phone into your Android Phone, the backup folders cannot be seen.

Since contacts+message backup app can be installed on Windows Phones with/without SD Card, I recommend to export your messages, especially for your MMS messages.

For more details about the whole process of exporting the messages on Windows Phone and importing them to Android, watch this tutorial video:

Import your messages on Android

Install Import SMS from Windows Phone app from Google Play Store. Since you've transferred the backup file(s) from Windows Phone, open the app and tap on import messages.

If you've transferred the backup files from both SMS and MMS files, a list will appear with those files. Select one file from the list and you will get a dialog just like in the left image.

If you've transferred only one backup file, you will get the same dialog like in the left image.

You can select from whom you want to import your messages or you can import all of them.


If you’re running Android 4.4 or higher, Import SMS from Windows Phone must become the default messaging app, so please allow it.

You will be notified about the import’s progress and when the import was finished successfully.

Then allow your messaging app to become the default messaging app instead of Import SMS from Windows Phone and that’s it.


Your important messages are now inside your Android Phone. Go into your messaging app and find them there. You can continue to chat and add many more messages to them!

Update- Changes since 9th March 2019

In November 2018, Google announced that they added restrictions to SMS and CALL_LOG permissions. Developers had to submit a form in which they should ask for Google’s permission to keep the SMS or CALL_LOG permissions in their apps. If they didn't got permission, they had to remove the permissions or their app(s) would've been removed.

I've submitted that form multiple times, emailed & contacted Google’s Support Team in every way possible, but from their perspective, my app (both versions, free and paid) didn't qualified to got their approval. So, I had to remove the SMS permissions from both in order to ‘keep them alive’.

Current situation

The FREE version can still import SMS messages as advertised, without the SMS permissions, but users having Chinese phone brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo are reporting that they cannot import messages. I will investigate and try to find a solution for these phones, but my hopes are limited.

The PRO version took a bigger hit from the removal of SMS permissions: it cannot import MMS & group messages. In order to save it, I had to rewrite it and now it can converts EACH message backup from Windows Phone as an Android messages backup file. It is called Convert SMS from Windows Phone PRO. Except import, it has the same features: it can read any MMS, SMS & group messages backup file from Windows Phone, can automatically validate invalid .msg files exported by Windows Phone.

Since the PRO version cannot import anymore, the users will have to import their messages from Windows Phone converted by the PRO app with another restore SMS app, such SMS Backup & Restore.

When the convert process is finished, a dialog like the one on the left will appear which will tell the name and location of the converted backup file.

The converted backup files can be found in directory called Convert SMS from Windows Phone PRO which contains Android Converted Backup(s) subdirectory.

Since SMS & MMS messages are exported as separate files by Windows Phone, the PRO app will also export them separately.

SMS messages will be exported in SMS Converted Backup(s) subdirectory. MMS messages will be exported in MMS Converted Backup(s) subdirectory. Each file will contain a timestamp (date when they were created) in their name.

Install a SMS restore app from Play Store such as SMS Backup & Restore, which is free, and restore your messages from the converted file(s) made by my PRO app.

If you’re gonna use SMS Backup & Restore, you will have to tap on Restore and go manually to the location of the converted file(s) made by the PRO app.

After that, especially if you want to restore MMS messages, tap on Advanced Options below Phone calls sections and activate Restore pictures, media and group messages(MMS).

Also select Restore full backup radio button, just like in the left image.

It can check for duplicates if you unselect Disable duplicate check

Tap Restore on the bottom of the screen , follow the instructions within app and wait until the restore is completed.

When it is completed, read the summary message and go into your messaging app. You will find your messages from your Windows Phone. Finally :)


I’m sorry for the inconveniences, it was the best solution I could do, in order to keep both versions of the app alive.

Install Import SMS from Windows Phone (free) from Google Play Store:

The PRO version, Convert SMS from Windows Phone PRO can be bought from Google Play Store:

Notes

If you’re having any questions or issues, feel free to contact me by email. I usually respond very fast (max 12 hours because of the time zone differences) and I offer support to all of the users.

Keep in mind that your messaging app is responsible for the displaying of your messages: their order, their content and so on. I recommend to use the official messaging app from Google, called Android Messages. It displays all of your messages correctly.

Don’t lose your important messages and your memories! Import them right away using Import SMS from Windows Phone app. It has never been easier!