How to back up WhatsApp media and messages

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If you were ever to lose or switch your smartphone, then the backup feature of WhatsApp is very useful. With this feature, you can back up all your WhatsApp media and messages on Google Drive if you are using the Android operating system, or you can back up on iCloud Drive if you are using iOS.

However, you must know that these backed-up WhatsApp messages and media are not protected by the typical end-to-end encrypted protection of WhatsApp. If you are using an iOS device, just read iCloud Drive in place of Google Drive in the following text.

Backing up on Google Drive

  1. Open the WhatsApp app on your smartphone.
  2. Tap the three-dots icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Go to the "settings" option from the drop-down menu.
  4. Then, tap on the 'chats' option.
  5. Then, tap on the 'chat backup' option.
  6. If you want to automatically back up WhatsApp media and messages regularly at particular intervals, go to the "Back up to Google Drive" option under "Google Drive settings."
  7. Choose a frequency (from the list that opens up) at which you want WhatsApp media and messages to be backed up regularly.
  8. Now, tap the 'Google account' option and choose the Google account to which you want to back up.
  9. You can also choose the mode you want to back up, i.e., if you wish to back up via Wi-Fi or via Wi-Fi cellular. To select this, tap on the 'Back up over' option and choose what you want.
  10. You can choose whether or not you want to include videos as part of the backup. Note that if you decide to include videos, the total size of the backup will also increase if you have any videos in your WhatsApp media storage.
  11. Now, tap on the "Back up" option to start the backup process and wait until it completes.

Restoring the backup from Google Drive

Your backed-up WhatsApp data will come to your rescue if you have to change your smartphone for any reason, like if you lose your smartphone, etc., or if you have to reinstall WhatsApp. If you have backed up your WhatsApp data, you can easily get it back on your new smartphone or when you reinstall WhatsApp. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open WhatsApp (note: if you have bought a new smartphone and you can't find the WhatsApp app, then you need to install it first before opening).
  2. You will be asked to read and agree to WhatsApp's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Read it if you need to, and tap on the "Agree and Continue" option if you agree.
  3. Now, you need to enter your phone number and then verify it. The verification process is simple. You need to follow simple prompts as they appear on the screen.
  4. After verification is complete, tap on the 'next' option.
  5. A dialog box will appear asking you to allow WhatsApp access to your contacts, photos, media, and files on the device. Tap the "continue" option on this dialog box.
  6. After this, tap the 'restore' option if you have any backed-up data associated with this account. Wait for the restoring process to finish.
  7. Now, WhatsApp will ask for your name. Just give whatever name you want to give to this WhatsApp account and tap the 'next' option.
  8. Your WhatsApp data should be successfully restored now.

Points to note

  1. The above ways to back up and restore WhatsApp media and messages will only work if you use either Android smartphones only or iOS devices only. This is because Android WhatsApp can only be backed up and restored from Google Drive, while iOS WhatsApp can only be backed up and restored from iCloud Drive. You can't restore WhatsApp data if you switch from Android to iOS or from an iOS to an Android device.
  2. Some third-party apps may allow you to overcome the restrictions in the above point, but they have not been tested officially and can't guarantee that your WhatsApp private data will remain safe.
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