Have you ever accidentally deleted WhatsApp chats and regretted it immediately? Wondering if there is a way to get it back? Worry not, we’re here to help. We’ll share a way to restore deleted WhatsApp chats and one method to bring back WhatsApp chats overwritten by an iCloud or Google Drive backup.
If you have deleted chats accidentally, there’s a chance that the chat was present on your cloud backup. Let’s say your Google Drive or iCloud backup took place at midnight and in the morning you accidentally deleted a chat. The cloud backup still has the chat and you can restore it. Here’s how:
- Uninstall WhatsApp from your Android smartphone or iPhone.
- Reinstall WhatsApp and set it up with your phone number.
- Once the app is set up, you will get a prompt asking you to restore messages from a cloud backup. This backup would be from Google Drive on Android, and iCloud on iOS. Tap Restore.
- This will bring back the messages that you had accidentally deleted. Note that if you got a message after your most recent cloud backup and deleted it, there’s no way to recover it.
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Restoring deleted WhatsApp chats via Android’s local backup
Another way to try restoring deleted WhatsApp chats is to recover them from local backups on your Android phone. This method does not work on iOS. If your Google Drive backup has overwritten the deleted messages, then follow these steps.
- Go to your phone’s File Manager (download Google’s Files app if you can’t find this app). Now go to the WhatsApp folder > Database. The Database folder contains all the WhatsApp backup files that are stored locally on your phone.
- Select the file msgstore.db.crypt12 and rename it to msgstore_BACKUP.db.crypt12. This is your most recent backup file and you need to rename it so as to prevent it from being overwritten. In case things go wrong, you can always rename this file to its original name and restore.
- Now you will see a bunch of files in this folder in the format msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12. These are your older WhatsApp backups, you can pick the most recent one and rename it to msgstore.db.crypt12.
- Here’s the tricky part: you need to open Google Drive on your smartphone, tap the hamburger icon (the three vertical lines) > Backups. Now delete the WhatsApp backup there. This will force your phone to restore from the local backup instead.
- Now, uninstall WhatsApp and then reinstall it. Set it up and once done, you will get a prompt to restore chats from a local backup, considering you don’t have a chat backup on the cloud.
- Tap on Restore and that’s it. You’ll get your deleted chats back.
So, these are the two methods which you can use in a situation where you have accidentally deleted your WhatsApp chats or in a situation where you have freshly installed WhatsApp and want your old chats back.
Before trying out the steps, do keep in mind that you can only restore chats if the backup option had been turned on in the first place on WhatsApp. This means that if you had never done a backup of your chats, then you won’t be able to recover any messages or chats that you accidentally delete.
To turn on chat backup, open WhatsApp, go to Settings > go to Chats > tap on Chat backup. Over here, you can set up the frequency of your chat backup between never, daily, weekly or monthly, or you can even do a manual backup as well. Additionally, you’ll have to select the Google account where you’d want the backup to be stored if you use an Android smartphone.
And if you’re an iPhone user, go to Settings within WhatsApp > Chats > Chat Backup, where you can select the Auto Backup frequency or use Back Up Now to manually initiate a backup to iCloud.