How to Recover Deleted or Missing WhatsApp Messages

Ever wondered if you could recover deleted messages from Whatsapp? Well, you are in luck provided you have enabled Whatsapp chat backup. Most of the times we accidentally delete messages in Whatsapp and remorse later. There are several ways to recover the deleted WhatsApp chats. But always remember that you can restore the chat history only if you have set up the WhatsApp chat backup.

WhatsApp replaces the old backup file with the new one depending on how you set the backup frequency. If you are looking for ways to retrieve deleted messages you can do so as long as as you have a backup and before the old backup file gets replaced with the new one. You can recover deleted messages from the cloud backup in iPhone and Android. However, it is hard to recover chat history if it dates back to several days old. If you are an android user you can try your luck by restoring a backup file from the device local storage. In this article, we explain how to recover deleted messages in Android and iPhone. 

Enable Whatsapp Chat Backup 

Whatsapp lets you back up your chat history and media to iCloud or Google Drive so that if you lose your device or switch to a new one, you won’t miss your chat history. The chat history and media can be easily restored once you reinstall the Whatsapp. Follow the below steps to enable Whatsapp Chat backup. 

  • On your iPhone or Android smartphone, launch Whatsapp and click the three-dot menu at the top right.
  • Navigate to Settings and tap Chat.
  • Go the option Chat backup. 
  • If you are using an iPhone, you will see several backup frequencies under the option Auto Backup. You can set the auto backup as Daily, Weekly, Monthly or set it off completely. 
  • On Android, you will see several backup frequencies under the option Back up to Google Drive.

Please note that the WhatsApp deletes the old backups as you create a new backup file. By enabling the chat backup, you can recover the deleted messages as long as you have a backup. For instance, if you set the backup frequency as daily, you will be able to recover the messages soon after deleting or you can recover deleted chats anytime before the next daily backup file is created. Consider one more instance, say,  If you set backup frequency like weekly, you can recover the messages which were deleted further back in time, however, you could lose the messages from the recent chat.

Retrieve Deleted WhatsApp Messages 

Before proceeding further make sure you have enabled the Chat Backups in your WhatsApp.You can recover the deleted chat messages as long as you have a backup and before the old backup file gets replaced by the new one.

  • Uninstall WhatsApp from your device.
  • Now go to play store or app store and reinstall Whatsapp back on your device.
  • During installation, a pop-up box appears asking you to restore the chat history from the backup file.
  • Tap Restore and you will see all the deleted messages from the latest backup.

Retrieve Older Deleted WhatsApp Messages on Android

Retrieving deleted messages after the new backup file replaces old backup is close to impossible. However, if you are using an Android device, you can try to access the older detected messages from the local backup files. To be precise, depending on auto backup frequencies WhatsApp stores the backup chat history on your cloud storages like Google Drive or iCloud. However, on your Android phone, Whatsapp stores the chat history of several days on your device’s local storage along with creating a backup on Google Drive cloud services. That said, this is not the case in the iPhone as it stores only the latest backup file.

  • On your Android device, navigate to the File explorer app.
  • Go to /WhatsApp/Databases Or go to /sd card/storage to open Whatsapp folder
  • The WhatsApp folder contains the list of chat backup files. The latest backup file is named as msgstore.db.crypt12. The other older files look like msgstore-YYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12 (YYY-MM-DD represents the year, month and date). 
  • Rename msgstore.db.crypt12 to msgstore-latest.db.crypt12.
  • Then rename msgstore-YYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12 to msgstore.db.crypt12.
  • Now uninstall Whatsapp.
  • If you have enabled Google Drive backup, Open Google Drive on your device.
  • Slide-out the left menu and tap Backups.
  • Delete the Whatsapp backup file. You should do this to prevent Whastapp from using the Google Drive to restore backup file instead of restoring a local copy. 
  • Now go to Google play store and reinstall Whatsapp.
  • During installation, a pop-up box appears asking you to restore the chat history from the backup file.
  • Tap Restore and you will see all the deleted messages saved in the local storage.

That’s all. 

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