Let me guess: you accidentally deleted a WhatsApp chat you've been keeping for a long time and now that you need it, you just don't know how to retrieve it. I beg your pardon? Is that exactly how it is? Then let me help you succeed in this little task!
In the course of this guide, in fact, I will take care of explaining how to retrieve WhatsApp chats, both on Android and iPhone, through some simple steps of application and also suitable for those who, like you, are not so familiar with the world of technology.
So, without hesitating further, make yourself comfortable and read carefully everything I have to explain on the subject: I'm sure that, after reading this guide, you will have well understood the details of the matter and you will be perfectly able to move around according to your needs. Having said that, I have nothing left to do but wish you good reading and good luck with everything!
How to recover deleted WhatsApp chats on Android
As things currently stand, there are no official solutions that allow you to easily retrieve deleted messages from WhatsApp for Android.
The only effective way to do this is to restore a backup of the conversations, created on Google Drive (Google's cloud service) or locally (on the memory of the device in use), which dates back to a date before the deletion of the chat you are interested in.
Backups are made on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on the app's settings. As a "side effect", however, all messages received after the backup date will be deleted and, as a result, permanently lost.
Retrieve WhatsApp chat from Google Drive
If you want to retrieve WhatsApp chats deleted on Android via a backup on Google Drive, I recommend that you first make sure it is before the date you deleted the messages you are interested in, otherwise all the work will be useless.
To perform this verification, launch WhatsApp on your device, tap the button (⋮) in the upper right corner and go to Settings > Chat and Chat Backup. Now, take a look at the date corresponding to Google Drive: if it is earlier than the date you deleted the chats you are interested in, you can "bring them back to life" by simply uninstalling and reinstalling the app. Keep in mind, however, that as a result of this procedure, you will lose all messages received and sent after the backup creation date.
All right? OK, let's go. To get started, delete WhatsApp from your smartphone by going to the Settings menu > Apps and Notifications > Show All Android Apps, tapping the WhatsApp icon from the screen that opens, and pressing the Uninstall button twice in a row.
Once this is done, download WhatsApp from the Play Store again, install it, and follow the initial setup process by verifying your phone number when prompted by entering the confirmation code you received via SMS (on some devices, this is automatically "read"). Once this check is complete, all you have to do is authorize to restore the chat from Google Drive by pressing the Restore button. That's it!
Retrieve WhatsApp Chat from Local Backup
If the date of the backup generated on Google Drive should be later than the date you deleted the chats you want to put your hands on again, you can try to restore an old local backup: the steps to be taken are slightly more complex, but this procedure allows you to recover, sometimes, even very old messages.
Also in this case, I would like to specify that, after completing the backup restore, the messages received and sent after its creation will be permanently lost.
If you are interested in proceeding anyway, start the Google Files app (or any other file manager you prefer), tap on the Browse button at the bottom and go to the device's Internal MemoryWhatsAppDatabases folder, or to SDWhatsAppDatabases Card, if you are using a device with expandable memory.
Inside it, you should find some files called msgstore-[data].1.dbcrypt12, which represent the old backups created, along with a file called msgstore.db.crypt12, which represents the most recent backup. Therefore, locate this last file, check the date it was created and act on it in the most appropriate way, based on the result obtained.
- If the creation date was earlier than the date you deleted the chats to recover, you don't have to do anything in this folder anymore and you can exit the Files app.
- If, on the other hand, the creation date of the msgstore.db.crypt12 file is later than the date you deleted the messages to recover, check that the backup files already present are prior to the deletion date. If so, delete the msgstore.db.crypt12 file by tapping on the corresponding button and then pressing on Delete twice in a row, then locate the backup file created on the date you want to restore WhatsApp and rename it: tap on the corresponding button, tap on the Rename item attached to the menu displayed on the screen, assign the file the name msgstore.db.crypt12 and press the OK button to confirm.
Once you are done backing up, remove WhatsApp from your device.
Once you have completed this step, you must ensure that WhatsApp can no longer access Google Drive, so that you can "force" the local backup restore during configuration: to do so, visit this website, log in with the Google account where WhatsApp backups are stored (the same one you use on Android), tap on the WhatsApp Messenger entry in the Third Party Apps section accessing your account and press the Remove Access and OK buttons to disassociate the application from Google Drive.
Now, all you have to do is re-install WhatsApp from the Play Store, launch the app and proceed with the initial setup, just as you would normally do. Once the phone number verification is complete, the app should locate the backup in memory and suggest you restore it. When it does, all you have to do is press the Restore button and wait for the conversations to be visible in the app.
Next, the app itself will ask you to restore the association and then back it up with Google Drive (otherwise you can force it by trying to manually back up the app). Happy?
Retrieving deleted WhatsApp chats without backup
As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, the only way to recover deleted WhatsApp chats is to use a backup prior to the date the message was deleted.
However, if the solutions I've mentioned haven't worked for you because you don't have any backups available, you can try it all by relying on Android or computer data recovery software: there's not much chance you'll succeed, but if you think the game is worth it, you just have to try.
How to recover deleted WhatsApp chats on iPhone
The most effective "tactic" to recover deleted WhatsApp chats on the iPhone is, again, to use a previously made backup.
Unlike what we saw for Android, however, WhatsApp backups are not saved in the "melafonino" memory, but only on iCloud, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Depending on the setting you choose, the chances of accessing these messages again increase (or decrease) and you cannot go to restore a backup before the last one in iCloud.
Retrieve WhatsApp chat from iCloud
To find out the date of WhatsApp's last backup to iCloud, launch the messaging application, tap on the Settings icon at the bottom right and enter the Chat and Backup sections of the chats. Now, take a look at the date specified next to Last Backup: If it is earlier than the date you deleted the messages you want to restore, simply delete and install WhatsApp again.
Remember that, following the conversations restore procedure, all messages received and sent after the date of the backup will be permanently deleted, and therefore to be considered lost forever.
Do you want to continue anyway? OK, let's get started. To uninstall WhatsApp from your iPhone, tap the app icon, tap the Delete App item in the on-screen menu, and tap the Delete button in the pane that appears next.
Now, download WhatsApp from the App Store, launch the app, and perform the initial configuration of the app, entering your phone number and the control code you received via SMS when prompted.
Once the number is verified, WhatsApp should detect your iCloud conversation backup and suggest that you restore it. Finally, just press the Restore Chat History button and wait a few minutes for the conversations to come back to life.
Retrieve deleted WhatsApp chats without a backup
Isn't iCloud backup useful to you? If so, I am sorry to tell you that the chances of recovering deleted WhatsApp chats without backup are very slim.
If you think the game is worth the candle, you can try to get the result you're looking for by using deleted file recovery software.
If you can't get the result you're looking for in this way either, just try restoring the app to a previous state by restoring the iPhone from a backup in iTunes for Windows, or in the MacOS Finder that was made before the messages were deleted.
Again, this is an extremely drastic move that has no guarantee of success, but if you absolutely need to make this attempt, you can restore your iPhone by following the instructions in this guide.
How to recover WhatsApp chat on PC
Would you rather retrieve WhatsApp chat on your PC because you're not very handy with your smartphone? Unfortunately, I have to tell you right now that this is not possible: services are just a "replica" of the WhatsApp application and do not store any files in your computer's memory (unless you decide to manually download photos, videos, audio files or other types of documents).
The only way to retrieve WhatsApp chat, in this case, is from your smartphone, following the instructions I gave you in previous chapters of this guide.
If, on the other hand, you want to recover chats stored on WhatsApp for computers or WhatsApp Web, call up the program window, click the button (⋮) at the top left and select the Archive item from the on-screen menu.