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Creating a backup copy of WhatsApp data on Android and iPhone

Updated on Thu, 11/05/2020 - 08:32

For users who actively communicate via this messenger, the safety of their data (such as business correspondence, discussion of personal issues in groups and private chats, etc.) is crucial. Creating backups is useful when you change your smartphone to a new one, store any valuable information in chats, or just want a safety net, etc.

    Data export from WhatsApp

    WhatsApp messenger has a built-in feature which allows users to save chats and messages into a file recorded in the memory of a phone. Depending on the configured settings, the app is also able to send saved backups to cloud storage, for example, Google Drive or iCloud.

    Backup of WhatsApp chats

    In order to save every active chat:

    1. Launch WhatsApp (the latest version is required).

    2. Search for “Additional settings” (usually this item can be found in the menu which opens when you tap three vertical dots).

    3. Open the “Settings” > “Chats” section.

    5. Tap on "Chat backup".

    6. Select "Back Up" and wait for the process to complete.

    Message history export

    Another useful feature of WhatsApp is the ability to export the history of messages from a specific chat or group:

    1. Open the chat or group you need.
    2. Select "Advanced settings".
    3. Inside the opened menu, find another "Advanced" section.
    4. Tap "Export".
    5. You will have to decide whether you need media files (like pictures, audio, or video) that are stored in the chosen conversation.
    6. Confirm your choices and wait for an email with all the uploaded files.

    This method has its own features:

    • If you chose to export media files at Stage 5,  the most recent media files will be sent as attachments to the email.
    • When you export media files, the limit is 10 000 messages. If only text is important for you, you can save up to 40 000 messages.

    Back up data from WhatsApp to Google Drive cloud storage

    Devices running Android OS can back up messages from WhatsApp directly to Google Drive storage.

    Note: a lot of traffic is consumed during copying, so we recommend you perform this procedure only when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

    In order to get started, you'll need the following:

    • An active Google account.
    • Google Services installed on your device (they are included in the standard package of apps on almost all smartphones running under Android).
    • A little bit of free space on your smartphone (the amount depends on how actively you communicate via WhatsApp).

    Backing up to Google Drive

    1. Open WhatsApp.

    2. Go to the “Menu (three vertical dots or horizontal bars).

    3. Open “Settings” > “Chats”.

    4. Select the "Chat backup" section.

    5. Here you’ll find "Back up to Google Drive": after selecting it, you have to determine the desired frequency with which files are backed up.

    6. Specify the Google account and folder you want to save backups to.

    7. In the "Back up over" section, you can choose which network the data will be saved via (mobile networks or Wi-Fi).

    If you know for sure that you’ll have to transfer data soon, you can perform a manual backup:

    1. Run WhatsApp.
    2. Open the general menu and go to “Settings > “Chats”.
    3. Now tap the “Chat backup” section.
    4. Choose "Back Up" to start the process of saving data to your Google Drive.

    Note: the information stored in the cloud storage isn't encrypted, unlike the correspondence stored directly in WhatsApp.

    Restoring Whatsapp chats and files from a backup on Android

    Use the phone number and Google account which you specified when creating a copy of files. The sequence of actions is as follows:

    1. Uninstall, reinstall, and open WhatsApp.
    2. Go through the process of confirming the number and then the app itself will prompt you to restore the data from Google Drive. You can agree by clicking "Restore".
    3. Once the process is complete, tap on "Next" and every downloaded chat will be displayed on the screen.
    4. The last step is to restore Whatsapp backup. This process will take place without your active involvement, so you just have to wait.

    Note: If there are no backups available in your Google Drive, the app will offer to restore Whatsapp data from the local storage.

    Data backup from WhatsApp to iCloud (iOS)

    The owners of smartphones running under iOS can also use the backup feature on their devices, but the data will be saved to the standard cloud storage from Apple – iCloud.

    You'll need:

    • An authorized Apple ID account (required in order to access iCloud).
    • For iOS 7 devices, you will have to enable "Documents and data", which can be found in “Settings > “iCloud > “Documents and data”.
    • For iOS 8, you will have to toggle on the same "iCloud Storage" feature, which can be found in “Settings > “(your name)” > “iCloud”.

    The process of creating a backup copy is almost the same as on devices running under Android:

    1. Run WhatsApp.
    2. Go to “Settings” > “Chats”.
    3. In the "Chat backup" section, tap "Back Up".
    4. Enable automatic backing up by clicking on the corresponding item in the same menu. 
    5. Choose how often you want to save your data and whether you want to save video files to the cloud storage too.

    How to restore deleted files from iCloud

    It's easy to restore lost data from iCloud. 

    1. Make sure you have active backups in iCloud. In order to do this, launch WhatsApp and go to the main menu. 
    2. Next, open “Settings > “Chats", and then tap "Chat backup".
    3. If you see the date of the last backup, you can delete and reinstall WhatsApp without any worries.
    4. After launching the clean version of the app and passing the identification process via the phone number, WhatsApp will prompt you to start the restoring process, so just follow the instructions.