WhatsApp is a tremendously useful way to keep in touch with people all over the world, pretty much for free. There is a rather large problem that users can encounter though, and that is when moving onto a new iPhone 6S or Android smartphone their conversations don’t come with them. This is due to the way that the app stores content locally rather than on web servers. If you still have your old phone to hand, and haven’t switched from Android to iOS or vice versa, then it’s still possible to salvage those old chats and move them safely to a new home. In this guide we’ll take you through the short process of copying and restoring your digital missives.
See also: How to use WhatsApp Web
Restoring WhatsApp messages on an iPhone
There are a few different ways to keep your conversations on your iPhone, but the easiest is by using iCloud backup. To do this you’ll need to take your old handset and go to WhatsApp Settings>Chats>Chat Backup and then tap Backup Now.
On your new handset, reinstall WhatsApp, confirm your phone number (which has to be the same as the one used on your old phone) and you will be prompted to restore your chat history. Agree to this and your backup should be installed, replete with your conversations. It’s also worth going back to the settings and enabling the Auto Backup feature now, so you’ll be good to go when you upgrade to your next iPhone in a couple of years time.
Restoring WhatsApp messages on an Android phone using an SD card
If you’re fortunate to have an Android phone with an SD card, then the process for transferring your chat history is reasonably straightforward. Open the app then tap the Menu icon then go to Settings>Chats and calls > Backup Chats. This will now create a backup on your SD card, which you can then swap into your new handset.
Reinstall WhatsApp on your replacement device (with the SD card inserted) and the app should spot your backup and automatically restore the chat history.
Restoring WhatsApp messages on an Android phone using a PC
Those phones without an SD card (and there are increasingly more of them now) can still move their chat history, but it will need a PC to make it happen. Attach the USB charging cord to the phone and then plug the other end into your PC. Windows should automatically install any drivers you need, and then you can find the phone in the This PC section of File Explorer. Now look through the phone storage until you find the WhatsApp folder, then copy it onto your PC hard drive. Eject the phone, then connect your new handset and move the WhatsApp folder onto its internal storage. Eject the phone, reinstall WhatsApp, and when you confirm your number the backup should be recognised and you can restore it. With this done you should now have all your past conversations on your new Android phone.
Restoring WhatsApp messages on an Android Phone using Google Drive
In the same way that the iPhone uses iCloud, Android devices will hopefully soon be able to use Google Drive for automatic backups. We've already see builds of WhatsApp that have this feature enabled, but the latest version of the one available on the Google Play Store doesn't yet option available. Hopefully it will appear very soon, and once it does we will update this tutorial to include what should be an excellent addition.