Across the world each day there many thousands of mobile phone users that suddenly have a need to save and print text messages for court, trial, or their lawyer. Whatever kind of legal-related issue you are having, printing out SMS messages from both Android and iPhone devices is easy with a few quick steps and a little bit of knowledge.
As Forbes Magazine recently noted, 16 million text messages are sent every minute of the day around the world! The need to document and print SMS messages for court is becoming commonplace, especially since large amounts of personal and business related information is sent and received via text message every single day. Legal advisors, attorneys, and solicitors are now regularly requiring their clients to capture and print text messages so that they have copies for evidence or to present before a judge for court hearings.
One of the easiest ways for Android users to print text messages is with a program called SMS Backup+. The software is located in the Google Play Store and it lets anyone automatically backup their SMS and MMS messages. Note: Before getting started, if you don't currently have IMAP enabled for your Gmail account you'll need to ensure that IMAP is turned on. Here are instructions on how to accomplish that task. Once you turn on the IMAP preference in your Gmail account, you will be able to begin saving your text messages.
Specific Steps - Android
To print text messages for court on Android just follow these steps.
Install SMS Backup+ on your Android phone.
Select "connect" and enter your Gmail account information.
Choose "backup" and the program will start backing up all your messages to Gmail.
When the backup is complete, navigate to your Gmail account to access and print your text messages for court.
An added bonus of SMS Backup+ is that it will also back up call logs which many Android users find helpful. You can read testimonials from SMS Backup+ users in the Google Play store and see their helpful comments about the program. The users all have various different Android devices and great feedback is provided.
If you have any troubles installing SMS Backup+ you can browse the program instructions and FAQ here which should be of help. Lastly, if you don't currently have a Gmail email account, you can sign up for one here and you'll then be able to get up and running quickly with both saving and printing your text messages.
For iPhone users wanting to print text messages for court or trial, Decipher TextMessage is a tried and trusted solution. The program runs on any Windows or Mac computer and keeps a separate history of your text messages and iMessages. You simply backup your iPhone via iTunes and then you can immediately save, PDF, and print your text messages for court.
Specific Steps - iPhone
Follow these steps to print text messages for court
Make an iTunes backup of your iPhone on your Windows or Mac computer.
Run Decipher TextMessage and select your iPhone in the program.
Chose a contact whose text messages you want to print for court or trial.
Select Export as PDF in the menu to save the text messages.
Open the saved PDF, choose print from the menu, and begin printing text messages for court or your lawyer.
After you have successfully exported your text messages as a PDF document for court, you'll notice that the PDF displays the text messages in "chat bubble" format and includes any photo attachments inline as part of the conversation. This continuity is helpful when printing text messages and iMessages for court since it ensures that messages are printed and displayed in the exact format that they appear on your iPhone or iPad.
Here's an example of what the iPhone text messages look like when printed:
There are several compelling features that make Decipher TextMessage great for printing text messages for court or legal reasons. These include:
Contact and phone number on every single text message - This is a great feature! Decipher TextMessage has a unique preference that automatically includes the contact name and phone number on every text message. Many in the legal community including attorneys, judges, and legal advisors require this feature for court since it helps ensure that it's clear and obvious who is the sender and recipient of every specific SMS text or iMessage.
Privacy - With Decipher TextMessage, all your saved text message data is local and private on your computer. The user controls everything and nothing is stored on servers or in the cloud. This means that all your text messages that you are preparing or saving for court or for your lawyer are secure on your personal computer or your attorney's computer.
Keyword Search Feature - The program has search capability that enables you to narrow down messages that have specific keywords or phrases related to your court case.
Date Range Export - If you have text messages that you want to print for court but you only need messages from specific days or time period, you can choose the "date range" export option to conveniently narrow down what text messages you export and print.
You can also read testimonials here from other people who have successfully used the software to print messages for court or their lawyer.
Screenshots - Are they helpful for printing text messages for trial?
Taking screenshots of your text messages can sometimes be an easy solution, however it all depends on your specific needs. Things to keep in mind about screenshots on both Android devices and iPhones or iPads include:
How many text messages do you need to print? - If you only need to print a small amount of messages, you might find taking screenshots a great solution for your needs. It's free and you can do it instantly. However, if you have a large number of text messages, it's not very practical since it will take you an exorbitant amount of time and effort to accomplish the task.
Continuity of messages - If you decide to try and print screenshots of your text messages for court, you then have to attempt to organize the images in the order that they appear on your device. This can get confusing and also quickly turn into a disorganized mess as you try to ensure you have everything perfect for your attorney or your trial date.
Ink and Toner - Printing screenshots can quickly drain your printer toner or cartridge ink, especially if you print the messages at 100% scale and size. Software programs organize the saved messages with better formatting and more messages to a page which helps greatly when printing and displaying text messages.
Again, if you have only five or ten text messages, you might find screenshots appropriate for your needs. If you are trying to document a larger amount of text messages for legal reasons, you are better off using software to complete the task and to maintain organization of your exported messages and attachments.
If you decide that you want to give screenshots a try for your needs, instructions can be found here depending on your specific type of mobile phone:
Final Thoughts - Best practices to print text messages for court
Whether you use an Android phone or an iPhone, you now have some helpful instructions that give you the knowledge of how to print text messages for court or any legal issue that might arise. Regardless if your personal needs are for a custody hearing, divorce, or a work-related legal issue, generating print outs of your SMS history is something that will hopefully be of use for your legal proceeding.
If you have other questions about how to save or print your text messages for court or trial, feel free to drop us an email via our Decipher Tools Support page and we’ll be happy to write you back.We are based in the USA (San Francisco and Phoenix) and we reply to everyone who writes us!