The importance of backing up your WhatsApp conversations cannot be emphasized enough. Fortunately, WhatsApp offers different backup options for different devices. You can back up WhatsApp data locally to your device’s storage or host the app’s backup files on third-party cloud storage platforms.
This tutorial will walk you through several ways to backup your WhatsApp chat history on iOS and Android devices.
How to Backup WhatsApp Data on Android
If you use WhatsApp on an Android phone, you can back up WhatsApp messages and media files to your phone’s internal storage or Google Drive.
Backup WhatsApp data to your device
WhatsApp has a local backup option that saves your conversation to your device’s storage. The backup process is fast, easy and you don’t need an internet connection to backup or restore your WhatsApp data. However, the main limitation is that it is a manual process. In addition, local backup is not reliable.
Supposing you lose your phone, you will also lose your WhatsApp data. Local backup is best for restoring your data if you want to reinstall WhatsApp on your device. Or, if there is a problem with the WhatsApp app on your device.
- Open WhatsApp, tap the menu icon with three dots in the top right corner and select Settings†
- Tap chats in the Settings menu.
- Select Chat backup and tap the backup knob.
The best and most reliable option is to backup your WhatsApp data to the cloud. That way, you can create a schedule that automatically backs up your WhatsApp data to your cloud storage account. Moreover, you can easily transfer your WhatsApp data to a new phone or recover your data if you lose your device.
Backup WhatsApp data to Google Drive
You can back up your data to the cloud using cellular data and Wi-Fi, but WhatsApp strongly recommends using a Wi-Fi connection. That’s because WhatsApp backup files vary in size. Large backup files can lead to excessive data charges.
Connect your phone to a cellular or Wi-Fi network and follow the steps below.
- Open the WhatsApp Settings menu, select chatsand tap Chat backup†
- In the Google Drive Settings section, tap Backup to Google Driveand select an automatic backup plan—Daily† Weeklyor Monthly†
Select Only when I tap “Backup” if you don’t want your WhatsApp data to be automatically uploaded to Google Drive. That means you have to manually backup your WhatsApp data to Google Drive from the chat settings menu.
- You will be prompted to choose a Google account when you select a backup plan. Choose an account from the list or select Add Account to back up your WhatsApp data to a Google account not yet registered on your device.
- Select an account and wait for WhatsApp to connect/verify your Google account.
- Tap Allow to grant WhatsApp access to your Google Drive backup account.
- In the “Backup About” section, select whether you want to back up your WhatsApp data over Wi-Fi only or over both Wi-Fi and Cellular. As mentioned before, it is best to backup WhatsApp data over a Wi-Fi connection.
- Switch on Record videos if you want WhatsApp to add videos (sent and received) to your backup data. If you choose to include videos, you’ll see a preview of the estimated data size.
You don’t have to worry about the size of your WhatsApp backup if you host the data in Google Drive, unless you are on a limited mobile data plan. That’s because WhatsApp backup no longer counts against your Google Drive storage quota.
It is important to note that WhatsApp backups in Google Drive have an expiration period of 1 year. Backup files that have not been updated for more than a year are automatically removed from Google Drive.
By default, WhatsApp automatically backs up your data to Google Drive every morning at 2 AM. The initial cloud backup may take a while to complete so make sure your phone is connected to a power source.
You should see the upload progress in the Chat Backup menu and notification center of your device.
Backup WhatsApp data on iPhone
Unlike Android, WhatsApp does not support local backup on iOS devices. There is no support for Google Drive, so you can only backup WhatsApp data to iCloud. Connect your iPhone or iPad to a Wi-Fi network and follow the steps below to backup your WhatsApp data.
- Open WhatsApp, tap the Settings icon in the lower left corner and select chats†
- Select Chat backup†
- Tap Backup now to start uploading your WhatsApp chat data to iCloud.
You should now see the approximate size of the backup file, as well as a progress bar in the backup settings menu. WhatsApp uploads your data to the iCloud or Apple ID account connected to your iPhone/iPad. You can continue to use WhatsApp while the upload is in progress.
Make a schedule if you prefer WhatsApp to automatically back up your data to iCloud. See step #4 to learn how to enable automatic backup in WhatsApp.
- On the “Chat Backup” page, tap Automatic backupand select a desired backup frequency: Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
- Switch on Record videos if you want WhatsApp to add video files to your backup.
WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backup
By encrypting your WhatsApp backup, you add an extra layer of security and privacy to data: messages, media files, voice messages, etc. By enabling end-to-end backup encryption, you can “lock the backup” ” with a password or 64-bit encryption key before uploading to Google Drive or iCloud.
This means that no one, not even your backup service provider, can access the content of the WhatsApp backup. You must enter the password or encryption key when you want to restore the backup.
Follow the steps below to enable end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp backup (in Android and iOS).
- Open WhatsApp, go to Settings † chats † Chat backup † End-to-end encrypted backupand tap To turn on†
- Tap make a password if you want to encrypt your backup with a password. Type a password in the text box and press Next one continue.
- Re-enter the password, tap Next oneand tap To create on the next page to continue.
- If you prefer to use an encryption key, select Use a 64-digit encryption key instead on the backup encryption page.
- Then select Generate your 64 digit key†
- WhatsApp will display your encryption key and ask you to save it somewhere. Take a screenshot or write the key somewhere private and secure. Tap Get on continue.
Remark: WhatsApp cannot help you restore your backup if you forget your password or lose your encryption key. So make sure to keep your password and encryption key safe.
- Tap I kept my 64 digit key on the confirmation page and tap To create to start the backup encryption process.
If you are using an iPhone or iPad, please disable iCloud backup for WhatsApp after setting up end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp. That’s because backups automatically generated by iCloud aren’t protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.
Go to Settingstap you Apple ID Nameselect iCloudand switch off whatsapp†
Backup and Restore WhatsApp Data with Ease
To restore a WhatsApp backup, your device must be associated with the same Google or iCloud account that was used to create the backup. In addition, the device must be associated with the same WhatsApp account or phone number that was used when the backup was created. Go through this WhatsApp recovery guide to learn how to transfer WhatsApp to a new device.