Besttechindia is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

How to Recover Deleted Messages in WhatsApp? (2020)

Edited by Piyush Kashyap, Reviewed by Gulshan

In today's increasingly digitally dependent and modernising world, WhatsApp, among other Instant Messaging platforms, has become one of the most important tools for our direct communications.

With the rise in the number of text and multimedia messages transferred over WhatsApp, there is a rise in the complexities by which such information can be retrieved and restored.

Everyone using WhatsApp must make themselves aware of the backup process for all the sent and received messages over WhatsApp to prevent any future unforeseen loss of valuable information exchanges over WhatsApp. 

However, it is only human to make a mistake and delete messages almost instinctively. In such times, chat restoration, as offered by the platform, is of primordial importance to the user.

You can restore all the deleted WhatsApp conversations without any hassle. 

How to Recover Deleted WhatsApp Messages

In this regard, the user must also understand that one can backup all texts, images, and videos exchanged within a specified interval so that it can be retrieved later. However, if the user has not backed up such messages, there is no way in which such data can be restored through WhatsApp.

How to backup chats on WhatsApp?

Before delving into the depths of the relatively easy restoration process, we must take a closer look at the backup process for chats and media content on WhatsApp using an Android or iOS-enabled device.

This process is rather simple, and anyone can perform a simple backup of all chats and shared content via WhatsApp by merely following the on-screen instructions. A simplified step by step guide is provided below:

  1. 1
    Firstly, the user is required to open the WhatsApp application on the registered Android or iOS smartphone.
  2. 2
    Next, the user is required to click on the three-dot icon appearing on the top right corner of the screen in an Android phone. Similarly, in an iOS phone, click on the Settings icon, which appears on the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. 3
    Then the user must click and choose the ‘Settings’ option from the list of on-screen tabs on an Android device. iPhone users are not required to perform this step.
  4. 4
    On this ‘Setting’s menu, the user is required to click on the ‘Chats’ option to open the chat options screen that shall contain a list of buttons, including one labelled ‘Backup’.
  5. 5
    Now, the user is required to scroll down to the Chat options menu and click on the button displaying the 'Backup to Google Drive option.'
  6. 6
    The user is then required to select the desired backup frequency option from the dialogue window that appears on the screen.
  7. 7
    Finally, the user is required to choose an active Gmail account to backup all the chats. This is needed to access the Google Drive associated with the Gmail address for file storage purposes. In an iOS device, this step is not necessary as the chats are directly stored on the user's registered iCloud account automatically.

The users must note that the backup process is absolutely essential to the restoration of deleted messages. In case a user has not taken a backup recently, the last available backup is used for the restoration process. This may result in loss of chats and media shared after a certain period.

Hence, all WhatsApp users are recommended to use the automatic backup feature to maximize the utility of the mobile application at large.

WhatsApp Automatic Backup Feature

WhatsApp creates a local backup every night on every Android device, usually at 2 a.m. However, this local backup does not help in case the device is lost or inaccessible. It is so because WhatsApp cannot access the storage of a locked device or when there is no WhatsApp registration available.

Therefore, all users are recommended to use the compatible cloud backup feature. Users must also note the fact that WhatsApp deletes all previous cloud backup files as a new cloud backup file is created. In this regard, the iOS application keeps the last backup file only while the Android edition keeps all backup files up to a week back.

With the local back-up, any user can retrieve and restore messages even after they are deleted. However, an automatic backup allows the user to recover even older deleted WhatsApp messages, at the cost of losing the recent chats until a certain period.

To retrieve the deleted WhatsApp messages, the user must have enabled the ‘Chat Backup’ feature on WhatsApp using the Settings tab on the platform, as mentioned above.

The WhatsApp platform offers several backup frequencies, including Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and a no automatic backup option for the users to avail as per their specific requirements.

How To Recover Your Deleted Whatsapp Messages | Restore Whatsapp Messages

Recovering the Deleted WhatsApp Messages

To restore deleted chats on WhatsApp, a backup must be present. If a backup is taken previously and is available at the time of recovery, the user is required to follow the following steps closely to easily recover all the lost data from the last date of backup:

  1. 1
    Firstly, the user is required to uninstall the WhatsApp application from the mobile devices in use and then reinstall the WhatsApp application from Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store, depending on the operating system of the device.
  2. 2
    Then the user is required to open the WhatsApp application and click on the  Allow button to give all the necessary permissions as the dialogue boxes appear on the screen.
  3. 3
    Next, the user is required to follow the incredibly simple on-screen number registration and activation processes wherein the user is required to fill in the details of the account to be recovered.
  4. 4
    Following this,  the user is required to click on the Continue button that pops up on screen while being prompted for backup.
  5. 5
    Lastly, the user is required to click on the Restore button to recover all the previously deleted WhatsApp messages until the date of the latest backup available.

This is the only legal manner in which a WhatsApp user can recover the deleted messages provided there is a backup present in the system.

By backing up the WhatsApp chat, the user can retrieve the WhatsApp messages on any smartphone providing that the same WhatsApp number and the same Gmail ID are being used to register.

This restoration process is time-consuming and may take a few minutes to complete depending on the volume of the backup. The user cannot use the WhatsApp features while the restoration is in progress.

Recovering WhatsApp Chats Deleted Before the Last Backup.

The WhatsApp application for mobile devices has a built-in ability to retain large volumes of backup data over a certain period of time. Along with the other conventional types of backups available, there are various ways in which the data from older chats can be restored.

To recover the older WhatsApp chats deleted by the user, the user is required to access the ‘/WhatsApp/Databases’ path under the sdcard/, storage/, or a similar folder depending on the device being used. This folder should contain all the chat backup files taken by the user on the device.

The most recent backup file is named ‘msgstore.db.crypt12’, while the others follow the mnemonic as 'msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12.' where Y, M, and D represent the year, month, and date of the backup taken, respectively.

To retrieve these WhatsApp messages deleted sometime between two backups, the user is simply required to perform the following steps:

  1. 1
    The user is first required to rename the ‘msgstore.db.crypt12’ file containing the latest backup to ‘msgstore-latest.db.crypt12,’ making it inaccessible to WhatsApp.
  2. 2
    Next, the user is required to rename the required ‘msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12’ file as ‘msgstore.db.crypt12’ which will then become the latest backup automatically readable by WhatsApp.
  3. 3
    After making this specific change, the user is required to uninstall WhatsApp. If the user has enabled the Google Drive cloud backup function for WhatsApp messages, open the Google Drive application, and select Backups from the left slider menu on the dashboard.
  4. 4
    There will be a WhatsApp backup file with the registered phone number in it. The user is then required to click on the three-dot menu to the right of this file name and choose the Delete option to erase the backup. Doing this prevents WhatsApp from accessing the backup file from Google Drive instead of the local file being used to restore, preventing any error during the restoration process.
  5. 5
    Lastly, the user is required to reinstall WhatsApp from the Play Store or the App Store and then follow the usual process for the restoration of the WhatsApp messages, as mentioned above.

Therefore, it is clear to all users of WhatsApp that the backup and restoration process of messages exchanged is incredibly easy. It is also to be noted that no restoration process can be launched without having a proper backup file.

However, once this restoration process for the deleted messages is completed, the user can start using all the WhatsApp features as per the user's needs. 

In this regard, it is also advisable to the user that a backup must be taken as regularly as possible. If necessary, one may choose to rename and store the backup files which are easily accessible using a basic file manager, on a cloud storage platform for future use, preventing any unforeseen loss of data and WhatsApp text messages.


Follow me here

About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}