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SMS Backup and Restore bizarre problem


New member
Aug 1, 2014
I am a very loyal Microsoft customer and before you blow me up with comments please read it all. I love 8.1.

I have been a windows phone user since day one. I have recommended it to friends, all but one switched to another platform.

I have a Nokia 925 running 8.1. I bought a 1520.3 running 8.1 and I am going to start using the 1520 as my main device.

I got the 1520 today and before even opening it I knew what I needed to do, check my backup of my 925 so that I could restore it to the 1520 to get my settings and SMS backup. I went to settings then backup, it said it hadn't backed up in a week. I hit backup It errored out and said it couldn't. I spent an hour deleteing apps and reading forum posts to no avail, until I realized it was related to the beta lock screen I installed. Finally got it to back up, Settings, Apps, and Text message backup are turned on with the setting to download set to "All messages"

I turn on the 1520, it only had 8.0 so I logged it in and it said do you want to restore? And it shows me two backups, one for a HTX 8x (Havent had that in over a year) and a backup from 8/2013 from a Nokia. I went on my onedrive to check and there are no device backups from a Nokia or a HTC listed. It didn't show me the backup I just made from the 925 (I get it, the 1520 is on 8.0 and the 925 is on 8.1) so I said do not restore, upgraded the 1520 to 8.1 cyan. Told the phone to reset.

1520 comes up, log it in, do you want to restore? I say yes, there is my backup from the 925 from 7/31/2014. I said go.

It does the normal restore process comes up after a while my start screen is in the same posisiton as the 925 (Good), my apps start installing (Great), asks me for all my passwords (Beautiful!) Click on messaging, only SMS that show up are texts from before 8/2013 the date of that phantom backup I cannot see or delete.

**These text messages don't even exist on my old 925, so they must be coming from this phantom backup

I start reading forums, I cant find much in the way of SMS backup hard info, how it backs up, when. I see a post from a user that says, when a txt comes in from one phone it shows up on the other, even the windows phone website says your "Always in sync" on SMS. Cool, my old 925 is on wifi, I see all my txts. I even cleaned it up deleting all the garbage I don't need.

Can I deal with loosing all my messages again? Probably. I had to delete every message about a year and a half ago because no MMS would show up (No errors or refusals, they would just vanish, so my friends thought I wasn't responding). only regular SMS, as soon as I deleted everything MMS photos instantly worked.

So I figured, these two phantom unexplained backups hanging out there.. Especially the one from the exact date the SMS stop, someone somewhere can do something..

I chatted with windows phone support, where I told them what I was trying to do, backup and restore. I do have a lot of SMS messages but everything I said was ignored and I was told this:

"Honestly this sounds like it's a bit out of the scope of support for a consumer cell phone. You might want to look into Enterprise support, if this is for a business."

I went to the link he sent and when I typed in windows phone it sent me back to windowsphone.com

He then said this:

"Yeah, that is probably your best bet. At this point what you're trying to do is not something a consumer cell phone is meant to handle. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?"

Then this happened and of course I got frustrated:

James: A consumer cell phone cant backup my SMS ?
Support: Not thousands and thousands per month to and from multiple cell phones. That's not what the phone was meant to do. Perhaps someone at enterprise support has some sort of business-minded resolution for you.
James: I just wanted to get my text messages from my old phone to my new phone
James: And the thousands are from facebook and other online stuff I delete
Support: The phone is meant to backup a load of text messages to the cloud, which when you go to buy a new phone you can easily keep the most important text messages.
Support: That's really what the backups are intended for. Or if your phone encounters a catastrophic failure, or something
James: So the backup of my phone is 11 megabytes, that is too much for the cloud to handle when I have 1.18TB free?
Support: I don't know. All I know is what you're asking to do is not supported for a consumer cell phone. If you'd like to see the feature you're trying to do on the next updates please check out Feature Suggestions: Hot (57541 ideas) ?€“ Feature Suggestions for Windows Phone There you can let our developers know what specific use you're trying to accomplish.
James: Enterprise support directs me back to you for support
James: So you have a phone number I can call
Support: Ah, then you'll likely need to post on the uservoice page to let the developers know what you're trying to do, so they mgiht implement it later down the road.
Support: No.
Support: We are chat support only.
I left the chat and binged some more for information to find the transfer my data app says on 8.1 it can do SMS via Bluetooth. Didn't work.

So i'm left with two phantom backups in the cloud with no way to delete, no SMS backup, no support. Frustrated.
I don't blame my friends for leaving.

I have tried deleting and backing up again from the 925, but the size is identical, I have let it sit for hours to see if the sync will start working. Hasn't.
I literally would have called enterprise support and paid money to get some real help.

In the hours following this and having 15 tabs open with different threads, I have discovered the thread which allows you to see your SMS backup on outlook.com where I found the following:
1825 messages pre February 2014
600 MMS pictures Pre February 2014
A TON of old facebook thread messages from WP 7.0/8.0

I deleted everything from there None of that was present on my 925 Only SMS from March forward. (It was very unnerving all of that was out there and to find it I had to go through so many steps and its not present anywhere)

I fired back up the 925 to see if it would back up the SMS that was on it.

I sent some test messages to the 1520 which I cleaned out completely of the 40 or so 8/2013 SMS that showed up.

This is really so bizarre, the only thing I can think to do is abandon using that MS account for my new phone and start over.

EDIT: Then I discovered that my Microsoft account on my 925 hasn't synced in 4 months. Which led me to the forums about disabling the SMS backup.

I now believe that there is existing data out on my MS account I cant delete and it is causing the error, or my texts are corrupt.. Which I will trim down to the bare minimum and then try to sync.

Any ideas?
Last edited:


New member
Aug 1, 2014
In a further development, a brand new 1520 factory reset will not sync my MS account with zero text messages in the inbox with SMS backup on.
Deleted all device backups from Onedrive, and totally emptied all my SMS.

This points to a problem with my MS account?


New member
Aug 1, 2014
And yet a further development, If I factory reset, do not restore anything the account will sync, then 4-5 random SMS from today plop in but not the one thread from the old phone.
I have deleted everything but the single thread I want from my old phone and it wont sync. Im tempted to delete it even though its very important to me. I have screenshotted the important stuff.
How do I trust its working? The phantom 8/2013 text messages showed up again randomly. Also when I reset the 1520 again, I had deleted every backup from onedrive.. There was still the option to restore that HTC 8x that doesn't exist anywhere..

Also every time I clean out the SMS inbox completely I can stare at it and one or two just show up from a year ago that I have long since deleted. (Like two phones ago)

My MS account on outlook.com is completely empty, I tried the trick to see all the SMS stored out there and I cleared everything.