Almost every other WhatsApp user has a story about how they accidentally deleted a chat and regretted it immediately. Fortunately for such users, the messaging service gives them the option to restore deleted WhatsApp messages. But you can restore them only when you have enabled the backup option. You have to turn the backup on before the need for restoring chats arises.
Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, you should know that the process involves uninstalling and reinstalling WhatsApp on your phone. There is a risk that you might end up losing some of your chat history.
Turn on the chat backup
On Android devices, you can back up your WhatsApp data using Google Drive or a local backup. The app creates a local backup every day at 2 AM local time automatically. It is stored as a file on your smartphone. To enable backup, launch WhatsApp and go to Settings > Chats > Chat backup. You can also select whether you want to backup your chats daily, weekly, monthly, or never.
The iPhone users have to launch WhatsApp and head over to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup to select the frequency of the Auto Backup. If you want to manually initiate the backup to iCloud, tap the Back up now option. You can choose to include or exclude videos from the backup.
Restore deleted WhatsApp messages
Now that you’ve turned the backup on, if you ever accidentally delete a chat, you can easily restore it from the cloud (Google Drive or iCloud). For instance, if WhatsApp backed up the chats at 2 AM and you deleted a conversation with a colleague (which took place before 2 AM) in the morning, there is a good chance that the chat is backed up. Here’s how to restore it:
- Uninstall WhatsApp from your smartphone and reinstall it from Play Store or App Store
- Set up the app with the same phone number
- During the setup, you’ll be asked whether you want to restore WhatsApp messages from a cloud backup. Tap Restore when prompted
- Your chats, including the one you accidentally deleted, will be restored
Restore chats from a local backup
This method works only on Android devices, meaning iPhone users can’t use it. It’s for Android users who want to restore a slightly older backup rather than the most recent one. Google Drive is the place for most recent backups. Your Android phone takes a local backup of up to the last seven days worth of chats.
- Launch the File Manager app on your Android phone. If you don’t have one, download the Files app from the Play Store
- In the File Manager app, go to sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases. If you don’t use an SD card, you’d see internal storage instead of sdcard
- The Databases folder contains all the WhatsApp backup files that have been stored locally. Select the backup file you want to restore and rename it from msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12 to msgstore.db.crypt12
- Now uninstall and re-install WhatsApp on your phone
- Tap Restore when prompted to backup chats
Android users can use any of these two methods to restore deleted WhatsApp messages.