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How to Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages

by | May 30, 2023

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that allows you to communicate with contacts, make calls, share media, and more. Sometimes, you may accidentally delete or lose important WhatsApp messages you need to recover. This article will guide you through various methods to restore deleted or missing WhatsApp messages on Android and iPhone devices. Additionally, it will provide tips to prevent future data loss.

1. Recovering WhatsApp Messages by Enabling Chat Backup on WhatsApp

1. Recovering WhatsApp Messages by Enabling Chat Backup on WhatsApp
  1. Open WhatsApp, tap the three-dot menu icon (Android) or go to the Settings tab (iPhone).
  2. Select “Chats” and then “Chat backup.”
  3. Choose the Google account (Android) or iCloud account (iPhone) for backup.
  4. Set the backup frequency and network preference.
  5. Tap “BACK UP” to start the backup process.
  6. WhatsApp creates a local backup every night at 2:00 AM, stored in the /sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases folder (Android) or WhatsApp/Databases folder (iPhone). You can also manually create a local backup within the chat backup settings.

Google Drive keeps the latest backup, while WhatsApp retains up to seven days of local backups. The ability to restore chats and media depends on the available backup sources.

2. Recovering WhatsApp Messages from Google Drive Backup

If you have a Google Drive backup enabled on your Android device, you can recover deleted WhatsApp messages. Ensure you use the same phone number and Google account for the backup and have sufficient free space for restoration.

2. Recovering WhatsApp Messages from Google Drive Backup

To recover deleted WhatsApp messages from Google Drive backup:

  1. Uninstall WhatsApp from the Google Play Store.
  2. Reinstall WhatsApp and verify your phone number.
  3. Tap “RESTORE” to restore chats and media from Google Drive when prompted.
  4. Wait for the restoration process to complete and tap “NEXT.”
  5. Your chats will appear after initialization while media files continue restoring in the background.

Note: If you reinstall WhatsApp without a Google Drive backup, it will restore from the local backup file.

3. Recovering WhatsApp Messages from Local Backup on Android & iPhone

You can recover deleted WhatsApp messages if you have a local backup of your chats and media on Android or iPhone. This method requires some technical knowledge and may not work universally.

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Android

Recovering WhatsApp Messages from Local Backup on Android
  1. Download a file manager app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Go to the /sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases folder (or /internal storage/WhatsApp/Databases if not using an SD card).
  3. Copy the latest backup file (e.g., msgstore.db.crypt12) to another folder for safety.
  4. Rename an older backup file (e.g., msgstore-2021-10-01.1.db.crypt12) that you wish to restore as msgstore.db.crypt12.
  5. Uninstall WhatsApp from the Google Play Store.
  6. Reinstall WhatsApp and verify your phone number.
  7. Tap “RESTORE” to restore chats and media from the local backup when prompted.
  8. Wait for the restoration process to complete and tap “NEXT.”
  9. Your chats will appear after initialization, with media files continuing to restore in the background.

Note: For older local backups beyond seven days, ensure you have a copy stored elsewhere, as WhatsApp automatically deletes them.

iPhone

Connect your iPhone to a computer using a USB cable.

Recovering WhatsApp Messages from Local Backup on iphone
  1. Open iTunes or Finder and select your device.
  2. Click “Summary” > “Back Up Now” > “Done” (iTunes) or “General” > “Back Up Now” > “OK” (Finder) to create a full backup, including WhatsApp data.
  3. Download third-party software capable of extracting data from iTunes or Finder backups, like iBackup Viewer or iMazing.
  4. Install and open the software, then select your device name under iTunes or Finder Backups.
  5. Navigate to Raw Files > User App Files > net.WhatsApp.WhatsApp > Documents > ChatStorage.sqlite and export it to another folder on your computer for safety.
  6. Uninstall WhatsApp from the App Store.
  7. Reinstall WhatsApp and verify your phone number, but do not pause chats when prompted.
  8. Connect your iPhone to the computer again.
  9. Open iTunes or Finder, select your device, and click “Summary” > “Restore Backup…” > “Restore” (iTunes) or “General” > “Restore Backup…” > “Restore” (Finder) to restore the full backup, including WhatsApp data.
  10. Wait for the restoration process, then open WhatsApp on your device.
  11. After initialization, your chats will appear, and media files will continue restoring in the background.

Note: This method may overwrite other data changed after creating the full backup, such as contacts, photos, or settings.

4. Recovering WhatsApp Messages Using Third-Party Software

If you lack a Google Drive or local backup, you can attempt to recover deleted WhatsApp messages using third-party software. Such programs can scan your device’s memory and retrieve deleted data, but success is not guaranteed and may require root access or jailbreaking.

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One recommended program for recovering WhatsApp messages is PhoneRescue for iOS/Android by iMobie (imobie.com). It can recover various data types, including WhatsApp messages, attachments, contacts, and photos.

5. Recovering WhatsApp messages using PhoneRescue for iOS/Android

Recovering WhatsApp messages using PhoneRescue for iOS/Android
  1. Download and install PhoneRescue for iOS/Android on your computer, then connect your device via USB.
  2. Launch the program and choose “Recover from Device” or “Recover from iTunes Backup” based on your situation.
  3. Select “WhatsApp” and “WhatsApp Attachments” as the data types, then click “Next.”
  4. The program will scan your device or backup file, displaying deleted WhatsApp messages and attachments available for recovery.
  5. Preview and select the WhatsApp messages and attachments you want to recover, then click the “Recover” button at the bottom right.
  6. Choose to restore the deleted WhatsApp messages to your device or computer.

Note: This method may not work if new data have overwritten the deleted WhatsApp messages. Additionally, the full program version may be required to recover all WhatsApp messages.

How to Prevent Loss of WhatsApp Messages?

  1. Enable the chat backup feature on WhatsApp and choose an appropriate backup frequency. You can manually back up chats by tapping “Back Up Now” in the chat backup settings.
  2. Link your Google account to WhatsApp and back up data to Google Drive. This enables easy access to your WhatsApp data across devices and simplifies restoration if you lose or switch devices.
  3. Keep a copy of your local backup files on your device, SD card, or other storage devices for added security. This ensures the availability of local backups when you lack a Google Drive backup or need to restore from an older backup file.
  4. Use third-party software like PhoneRescue for iOS/Android to recover deleted WhatsApp messages without backup files. However, be aware that this method may require root access or jailbreak.
  5. Take care to avoid accidental deletion or loss of WhatsApp messages. Archive chats instead of deleting them if you no longer need them. Protect your device with a password or fingerprint lock to prevent unauthorized access to WhatsApp data.

By following these steps and recommendations, you can increase the chances of recovering deleted WhatsApp messages and minimize the risk of losing them.

Conclusion

WhatsApp is a versatile messaging app that lets you chat with your contacts differently. However, you may sometimes accidentally erase or lose some vital WhatsApp messages you need to restore. This article taught you how to restore deleted or missing WhatsApp messages from various sources, such as Google Drive backup, local backup, and third-party software. We also offered you some advice on how to avoid losing your WhatsApp messages in the future.

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We hope this article was useful and informative for you. If you have any queries or feedback, please feel free to comment below.

FAQ 

Why should I backup my WhatsApp messages?

You should backup your WhatsApp messages to avoid losing them in case you delete them by mistake, format your phone, lose your device, or encounter a software glitch.

What are some of the third-party software programs that can recover deleted or missing WhatsApp messages?

Some of the third-party software programs that can recover deleted or missing WhatsApp messages are PhoneRescue for iOS/Android by iMobie, Dr.Fone – Data Recovery by Wondershare, and FoneLab – Android Data Recovery by Aiseesoft.

Will recovering deleted or missing WhatsApp messages overwrite my existing chats on my device?

Recovering deleted or missing WhatsApp messages will overwrite your existing chats on your device with those from the backup file or the recovered data. Therefore, you should back up your current chats before attempting to recover deleted or missing ones.

Can I recover deleted or missing WhatsApp messages from WhatsApp Web or Desktop?

No.You can only use this feature on the WhatsApp app on your Android or iPhone device.

Can I recover deleted or missing WhatsApp messages from other messaging apps?

This feature is specific to WhatsApp and may not be available on other messaging apps. However, some apps may have similar or alternative features that allow you to backup and restore your data on their platforms.

How can I prevent losing my WhatsApp messages in the future?

You can prevent losing your WhatsApp messages in the future by backing up your data regularly and securely to Google Drive or local storage. Also you can avoid deleting or losing your messages by mistake by archiving chats you don’t need anymore instead of deleting them. You can also lock your device with a password or fingerprint to prevent unauthorized access to your WhatsApp data.

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