WhatsApp doesn’t keep copies of your messages on its database, and instead, messages are gone from the database once they’ve been transmitted. At that point, the message will only be stored on the phones for anyone involved in the conversation. While this can make it a challenge to recover deleted WhatsApp messages after they’ve been deleted, there are three methods available that you can try.
With over 1 billion users, WhatsApp is among the most popular messaging apps on the planet, and it became a major acquisition in 2014, when Facebook shelled out $19.3 billion for it. WhatsApp is most popular on smartphones, but it’s also available on other cellphones, along with Windows and Mac devices. You can use it to message people anywhere in the world, and in addition to text messages, you can also send pics and videos.
1. Restore Your WhatsApp Messages from a Backup
The simplest way to recover deleted WhatsApp messages is to restore them from a backup. Of course, this requires you to have made a backup in the first place, and if you didn’t, you’ll need to try one of the other two message recovery options.
WhatsApp allows you to back up messages to Google Drive. To do so, you would need to open the app and select the Menu option, which are the three dots in the upper-right corner. Select Settings, and then Chats. From there, you can choose Chat Backup and create your desired backup settings.
You’ll need to select how often you wish to have your WhatsApp messages backed up (your options are never, when you manually choose the Back Up option, every day, every week or every month), what Google account you want to use, whether to back up using cellular data or only Wi-Fi, and whether to back up videos, too. After you’ve done all that, you can select Back Up. Keep in mind that every time you back up your messages, it overwrites any previous backup you had.
Now, if you’ve done that and you need to restore your messages, simply uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp. The app gives you the option of restoring your messages in a straightforward process.
2. Recover deleted WhatsApp messages on Your Phone
Even though WhatsApp doesn’t store your messages on its own server, it does on your phone, and you can get your messages back by sifting through your phone’s files. The catch here is that only the messages from the last seven days will be there.
You can look through your phone’s files by installing a file manager app. However, the typical smartphone will already have a file manager app built-in, and you should look for that first. Once you’ve pulled up the file manager, look for the WhatsApp folder, which should have a Database folder. This may be in your SD card, but if not, try either the internal memory or the main storage.
There should be a database file ending in “crypt12”, although in some cases, there could be a different number there. Change the filename to msgstore.db.crypt12, except make sure you use a matching crypt number. After that, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall the app, and then there should be instructions guiding you on restoring your messages.
3. Use a Recovery Software
The final option is to install an Android data recovery software on your computer. You’ll then need to hook up your smartphone to your computer using a USB cable and pull up the data recovery program. The program will give you options regarding what files you attempt to recover deleted WhatsApp messages on your phone. You should obviously choose the WhatsApp option, although you can also select other options if you’d like to recover additional files.
Since the program will require permissions to access the data on your phone, you must authorize the scan from your phone. When the program finds the files, it will provide previews and allow you to select whatever items you do and don’t wish to recovery. If you want to keep it simple, you can elect to recover deleted WhatsApp messages.
Once you’ve selected the items you want to recover, you can run the program and wait to get your messages back. This typically takes just a few minutes, but it does depend on the amount of data you’re recovering.
It’s frustrating when you discover that you don’t have important WhatsApp messages. Fortunately, all hope is not lost. If you need to get your WhatsApp messages back, give the methods above a try to see if one of them works for you. And going forward, make sure you back up your messages to Google Drive on a regular basis, as that’s the easiest way to recover lost messages.