How to back up WhatsApp media and messages

If you were to ever lose or switch your smartphone, then the backup feature provided by WhatsApp is very useful. According to 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, then just read iCloud Drive in place of Google Drive in the following text.

See also: How to enable dark mode on WhatsApp

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 backup WhatsApp media and messages regularly at particular intervals then go to the ‘back up to Google Drive’ option under ‘Google Drive settings’.
  7. Choose a frequency (from the list which 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 in which you want to back up i.e. whether you want to back up via Wi-Fi or via either Wi-Fi or cellular. To choose this, just 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 do choose to include videos then 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 till it completes.

Restoring a backup from Google Drive

Your backed-up WhatsApp data will come to your rescue in case you have to change your smartphone for any reason like you lose your smartphone, etc. or in case you have to reinstall WhatsApp. If you had backed-up your WhatsApp data, then you can easily get it back on your new smartphone or when you reinstall WhatsApp. To do so, just 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 the privacy policy and terms of service of WhatsApp. So, read it if you need to and then if you agree then tap on the ‘Agree and Continue’ option.
  3. Now, you need to enter your phone number and then verify it. The verification process is simple. You just need to follow along with simple prompts as they appear on the screen.
  4. After verification is complete, tap on the ‘next’ option.
  5. Now, a dialog box will appear asking 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, if you had any backed-up data associated with this account, then Tap the ‘restore’ option. 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 then tap the ‘next’ option.
  8. Your WhatsApp data should have been successfully restored now.

Points to note

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