You have decided to clean the memory of your Android device and, as usual, you have deleted all those videos received by the countless WhatsApp groups you belong to. After a few minutes, however, you remembered that you had every intention of keeping some of those videos, because they were important memories for you: the problem is that, not having another copy, you just don't know how to remedy your mistake. Let me guess, that's exactly how it is? Then I have great news for you: you're in the right place at the right time!
With today's guide, in fact, I'm going to explain how to recover deleted videos from WhatsApp Android by showing you a series of procedures that, in most cases, allow you to get access to the videos again within a few seconds. After that, I'll give you some more information about programs and apps dedicated to Android memory analysis, to use in case something goes wrong.
So, what are you still doing standing there? Cut out some free time for yourself and read carefully everything I have to explain on the subject: I can guarantee you that, at the end of this guide, you will have acquired the necessary skills to achieve the result you set out to achieve. At this point, there's nothing left for me to do but wish you good reading and a giant good luck with everything!
Retrieve deleted videos from WhatsApp Android via the Gallery
If you've deleted the chat message containing the video you're interested in, but didn't check the box next to Delete Media from Phone, then there's a good chance the video is still there, in the Android Gallery, ready to be retrieved.
By default, WhatsApp saves all the images and videos you receive in a dedicated folder residing in the Operating System Gallery, so unless you have disabled WhatsApp's automatic photo saving feature, the files you are interested in are saved.
To access it, start the Google Photo app (or any photo archive management app) by calling it from the Android drawer, tap on the Album tab and you're done: at this point, all you have to do is enter the WhatsApp Video album and you will be able to view the videos sent and received on WhatsApp, including those linked to deleted messages.
On some versions of Android, videos received on WhatsApp may not be displayed in the photo and video management app for precise operating system settings. However, this does not mean that they are no longer on your phone, on the contrary!
To access them, you need to use a file manager, such as Google Files (pre-installed on all newer versions of Android): After opening the app in question and agreeing, if necessary, on the permissions to operate the device's memory, tap on the Browse tab located at the bottom, tap on the Internal Memory folder (or SD Card, if you have chosen to save files to microSD) and, in order to view the movies received via WhatsApp, go to WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Video.
If, however, the video you are interested in recovering was made and sent by you, you can find it in the Sent folder located within the WhatsApp Video path.
Retrieve deleted videos from WhatsApp Android with backups
If the footage you received or sent on WhatsApp has also been deleted from your smartphone's memory, you can try to recover it by backing up your conversations, as long as you have previously enabled WhatsApp's autosave feature on Google Drive and/or locally, as I explained in my guide to the topic, or manually backed up your conversations.
It goes without saying that the date of backup, automatic or manual, must be earlier than the date you deleted the video: to verify this, start WhatsApp app, tap on the button (⋮) located in the top right corner and tap on the Settings item located in the menu that opens.
Next, go to the Backup > Chat Backup sections and, finally, check the date and time indicated next to Last Backup. If the date on which the backup was created was actually earlier than the date you deleted the video, you can easily retrieve the video using WhatsApp's restore feature. Keep in mind, however, that by doing so, you will lose all messages (along with their media files) received and sent after the backup date.
It is also essential that you have included video backups within your backups (this can be achieved by moving the Include Video tab, located in the Settings > Chat > WhatsApp Chat Backup panel, to ON).
All clear? OK, then let's proceed. First, uninstall the WhatsApp app from your phone using the "classic" procedure provided by Android: in principle, you have to tap on its icon (the one located in the drawer), tap on the Uninstall item attached to the menu displayed on the screen (or "drag" the icon to the trashcan at the top of the screen) and, finally, tap on the OK button. For more detailed information on uninstalling apps on Android, you can refer to the guide I have dedicated to this topic.
Now, follow the instructions most appropriate to your case, depending on whether the backups have been stored on Google Drive or on the local memory of your phone.
- Backup on Google Drive - download WhatsApp again from the Google Play Store, launch the app and follow the usual initial setup procedure: check your phone number, wait for the confirmation SMS (if necessary, enter the security code in the appropriate field) and confirm your intention to restore chats from previous backup data. Once the file restore is complete, you simply have to choose the name to be displayed and the profile photo in order to use the application again.
- Local Backup - Before you can restore the app, you must "force" WhatsApp to read data from the local backup. To do so, connect to the Google Drive management panel and log in with your Google account configured on Android. Once logged in, click the WhatsApp Messenger pane and click the Remove Access and OK buttons to stop the app from temporarily using Google Drive to save/restore data. Once this is done, reinstall and re-configure WhatsApp following the same steps I gave you in the previous step.
Once the backup restore is complete, you can find the previously deleted videos (but also the photos and all the other files) in the chats where you received them: to do so, open the chat you are interested in, tap on the button (⋮) in the top right corner and tap the Media item in the menu that appears.
Retrieve deleted videos from WhatsApp Android via the cloud
If you have enabled WhatsApp Media Folders to automatically save WhatsApp media folders to Google Photos, or manually uploaded (and then deleted) videos to other cloud services, such as Dropbox or OneDrive, there is a good chance that the videos you deleted from your phone are still there, ready to be recovered.
If you have previously configured Google Photo to upload images and videos to the cloud (by activating the Backup and Sync toggle when you first access the app) and then automatically save the WhatsApp Video folder (answering yes to the on-screen notification), then the deleted videos are almost certainly safe on Google's dedicated space.
To access it, simply open the Google Photo app, go to the Album tab (below), and select WhatsApp Video from there. With any luck, you should be able to find the videos you're interested in.
If, on the other hand, you have deleted WhatsApp footage from Google Photo, you can try to retrieve it from the app's Trash (where deleted items remain for 30 days before they are permanently deleted): to access them, tap the ☰ button at the top left and choose Trash from the menu displayed.
Next, tap on the video you want to recover and tap the Restore button to return it to the WhatsApp Video album. Keep in mind that the deleted files are stored in the recycle bin for a period of 30 days, after which they are permanently deleted from the cloud.
If you're reading this guide as a precautionary measure, know that you can enable backup of WhatsApp Video folder in Google Photos in the following way: After launching the app, tap the ☰ button at the top left, choose Settings and Backup and Sync and, if necessary, activate the toggle at the top of the new panel displayed.
In order to take advantage of the free storage space, set the Load Size option to High Quality (unlimited storage space). Then tap the Device Folders option and move the toggle to ON for WhatsApp Video (and any other folder you want to back up).
For more information on automatic backups and how the Google Photo app works, I invite you to read the guide that I have dedicated specifically to this service.
I beg your pardon? You had archived WhatsApp videos on Dropbox or OneDrive but, in a moment of anger, you deleted them from there too? Don't worry, even in this case you can use the recycle bin, present on both cloud platforms, to restore the deleted videos.
As far as Dropbox is concerned, the recycle bin is not integrated into the app but can only be visited via the service's web panel. The files remain in the recycle bin for 30 days before they are permanently deleted.
To access it, start the browser you usually use to surf the Internet (e.g. Chrome), connect to the dropbox.com site, tap on the Sign in button at the top right and enter the email address and password of your account in the appropriate fields.
Once logged in, tap on the ☰ button at the top left, choose the File item from the new panel displayed and then tap the ☰ button again to select the Recently deleted item. Once you've found the movie you want to recover, tap on its icon and then tap the Restore button, located at the bottom of the displayed pane, to return it to your Dropbox files.
If you have the OneDrive app, you can access the Recycle Bin by tapping the Me tab (bottom right) and selecting the Recycle Bin item in the menu that appears. Once you've found the video you want to recover, tap on its icon and to restore it, tap on the circular arrow icon with the clock at the top.
Other methods to recover deleted videos from WhatsApp Android
Wait a minute, you're telling me that you don't have any useful backups and that there's no trace of the footage you want to recover in the cloud, so you couldn't recover the deleted videos from WhatsApp Android?
At this point, the best advice I can give you is to use some specific software to recover deleted files. Since the chances of recovery vary depending on your use of the device (the more files you have created/modified after deleting the video, the less likely the recovery will be successful), I can't guarantee you a 100% margin of success, but it's still worth a try.
To get detailed information about the programs available for the purpose and how to use them, I invite you to read my guide on how to recover data from mobile phone.
Finally, if you don't have a computer, you can try to recover them through some specific Android apps, which I told you about in my tutorial on how to recover deleted videos on Android: even in this case, I can't guarantee successful file recovery, but it's better than nothing.