Over the past few years, WhatsApp has established itself as the go-to social media platform, helping people connect with friends and family. One of the features that have endeared users is sending or receiving an unlimited number of messages that don’t autodelete, as happens with some other social media platforms.
However, WhatsApp allows you to delete the messages you don’t want to keep. This option means there’s a possibility of deleting something accidentally. You might also lose your messages inadvertently, for example, when switching to a new device or even while resetting your device.
But does that mean you lose those messages forever? The answer is no. If you have accidentally deleted messages from your WhatsApp account, there is still a chance to recover them.
How to Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages
If you’re an avid WhatsApp user, there’s a good chance you’ve had the unfortunate experience of losing some of your messages. It could be a funny text from a friend, contact information shared with you by a colleague, or even an exchange you could present as evidence in court.
Although WhatsApp doesn’t provide a direct built-in tool to help you retrieve deleted messages, you can still recover them in several ways. However, recovery methods generally depend on the type of device you’re using. For example, what works for Android devices may not work for iPhones.
First, let’s dive in and see how to recover your old WhatsApp messages on an Android device.
Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages using Android
Android devices often get praised for their affordability, large display, open-source programs (which makes them highly customizable), and an incredible app selection in the Google Play Store. It’s no wonder that most Android devices today are fully compatible with WhatsApp.
But as with other devices, you can lose your WhatsApp data in a matter of seconds. Losing your data can happen if you accidentally hit the “delete” button or switch to a new device.
Luckily, WhatsApp comes equipped with a cloud-based backup solution that can save the day if you lose your messages and want to retrieve them. But how exactly does it work?
Once you’ve enabled backup in the settings section of your WhatsApp account, the app starts to store copies of all your messages in WhatsApp’s servers at regular intervals. When a backup process begins, the app checks for message duplicates on its server. If it doesn’t find one, a copy gets created immediately. The app also saves any new photos or videos automatically.
Therefore, your backup should be the first place you look when you delete a message accidentally.
Note: To see if your messages are backing up, go to Settings>Chats>Chat Backup. Then, verify that the email listed is one that you can access.
Here’s how to recover deleted WhatsApp messages on an Android device when you’ve backed up your data:
- Delete “WhatsApp” from your device.
- Download and install a new copy of WhatsApp from Google Play.
- After installation, open “WhatsApp” and enter your details, including your name and number.
- During installation, a prompt will appear on your screen asking whether you’d like to
“Restore” your chats from your Google Drive. Tap on “Restore” to initiate the recovery process.
- After recovering your data, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
All your old messages and media should now be available in your chats.
Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages on an iPhone
Like Android, the WhatsApp application for iPhones supports backup to the cloud at regular intervals. So long as your backup is enabled, WhatsApp will store copies of all your messages in the iCloud Drive. You can even see when the last backup was performed by opening the settings section of your account.
Recovering deleted messages from iCloud is straightforward:
- Uninstall “WhatsApp” from your device by choosing “Delete App.”
- Visit the “App Store” and download a new copy of “WhatsApp.”
- After downloading the app successfully, install it on your device.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to recover all the deleted messages.
Now, WhatsApp displays all your deleted messages in your chat.
It’s crucial to ensure enough space in your local storage before the recovery process starts. As a rule of thumb, the available local storage should be twice as much as the size of your backup. For example, if your backup is 1GB, there should be at least 2GB of free storage space on your device.
How to Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages without a Backup
Although data recovery from your WhatsApp backup is fast and convenient, you may have forgotten to enable it when setting up your account.
The good news is that you can still recover lost messages and media thanks to your device’s local backup or third-party software.
Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages without a Backup on Android Devices
Apart from cloud-based backup, all Android devices come with Android Local Backup—the default data backup service for many Android devices. The application typically gets included in nearly every new Android smartphone with Google Mobile Services (a collection of Google apps that help support functionality across devices).
If you haven’t enabled cloud backup on your WhatsApp account, you can still recover the data stored in your device’s local backup. Here’s how to go about it:
- Open your device’s “File Manager” and tap on “WhatsApp.”
- Select the “Database” folder.
- Look for a file named “msgstore.db.crypt12” and change its name to “msgstore_BACKUP.db.crypt12” without quotes.
- After that, look for the file named “msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12” and rename it to “msgstore.db.crypt12” without quotes.
- At this point, delete “WhatsApp” from your device and then download a new copy from the Google Play store and install it.
- Since you don’t have any files backed up in the cloud, you get prompted to restore your chats from the local phone backup. Tap on “Restore” to initiate the recovery process.
Now, you can view most deleted messages in your chats.
The downside to this local backup method is that you can only recover the most recent messages. That’s because the amount of backup space available for each app is limited.
Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages without a Backup on iPhone
If you run WhatsApp on iOS and cloud backup isn’t enabled, you can only recover deleted messages via a third-party tool.
Although there are several options to choose from, MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS stands out because it doesn’t require you to uninstall WhatsApp.
Here’s how to use it:
- Download and install “MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS” on your PC.
- Connect your phone to your PC via a suitable USB cable.
- Launch “MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS” on your PC.
- Click on “Scan” to initiate a thorough search through all the social media and communication apps installed on your iPhone.
- At this point, select “WhatsApp” from the menu displayed on the left side of your screen. All messages, including the ones that got deleted, should appear.
- Select the messages you’d like to recover and then hit the “Recover” button in the lower right corner.
In closing, WhatsApp is a great way to communicate with your friends and family. Regardless, there can be moments when you accidentally delete messages or lose them while switching devices. If this happens to you, don’t panic. You now have multiple ways to recover the deleted messages and view or share them as you like, whether you had backups enabled in WhatsApp or not. Give the above options a try!
WhatsApp Message Recovery FAQs
Does WhatsApp keep your messages?
When you delete a message on WhatsApp, it disappears. However, it isn’t gone forever. Your messages get stored in the cloud (Google Drive or iCloud). They also get stored on your device. For these reasons, you can recover your deleted WhatsApp messages even if you need a third-party service.
I reinstalled the app, but none of my messages appeared. What’s happening?
When you follow the instructions above to uninstall the app and reinstall it, you must log in to the correct account. Using a different email, phone, or phone number is the likely culprit of your missing messages.
As shown above, open the WhatsApp Settings and tap on Chats. Then tap on Chat Backup. You can verify the last time WhatsApp saved your chats and the email address associated with that backup.
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