How do I restore my messages?
WhatsApp chat histories are not stored on our servers; we cannot retrieve any deleted messages for you. You can use our iCloud backup feature to back up and restore your chat history.
To make a manual backup of your chats at any time, go to WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Chat Backup and tap Back Up Now. You can also enable automatic, scheduled backups by tapping Auto Backup and then choosing your backup frequency. This will back up your chats and media to your iCloud account; you can choose to include or exclude videos from the backup. The iCloud backup process can take a while to complete, depending on your Internet connection and backup size.
- You must have iOS 5.1 or later.
- You must be signed into iCloud ( iPhone Settings > iCloud).
- For iOS 7: Documents & Data (iPhone Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data) must be set to ON.
For iOS 8 and later: iCloud Drive (iPhone Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive) must be set to ON.
- There must be enough free space on both your iCloud and your iPhone.
Using iCloud on cellular data
If you are concerned about your cellular data usage, we recommend that you limit your iCloud to only back up on Wi-Fi. To disable iCloud while on cellular data, go to iPhone Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive for iOS 8 and later or iPhone Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data for iOS 7 and before and turn Use Cellular Data off.
Recover chat history from iCloud
To recover your chat history from an iCloud backup, first verify that an iCloud backup exists in WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Chat Backup. If you can see when the last backup was performed, delete and reinstall the app from the App Store. After verifying your phone number, follow the on-screen prompts to restore your chat history. The same iCloud backup requirements apply for iCloud restore. In addition, the phone number used for backing up and restoring must be the same. You cannot restore the chat history from another WhatsApp account. If you share an iCloud account, this will allow you to keep your backups separate.
Troubleshooting iCloud problems
If you are having problems backing up to or restoring from iCloud, this is likely not an issue with WhatsApp but with the iCloud account.
If you are unable to create a backup, please try the following:
- Verify that you are logged into iCloud in iPhone Settings > iCloud.
- Verify that iCloud Drive is turned on in iPhone Settings > iCloud. If you are on iOS 7 or before, you will see Documents & Data instead of iCloud Drive.
- If you are trying to backup on an iPhone with iOS 7 or before, verify that no other device using your Apple ID has ever had iCloud Drive turned on. If you have turned iCloud Drive on for any device using your Apple ID, you will not be able to upload data on iOS 7 or before. Even if iCloud Drive was previously turned on and then turned off, you will not be able to back up on an iOS 7 device. You would need to update to iOS 8 or later to back up.
- Verify that you have enough available space in your iCloud account to create a backup. You can see how much space is available on your iCloud in iPhone Settings > iCloud > Storage.
- If you are attempting a backup on a cellular data network, make sure you have Use Cellular Data turned on in iPhone Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive for iOS 8 and later or iPhone Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data for iOS 7 and before.
- Perform a manual backup by tapping "Back Up Now" in WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Chat Backup and keep WhatsApp open until that screen says "uploading".
- Attempt the manual backup on a different network - preferably the network you connect to most. iCloud is designed to work best when you attempt a backup in the geographical location from which you connect most frequently.
If you are unable to restore a backup, please try the following:
- Verify that you are attempting to restore data from the same phone number and iCloud account that the backup was created on.
- Verify that there is enough room on your iPhone to restore the backup. You can see the available space on your phone in iPhone Settings > General > About.
- Verify that you have your iCloud Drive turned on in iPhone Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive. If you are on iOS 7 or before, you will see Documents & Data instead of iCloud Drive.
- If the backup was created using iCloud Drive, you will not be able to restore that backup on any device that is not on iOS 8 or later.
- If you have turned on iCloud Drive for any device using your Apple ID, you will not be able to restore data on your iPhone unless it has iOS 8 or later.
- Attempt the restoration from a different network - preferably the network you connect to most. iCloud is designed to work best when you attempt to restore in the geographical location from which you connect most frequently.
If you have previously backed up your iPhone using iTunes or iCloud, you may be able retrieve your WhatsApp chats by restoring your iPhone from a previous iPhone backup. Learn more about backing up and restoring your iPhone from this Apple Support page.
You can also email yourself a chat history if you would like to save a conversation:
- Open the WhatsApp conversation you want to email.
- Tap the contact's name or group subject in the navigation bar.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Email Chat.
- Select if you want to Attach Media or email the conversation Without Media.
- Enter your email address and tap Send.
WhatsApp Support Team