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 to the platform is the ability to send or receive 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 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 Messages WhatsApp Android
Android devices are often 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. This can happen if you hit the “delete” button accidentally, or if you 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. At the beginning of each cycle, the app checks to see if it has a duplicate of each message on its server. If it doesn’t, a duplicate is 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.
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 a new copy of WhatsApp from Google Play and install it on your device.
- After installation, open the app 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 your data has been recovered successfully, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
After taking these steps, all your old messages and media should now be available in your chats.
Recover Deleted Messages WhatsApp 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.
- 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.
And with that, all your deleted messages will be displayed in your chat.
However, it’s important to ensure that you have 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.
Let’s see how this is done when you’re running WhatsApp on Android.
Apart from cloud-based backup, all Android devices come with Android Local Backup, an automatic backup system that stores up to 25MBs of data per app.
Android Local Backup is the default data backup service for many Android devices. It’s typically included in nearly every new handset that comes with Google Mobile Services (a collection of Google apps that help support functionality across devices).
Even 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.”
- Tap on the “Database” folder.
- Look for a file named “msgstore.db.crypt12.” and change its name to “msgstore_BACKUP.db.crypt12”.
- After that, look for the file named “msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12” and rename it to “msgstore.db.crypt12”.
- At this point, delete WhatsApp from your device and then download a new copy from the Google Play store and install it on your device.
- Since you don’t have any files backed up in the cloud, you’ll be prompted to restore your chats from the local phone backup. Tap on “Restore” to initiate the recovery process.
And that’s it. You should now be able to view most deleted messages in your chats.
The downside to this method is that you can only recover the most recent messages. That’s because the amount of backup space available for each app is severely limited.
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 the software on a PC.
- Connect your phone to your PC via a suitable USB cable.
- Open the software just installed on your PC.
- Click on “Scan.” This will 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. This should show you all messages, including the ones that had been deleted.
- Select the messages you’d like to recover and then hit the “Recover” button in the lower right corner.
Deleted WhatsApp Data Isn’t Lost
WhatsApp is a great way to communicate with your friends and family, but there can be moments when you accidentally delete messages. If this happens, don’t panic. There are multiple ways to recover the deleted messages and view or share them as you like.
Have you tried recovering your WhatsApp messages via any of the approaches in this article? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section below.