Would you like to create a backup copy of the messages you exchange daily with friends, relatives and work colleagues on WhatsApp but, not being very good at using your smartphone yet, would you like help on how to do it? Are you about to change your smartphone and would you like to make sure that the backups made by WhatsApp are recent and, above all, working on your next device? No problem, I’m here to help you out.
Give me five minutes of your time and I will explain, in detail, how to backup WhatsApp on all the main platforms of the mobile world. After that I will tell you how to restore the chats on a new phone (or on the same device, in case of formatting) and, finally, I will explain how to copy WhatsApp data to your computer, in order to have an additional chat security copy, photo and video. I assure you that these are extremely quick and simple procedures, there is nothing complex or «technical» to learn.
The only care you need to have, since WhatsApp relies mainly on cloud services for its backups, is to correctly configure your Google or Apple accounts on your phone. For the rest, you just need a very common Wi-Fi connection and a few minutes of free time. Have fun and, above all, have a good backup!
How to backup WhatsApp on Android
Let’s start with Android, which allow you to backup your chats both through Google Drive services and locally.
How to backup WhatsApp to Google Drive
As just mentioned, WhatsApp mainly relies on cloud services for its backups. In fact, on Android , it copies chats, photos and videos to Google Drive : the cloud storage service of the Mountain View giant with 15GB of free space. As you can easily imagine, you must have a Google account configured correctly on your smartphone to be able to perform this procedure. Then open the Android Settings menu (the gear icon located on the home screen or in the screen with the icons of all the apps), go to Google and verify that your @ gmail.com account is correctly configured.
If you don’t have a Google account yet, you can create it directly from your phone by pressing on the item Or create a new account at the bottom of the Google login page. The procedure is very simple.
Once the account has been configured, all you have to do is open WhatsApp by tapping on its icon, go to the main screen of the app, press the button of the three vertical dots located at the top right and select the Settings item from the menu that appears .
In the new screen, click on the Chat item , then on Backup of the chats and press the Back up button to start saving all your conversations, both on Google Drive and locally. If this is the first time you back up WhatsApp on Google Drive, you must authorize the app to access the service by responding affirmatively to the warning that appears on the screen.
By default, WhatsApp does not include videos in its backups (as they may take up a lot of space) but, if you want, you can activate their saving by placing the check mark next to the Include videos item . The saving operations, if it is the first time you back up, could take several minutes: you can follow the progress thanks to the indications on the screen. Subsequent backups will be faster as they are incremental (so only the missing information compared to the last backup made will be uploaded online).
Once the backup function is activated, WhatsApp will save chats, photos and (if you have activated the appropriate option) videos on Google Drive and on the smartphone with a certain frequency (for example daily, weekly and so on). To change this behavior, you can go to the Settings> Chats> WhatsApp Chat Backup screen and select the various options listed under the Google Drive Settings item .
By pressing on Backup on Google Drive you can change the frequency with which the automatic backup of the chats must be made (never, daily, weekly or monthly); by selecting the Google Account option you can choose which Google Drive account to save the data to (useful option if you have configured more than one Google account on your phone), while pressing the Backup with cellular data network item you can choose whether to make backups even when you only have mobile data connection available (with significant data consumption).
In the initial part of the screen, however, under the heading Last backup , you can view the date and size (in MB) of the last backup made by WhatsApp: this is the information you need to check to make sure that the latest WhatsApp backup is quite recent.
WhatsApp backups include chats, groups, photos and videos, but not contacts, which are managed by the phone’s address book. In any case, don’t worry: Google’s cloud services allow you to save even those on the cloud and restore them instantly in case of switching to another phone or formatting your device.
To make sure you have a backup of your contacts on the Google servers, go to the Settings> Accounts menu , select your Gmail account , then press on the Account Synchronization item and check that the lever relating to the Contacts option is active: if not it is, activate it yourself by moving it to ON .
By default, WhatsApp backups are not protected with end-to-end encryption, so they are potentially accessible by Google and Apple (the companies that own the cloud services on which they are stored). If you want to apply this type of protection, go to the Chat menu> App chat backup and activate the End-to-end encrypted backup option ; be careful, however, in this way if you lose the password set for the backup of WhatsApp you will no longer be able to restore the latter because no company will have the «spare keys» to access it. More info here .
How to backup WhatsApp locally
You should know that, automatically, WhatsApp also backs up everything included in the chats locally. This happens automatically every day at 02:00 , but that doesn’t mean you can’t manually force it to be done when you decide.
In general, whenever you tap the Back Up button , the phone will create a data backup both locally and in Google Drive. This occurs regardless of whether the encrypted option is active or whether the automatic local backup has already been performed.
So everything is perfect, the backup is there and you don’t need to do anything but, if you wanted a local backup excluding the one in Google Drive , how could you get it? Well, to be sure that none of the saved data is uploaded to a server, just open WhatsApp, press the three horizontal dots, tap the Chat item and then Chat Backup .
At this point scroll down until you find the item Backup on Google Drive and, instead of allowing it once every tot. time, put the check next to the item Never . By doing so, not only will you lose the automatic timing of the cloud backup, but you will also make sure that whenever you press the Back Up button , it will only happen locally and that’s it.
How to backup WhatsApp on iPhone
Now let’s see how to do the same operations on the iPhone , which has some slight but important differences to keep in mind.
How to backup WhatsApp to iCloud
If you use an iPhone , you must know that you can only backup that the application makes online on the iCloud servers and, consequently, you need to have an iCloud account set up on your iPhone. If, on the other hand, you were wondering how to backup WhatsApp from iPhone to Google Drive , you must know that Apple loves to keep its customers within its ecosystem (like almost all companies), so it’s not available and it’s likely that it won’t never implemented.
The first step to back up is to check that you have the right iCloud profile associated with it. If this is not what you intend to use, press the name at the top of the settings screen , scroll to the bottom of the menu that opens and press the Exit option , to disconnect the current account. Then log in with the account you want to use.
Now you are ready to backup WhatsApp: then start the app by pressing on its icon on the home screen, go to the Settings tab (bottom right) and select the Chat item first and then the Chat Backup item from the screen that opens.
At this point, activate Include videos if, in addition to chats and photos, you also want to include videos (be aware that this option could greatly increase the space occupied on iCloud Drive, which offers a maximum of 5GB of storage for free and backup execution times) and press the Back up now button to start saving the data. The operation could take several minutes (especially if it is the first backup you make, the following ones will be incremental, therefore shorter).
By default, WhatsApp performs an automatic backup every day. To change this setting, tap on the Automatic backup item and choose whether to disable automatic backup (not recommended) or whether to set it weekly or monthly instead of daily. You can also decide whether to activate encryption and set a password for the backups, which will make them unreadable by Apple but also impossible to recover if you forget the password you have set (so watch out!).
The WhatsApp backup does not include contacts, which are managed by the smartphone address book and not by the application itself. To have an iCloud backup of the contacts in the address book (and then be able to restore them to a new iPhone or to the same iPhone following a device reset), go to the iOS Settings menu, select your name displayed at the top of the screen that opens and tap on the iCloud entry . Check, therefore, if the lever located next to the Contacts item is active and, if it is deactivated, move it to ON (you will see it turn green). Obviously check that the lever for WhatsApp is also active on the same screen otherwise the iCloud backup will fail.
In case you were wondering, there is no option on the iPhone to make backups locally, so you will have to rely only on those made on iCloud.
How to backup WhatsApp from Android to iPhone
As we have seen, the WhatsApp backup can be transferred very easily from one device to another if the two devices use the same operating system (e.g. Android> Android or iOS> iOS). In reality, however, it’s also possible to transfer chats between different operating systems.
In the case of the transition of WhatsApp from Android to iPhone , there is for example the official Apple app Switch to iOS which allows you to transfer a lot of data (including WhatsApp) from Android to iOS devices.
To take advantage of this option, you need to download the Switch to iOS app from the Play Store or alternative stores and have your iPhone reset to factory settings . Once downloaded, start the application, accept the terms of service and then turn on your iPhone to start the first configuration.
During this process, the iPhone will ask you if you want to restore backup data from iCloud , Mac , PC , iPhone or, among these, also from an Android . Select this option, enter the code displayed on the iPhone screen in the Switch to iOS app and then decide which data to pass between devices. If you can’t find WhatsApp among the default options, tap the Add file item and browse the memory to find WhatsApp . A screen will then open asking you if you want to move the data, accept the procedure on both devices and wait for it to be completed.
Once this is done, proceed with the initialization of the iPhone and, when you are done, open WhatsApp and log in using the same phone number you were using on the previous smartphone. WhatsApp will resume the procedure at this point, asking you to confirm it, and then let you find all the chats in their place once finished.
Otherwise, there are third-party applications that allow you to achieve the same result (with a few more steps), for example Wondershare MobileTrans , which allows you to perform various data transfer, restore, repair and recovery operations.
How to backup WhatsApp from iPhone to Android
As for the transition from Android to iOS, it’s now also possible to do the reverse path with WhatsApp data, albeit with some clauses. You can only migrate data if you switch from iPhone to Samsung , Google Pixel or any Android that is at least updated to Android 12 .
To do this, you need nothing more than a Ligthning / USB-C cable and your Android phone reset to factory settings or just out of the box. During the setup, you will be asked if you want to migrate data between devices.
How to backup WhatsApp with broken phone
In case your smartphone is broken, recovering WhatsApp chats could be a little more complex. It all depends on how broken it is , as there is a big difference between a destroyed screen but a working phone, or a device that doesn’t even turn on anymore.
In the first case, even if you cannot physically perform operations, I want to remind you that WhatsApp periodically performs automatic backups on the cloud (for iPhone) and via the cloud and locally (for Android). This means that, if you remember the frequency of these events, you just have to wait for the automatic backup to be performed and then switch the account to a new phone without losing any data.
If, on the other hand, the phone doesn’t show any sign of life, then the only viable solution is to ask for help or try data recovery software. Depending on the operating system you are using there are several available.
How to backup WhatsApp from PC
WhatsApp on PC doesn’t yet have a separate backup system, so to have a complete archive of your conversations you need to rely on Google Drive and iCloud on smartphones; however, you can use your computer to keep (non-restorable) copies of your messages and received messages. Let’s see how.
How to backup WhatsApp for Windows and macOS
If you usually use the WhatsApp client for PC and Mac , At least for the moment, the backup cannot be performed through this application. There are, however, other methods that allow you to save WhatsApp backups on your PC and you can find them explained below.
- If you are using an Android terminal and a Windows PC , connect your phone to your computer via USB cable and select the Media Device (MTP) option on your smartphone . Then open Windows File Explorer (represented by a folder icon), select the item This PC from the left sidebar and double-click the icon for your smartphone . At this point, go to the Home WhatsApp folder and save the contents on your computer. If you are using a Mac , you cannot act directly from the Finder but you must install the Android File Transfer application which allows you to browse the memory of Android devices (to copy the WhatsApp folder to your computer, simply drag it out of the program window). After backing up on your computer, you can use it, if necessary, on a smartphone by copying the msgstore.db.crypt14 file in the Device name WhatsApp Databases folder of the latter (just as explained above for the offline backup of Android ).
- If you use an iPhone and a Windows PC (or a slightly dated Mac ), you need to connect the phone to the computer and start the iTunes application . Then, if this is the first time you connect the two devices to each other, you must authorize their communication by pressing the appropriate buttons that appear on the displays of both devices and finally click on the phone icon that appears at the top left of the iTunes panel on the PC. After this step, select the Summary item from the left sidebar, put the check mark next to the option This computer and press the Back up now button. If you use a Mac with Catalina operating system or later , you can act in a very similar way to the one just described but directly through the Finder by selecting the iPhone from the list located to the left of the same, placing the check mark next to the item Back up of all the iPhone data on the Mac in the opened panel and finally pressing the Back up now button . In this way you will get a complete backup of the device that you can restore in case of need by finding, among other things, even the WhatsApp conversations in their place. If you also want to include passwords and health data in the backup, put the check mark next to the item Encrypt iPhone backup and set a password to protect the backup.
How to backup WhatsApp Web
As with the desktop version of WhatsApp, for WhatsApp Web there is no way to make a backup at the time of writing this article. I therefore recommend that you resort to one of the many methods we have talked about so far.
How to restore WhatsApp backup
Now that we’ve backed up the various devices, you may want to use it to migrate your chats to a new device. Well this operation is no more difficult than those already seen, as it only requires a handful of easy steps.
Basically, you just need to install WhatsApp on a phone associated with the same phone number and the same Google or Apple account as the original one, from which the WhatsApp backup comes.
Once this is done, open WhatsApp, press the Accept and continue button and follow the instructions that are shown on the screen. You will be asked to enter a code sent via SMS or expressed in a call made by WhatsApp on the number to which the profile is associated. Once this is done, if there is a backup, the app asks you if you want to restore it : by accepting this, all the information in the last backup will be loaded and will be available again.
In the specific case of local Android backups, you can choose the date on which to restore the chats by renaming the file you want to use appropriately.