Tuesday, May 26

How to backup your WhatsApp messages on Android


If you’re getting a new Android phone (like the Samsung Galaxy A8 or the soon to be announced Galaxy S9), you’re going to want to backup all of your data before you swap over to your new phone.

One of the best things is that you can backup all of your WhatsApp chats – and media. You can back up your WhatsApp data using Google Drive and/or a local backup. Local backups will be automatically created every day at 2am and they will be saved as a file in your phone.

Google Drive

You can back up your chats and media to Google Drive, so if you switch Android phones or get a new one, your chats and media are transferrable.

How to back up to Google Drive
  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the Menu Button > Settings > Chats > Chat backup.
  3. Here you can tap Back Up to create an immediate backup, and you can also tap Back up to Google Drive to set up a backup frequency.
  4. If you do not have a Google account already set up, tap Add account when prompted.
  5. Tap Back up over to choose the network you wish to use for backing up. Please note that backing up over cellular may result in additional data charges.
Important notes about Google Drive
  • The first backup may take a while to complete. Please leave your phone connected to a power source.
  • You can change your chat backup frequency, the Google account you back up to and which connection to use for backup at any time in Menu Button > Settings > Chats > Chat backup.
  • Every time you create a Google Drive backup using the same Google account, the previous Google Drive backup will be overwritten. There is no way to restore an older Google Drive backup.
  • Media and messages you back up aren’t protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption while in Google Drive.

Restoring or transferring a backup

WhatsApp will ask you to restore your chats and media from a backup when you verify your number. Simply tap Restore when prompted to. If WhatsApp does not detect a backup, it could be because:

  • You aren’t logged into the same Google account.
  • You aren’t using the same phone number that was used to create the backup.
  • Your SD card and/or chat history is corrupted.
  • A backup file does not exist on the Google Drive account or locally on your phone.

Note: The easiest way to transfer data to a new phone is by using Google Drive. If you want to use a local backup, you will need to transfer the files to the new phone using a computer, file explorer or SD Card. If your data is not stored on the /sdcard/WhatsApp/ folder, you may see “internal storage” or “main storage” folders.

To restore a less recent local backup

Your phone will store up to the last 7 days worth of local backup files (Google Drive will only have the most recent one). If you wish to restore a local backup which is not the most recent one, you will need to do the following:

  1. Download a file manager app.
  2. In the file manager app, navigate to sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases. If your data is not stored on the SD card, you may see “internal storage” or “main storage” instead of sdcard.
  3. Rename the backup file you wish to restore from msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12 to msgstore.db.crypt12. It is possible that an earlier backup may be on an earlier protocol, such as crypt9 or crypt10. Do not change the number of the crypt extension.
  4. Uninstall WhatsApp.
  5. Install WhatsApp.
  6. Tap Restore when asked.

Troubleshooting backup and restoration issues

For problems related to Google Drive backup creation
  1. Verify that you added a Google account to your phone.
  2. Verify that you have enough available space in your Google Drive account to create a backup.
  3. Verify that you have Google Play services installed on your phone. Note: Google Play services is only available on Android 2.3.4 and higher.
  4. If you are attempting to back up on a cellular data network, make sure that you have data for both WhatsApp and Google Play services. Please contact your provider if you are unsure.
  5. Try to create a backup over a different network (for example, try connecting to Wi-Fi if you are unable to back up over a cellular network).
For problems related to Google Drive backup restoration
  1. Make sure that you are trying to restore a backup using the same phone number and Google account that the backup was created on.
  2. Make sure that there is enough space on your phone to restore the backup.
  3. Make sure that you have Google Play services installed in your phone. Note: Google Play services is only available on Android 2.3.4 and higher.
  4. Make sure your battery is fully charged or your phone is plugged into a power source.
  5. Make sure your phone has a strong and stable Internet connection. If restoring using cellular network does not work, please try Wi-Fi.

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