It can be useful to keep old messages in messaging applications. If you forget what time to meet someone, you can take a look at your cat to be sure. Some other posts may have emotional value, so he likes to go back and read them every now and then.
WhatsApp lets you go back for a while, but what if you can’t find your old messages? Is there a way to get them back? If you need an answer, keep reading our article.
Recover Lost WhatsApp Messages
Let’s say you have a new phone or you reset your current phone to factory default settings. Do you think your old WhatsApp chats are lost forever? Well, recovering those messages may be easier than you think. However, remember that you can only recover backed up messages. Without backup, you cannot recover messages that you deleted once.
Here are two methods you can try.
Back up Google Drive
If you’ve kept the same phone number, you can use your Google Account (which should also be the one you used with your old phone) to restore your old WhatsApp chats.
- Install the WhatsApp app on your phone.
- Run it and enter your phone number. Verify it by entering the code.
- You will be prompted to restore your previous Google Drive messages, photos, and videos. Select Restore to complete this action.
- Wait for the restore to complete, then tap Next.
- Once the app is initialized, you will see your chats on the screen. Your shared media are as follows and you will be able to access them soon.
This method may work if you have a new phone. You will need another device, such as your computer or an SD card, to transfer your files to the new mobile device. Please note that you can only restore data from the last seven days.
If you don’t know where to look, use the search bar or the magnifying glass to find a folder named WhatsApp. This can be on your SD card or on your internal storage.
If you are trying to restore old chats and media it is not impossible, but it will require a few more steps. Here’s how to do it:
- You will need to visit Google Play or App Store to get a file manager app.
- Via this app, find a WhatsApp/Databases folder. Check both your SD card and internal storage.
- When you find the file you want to recover, rename it to msgstore.db.crypt12.
- Delete the WhatsApp app from your phone and reinstall it.
- When you open it again, choose Restore and wait for chats and media to recover.
- Android users can also use their default file manager, preinstalled on their mobile device. No need to download another app to restore missing messages. Unfortunately, this will not work for iOS users.
If you choose to recover chats this way, do the following:
- Open File Manager and find the WhatsApp folder. Touch to open it.
- Select the Database folder inside.
- Here you will find all saved files, including your chats.
- Find the folder called msgstore.db.crypt12 and enter a new name: msgstore_BACKUP.db.crypt12. This is how you will prevent it from being overwritten as it is the last backup folder on your phone.
- Find the most recent backup folder (you’ll know what it is because there are dates in the name) and rename it to msgstore.db.crypt12.
- You need to open Google Drive and delete the backed up files from there. This way,
- when prompted, your phone will not restore data from the Drive, but local storage.
- The last step is to reinstall the WhatsApp app and choose Restore when prompted to recover your chats.
Don’t forget to configure the backup
If your chats and shared media are automatically backed up, you won’t have to worry about whether you want to get your messages and files back. Here’s how to set it up:
- Open WhatsApp on your mobile device.
- Tap the three-dot icon to display a drop-down list with more options.
- Choose Settings.
- Choose chats.
- Select the backup chat option at the bottom.
This section allows you to adjust your backup settings. You can choose how often you want to back up your data and which account you want to use for this purpose. You can also choose to back up your WhatsApp data only via Wi-Fi, which we recommend. Another option lets you decide if you want to save the videos as well.
Also see: How to Protect Your Privacy on WhatsApp
Please note that these instructions are for Android phones. However, if you have an iOS device, the steps will be very similar, although the options may have a different name.