Have you just installed WhatsApp on a new iPhone but can't retrieve the conversations you had on your old "apple"? Do not despair, there is probably some problem in the configuration of iCloud or you have skipped a few steps, nothing irreparable.
In order to transfer WhatsApp chats from one iPhone to another, both devices must be connected to the same Apple ID and have the same phone number. You also need to turn on iCloud data synchronization and make sure that iCloud Drive is enabled on both phones. When all these conditions are met, WhatsApp automatically detects the backup files on iCloud and offers the user the option to restore all discussions.
At this point, what I recommend you do is: check the iCloud connection on your old iPhone (assuming you still have one), create a new backup of your chats, check the iCloud connection on your new phone, and reinstall WhatsApp. If everything goes well, when the initial phone number verification is complete, the application should automatically detect your iCloud backup and ask you if you want to recover WhatsApp iPhone conversations. Try it now!
Recovering WhatsApp conversations via backup
If you created a backup of your conversations on an old iPhone and now want to transfer them to a new "apple", you can restore your messages by simply using the iCloud message recovery feature, which starts automatically when you install WhatsApp on a smartphone associated with the same phone number and iCloud account as your old one. The exact same procedure can also be used to reinstall WhatsApp on an iPhone that has had it installed in the past.
What to do on your old iPhone
Are you still in possession of your old iPhone? Well, then take the device, insert the SIM card you use on your new "apple" and turn it on. Then go to the settings panel (by clicking on the gear icon located on the home screen) and make sure that the iCloud settings are all configured correctly.
Make sure that your photo is at the top of the screen or, if not, login to your iPhone using your iCloud account (by clicking on the appropriate menu item). Once you've verified that you have an iCloud account or are logged in, click on your name, then on the iCloud icon and check that the iCloud Drive setting is active. If iCloud Drive is not active, move the toggle next to it to ON. Then repeat the same process for WhatsApp, which should be at the bottom of the menu.
Now, start WhatsApp and repeat the phone number verification (you may have lost access on your old phone because you installed the application on another iPhone). Next, select the Settings tab at the bottom right, go to Chats, select Chat Backup, and start backing up your iCloud conversations by clicking the Back Up Now button. If you want to include videos attached to messages in the backup, move the Include Videos toggle to ON.
What to do on your new iPhone
Well, now you're ready to restore chats on your new iPhone! Reinsert the SIM card into the device and open the Settings to make sure that the account associated with the phone is the same as the old iPhone and that iCloud Drive is running. If this is not the case, sign in to iCloud with the Apple ID you used on the other phone and turn the iCloud Drive and WhatsApp toggles to ON, as described above.
You will now need to remove WhatsApp from your phone (this will delete any messages you may have on the application). Keep your finger pressed on the app icon until it begins to "dance", click on the "x" in the upper left corner, and confirm that you want to delete the app by replying to the Delete warning on the screen.
Once you are done with this step, all you have to do is reinstall WhatsApp on your iPhone (just look for it in theApp Store), launch the application, and follow the initial setup process as normal. If everything goes well, after verifying your number, WhatsApp will detect your iCloud backup and ask you if you want to restore it.
Click on the Restore Chat History button and within a few seconds the process of recovering WhatsApp iPhone conversations will be completed automatically. Of course, in addition to your conversations, you will also find all of your settings, group subscriptions, and other data related to your account.
If you are having trouble with this process, please read my tutorial on how to download WhatsApp on iPhone.
iTunes and iCloud backups
If you have created a backup of your iPhone on your computer using iTunes (Apple's multimedia software available as a free download and installed "as standard" on all Macs) or iCloud (Apple's cloud storage service), you can try to retrieve your WhatsApp messages using iCloud. Be aware, however, that these procedures require a full iOS restore and return the device to the state it was in on the date of the backup. Personally, I do not recommend these procedures, except in extreme cases. If you want to learn more, read my tutorial on how to restore an iPhone backup.
Restoring Archived Conversations
Have you accidentally archived a conversation in WhatsApp and do not know how to recover it? No problem. Go to the Chats section of the application, drag the screen down and select the Archived Chats item that appears at the top.
Then, locate the conversation you want to restore, drag your finger from right to left over its title, and click on the Extract button that appears on the right. Does it get any easier than this? If you need more information on the process of storing messages in WhatsApp, feel free to check out the tutorial I wrote on the topic.
Recovering deleted WhatsApp conversations
Have you formatted your iPhone and would like to recover the conversations you had on WhatsApp? I'm sorry, but without an iCloud backup, this is almost impossible to accomplish.
If you want to, you can try scanning your phone's memory with one of the programs that can do the job, such as Dr.Fone from Wondershare, but be warned: the software is expensive (it costs 58 Euros on Windows and 66.39 Euros on macOS, but it is available in a free trial version that allows you to view recoverable data). Also, the hopes that you will be able to achieve the desired result are not very high (as WhatsApp messages may have been quickly overwritten on the device's memory after they were deleted).
If you are determined to continue, go to the Dr.Fone website and download the version of the program for Apple iOS devices by clicking on the downloadbutton for Windows or macOS, depending on which operating system you use on your computer.
After the download is complete, if you are using Windows, open the drfone-for-ios_full[version].exe file that you just downloaded to your PC and click the Yes button and then the OK button. Then check the box next to I accept the terms of the license agreement and finish the setup by clicking the Next button three times in a row and then Finish. If you're using a Mac, open the dmg package that contains Dr.Fone, click on the Accept button, drag the program into the Applications folder of macOS and you're done.
Once the installation is complete, connect your iPhone to the computer (if you're using Windows, make sure you have iTunes installed on your computer), launch Dr.Fone, click on the Recover button (or Recover) and wait for the communication with the phone to be established. At this point, make sure that Recovery from iOS Device is selected in the left sidebar, check the box next to WhatsApp & attachments, click the Start Scan button, and wait for the recoverable WhatsApp messages and attachments (if available) to be displayed.
If the operation seems to be stuck at 99%, click on the button to close the window, say that you want to cancel the operation, and you should see the data recovery screen. Next, choose from the sidebar on the left whether you want to recover WhatsApp messages or attachments (by selecting an option from WhatsApp and WhatsApp Attachments), place a checkmark next to the items you wish to recover, and click the Export button (lower right) to complete the operation. Data recovery is only available in the paid version of Dr.Fone.
If you have saved iPhone backups made with iTunes on your computer or if you have iPhone backups saved to iCloud, you can recover data from them by selecting iTunes Backup Recovery and iCloud Backup Recovery from theleft sidebar.
If Dr.Fone doesn't succeed in its task, you can rely on alternative solutions, such as EaseUS MobiSaver, which is also paid with a free trial version and is available both on Windows and macOS: I told you more in detail in my tutorial on how to recover deleted photos from iPhone.