Migrating or restoring a message archive with WhatsApp backup is not a one-tap process. Nevertheless, there are not that many steps to take. By using the automatic backup that is set up by the app itself, users can easily restore messages that are up to a week old.
WhatsApp does not save any user messages on its servers. Whenever anyone accidentally deletes their messages or just migrates to a new device from an old one, the transfer process can prove to be a bit tricky.
In this article, we will be looking at safely restoring a WhatsApp backup for iOS and Android. We will also be talking about how to back up WhatsApp messages on cloud storage, as well as saving particular WhatsApp conversations via e-mail.
Backup WhatsApp Conversations and E-Mails
Both iOS and Android users have the option to save copies of individual chats via e-mail. This method is very useful if users want to asave a small number of important conversations that span over several days, weeks, or more.
Boot WhatsApp and open the conversation intended for backing up.
In the navigation bar, tap the name of the contact or group.
Scroll through the options until the Export Chat option is visible. Tap it.
Exporting the chat via e-mail can be done either text-only or by including the media files present in the conversation. Choose to either Attach Media or send the e-mail Without Media.
WhatsApp will not use the device’s default e-mail app. Select it from the list.
Enter the e-mail address meant to receive the conversation. Tap Send.
Before moving on to backing up and restoring conversations on WhatsApp, users should note that backup files only contain the last seven days of chat history. Users who are looking to restore conversations older than seven days should read below.
How to Backup WhatsApp Messages On iOS
WhatsApp for iOS by default saves an automatic backup every day at 4 AM system time. The automatic backup is done locally and then updated to iCloud over Wi-Fi.
Several automatic backup settings can be enabled and managed from WhatsApp. Users can set the automatic WhatsApp backup frequency, as well as disable it. They can even overwrite the most recent automatic backup.
After booting WhatsApp, go to WhatsApp Settings.
Go to Chats. Tap on WhatsApp Chat Backup.
Tap the Back Up Now button.
Users can also toggle backing up videos with the automatic backup on the iCloud over Wi-Fi.
Having covered how to create a backup on iOS, we move on how to retrieve messages from a backup onto WhatsApp.
If the WhatsApp is installed on the device, uninstall it.
Go to the App Store and reinstall WhatsApp.
After logging in to WhatsApp, follow the prompts to restore the WhatsApp backup.
Note: Users who share an iCloud account but have different WhatsApp accounts cannot access each other’s backups. Backups from two different WhatsApp accounts cannot be merged, even if the conversations are all with the same contacts.
Only the conversation history of the account which is logged in will be visible.
WhatsApp Backup on Android
The WhatsApp backup and restore processes on Android devices are not much different from the iOS ones. WhatsApp still generates a daily automatic local backup at 4 AM system time but this time on the MicroSD card by default.
If given the chance, it is always best to overwrite an automatic backup with the latest chat history before migrating to a new device. Here are the steps to manually backup WhatsApp on an Android device.
Boot WhatsApp and then go to the Settings Menu.
In the Settings Menu, tap on Chats. Then tap on Chat Backup.
In WhatsApp Chat Backup, tap the button labeled Back Up Now.
Note: Android users have the option to save the WhatsApp backup on Google Drive instead of locally. Automatically saving daily WhatsApp messaging history to Google Drive is a great way to save space locally.
In WhatsApp Chat Backup, the Back up to Google Drive option will switch the default location of automatic backups to the cloud storage service. To backup to Google Drive, users of WhatsApp for Android will need a Google account if they already do not have one.
In WhatsApp Chat Backup, users can also set the frequency of the automatic backup or disable the feature altogether. Locally, more frequent automatic backups will require more storage space. If saving on Google Drive is enabled, then more frequent automatic backups can take up more bandwidth over Wi-Fi or incur additional charges over mobile data.
Restoring conversations and messages from a local or cloud WhatsApp backup for Android is an easy process, although larger backups may need more time.
If WhatsApp is already installed on the Android device, uninstall it.
Go to the Google Play Store and install or reinstall WhatsApp.
Login to WhatsApp with the same account details as before. Follow the prompts. Tap Restore.
Users cannot access the chat history present in the backup history of another user even if they have access to that user’s automatic WhatsApp backup.
Restoring A WhatsApp Backup Older Than A Week
WhatsApp automatic backup to the cloud always overwrites its previous save data, which means that users who save to the cloud will probably not be able to retrieve any of their chat history older than seven days unless they also backup their conversations locally.
Compared to the previous WhatsApp backup and restore processes, this one will prove to be more difficult.
Android users will require a File Manager app in order to restore older backups.
By default, the backup files are saved locally in sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases. If the device doesn’t have a MicroSD card installed, users should check the internal storage.
Inside there Databases folder, there should be several backup files, all but one having the format msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12, where YYYY is the year, MM is the month, and DD is the day when the backup was saved. The part of the filename labeled crypt12 refers to the protocol used by WhatsApp.
When WhatsApp is installed on a device, it looks for the address mentioned earlier. In the folder, the app will look for the msgstore.db.crypt12 file, as that is always the most recent backup file.
Move the original msgstore.db.crypt12 to a new folder or delete it.
Rename the backup file looking to be restored to msgstore.db.crypt12.
Note: If the original file does not have “crypt12” in its filename, do not change its numerical extension. When WhatsApp restores from a backup, it can read older protocols.
Uninstall WhatsApp from the device. The app’s backup database folder will remain in storage. Do not delete the folder.
Reinstall WhatsApp from the Google Play Store.
Log in with the previous account details. Navigate through the prompts. Tap on Restore.
This concludes our WhatsApp Backup Guide. We hope you will not have any issues in using WhatsApp as it’s a great messaging app. If you have any questions or have something to say, let us know.