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Restoring WhatsApp Chat History – Android

New phone arrived, WhatsApp reinstalled, wait… Where are my messages?

Having installed the WhatsApp app, I half expected all my old messages to just come down from “the cloud”, no such luck!

It took me half an hour of googling to work out how to restore the WhatsApp Chat backups! So here it is for anyone else who’s interested…

WhatsApp takes regular backups of your messages and chat history and copies them to your SD card (in /sdcard/WhatsApp/) you need to copy this ร‚ย directory from your old phone your new one.

However, it’s not quite as simple as that – it won’t work once WhatsApp is installed!

So here’s how we did it:

  1. Uninstall WhatsApp on the new phone (if you’ve installed it).
  2. Copy the directory and it’s contents (/sdcard/WhatsApp) to your new phone in the same location.
  3. Reinstall WhatsApp
  4. Walk through the setup procedure, in the last step it will ask you if you want to restore a backup ๐Ÿ™‚
Job done! But it took some finding this morning!


This entry was posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 9:55 am and is filed under Mobile Phones. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments (34)


  1. Josie says:

    Will this work from iPhone 4 to Android? I am about to make the switch and really don’t want to lose all my WhatsApp Messages :o(

  2. Keiron says:

    Hi Josie,

    Actually – I really don’t know! Is it possible to locate where the files are stored on the iPhone and copy those files out? If it is I’d imagine you can put them on the sdcard in Android and it will be fine (just getting them off the iPhone might be the issue!)

  3. shadow says:

    so if i dont want any backup? how do i stop it? is it just i go to sdcard and delete whatsapp folder?

    i dont want any backup cause im giving my phone to my friend and i dont want him to see back all my old msgs =x if he/she ever try to backup

  4. Keiron says:

    Hi Shadow,

    Yes I think that should do the job or format the sdcard entirely and factory reset the phone (that’s what I’d do personally!)

  5. Eldon says:

    Can I do something similar with the Viber app on iPhone? The chat history was deleted..


  6. Keiron says:


    I don’t believe so, this is best used when getting a new Android phone that uses WhatsApp as the messages are stored on the SD card (so I don’t even know if that works on iPhone).

    I did find this that says they don’t back them up to their servers:

    Yes, unfortunately there is no way to restore the messages and call logs since we don’t keep our users’ chat history in our server (we care about Privacy).

  7. James says:

    Thank you so much for this!

  8. Chuchu777 says:

    You are the man. You saved me hours of googling !!!

  9. Michelle says:

    I accidentally press the wrong key to back up the whatsapp history. Which I dont want to do the backup. However, it said it has been back up in my SD card. I am using the Galaxy Note, but I dont have SD Card in my phone.
    So where it has been stored.

    Thank You.

  10. David Crouch says:

    Does anyone know if this method works also if the phone number changes???

  11. Luis says:

    Tks!, This worked perfectly!

  12. Heverton says:


    How can I locate this directory (/sdcard/WhatsApp), on my iphone?

    Can I send my WhatsApp Chat History to my PC?

  13. Liew says:


    I am changing my phone to Samsung Galaxy Note and it does not have SD card, so, how am I going to backup my whatapps message from the old phone? Please help. Thanks

  14. Sam says:

    hi I have an android phone, and what’s app, but I deleted the chat that I need, how can I view the history with the one I deleted?! (Don’t know much about phones and things like this so try make it as clear as possible!) Hehe thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Keiron says:

    Michelle & Liew – Does the Galaxy Note have a directory called sdcard in the root folder? I’m guessing might have to make it support certain apps? You might be able to manipulate that to make this work.

    David – It might do I suppose, but when you reinstall you’ll need to verify again – I don’t know if this might affect anything?

    Heverton – This is an Android guide, if you find out where it’s stored on the iPhone let me know and I’ll get it published here.

    Sam – If you want the chat back in WhatsApp (and a new backup hasn’t been created with the chat deleted) you could uninstall WhatsApp and reinstall it telling it to fetch the backup files as detailed in the post.

    You might be able to just view it in the backup directory, but I don’t know what format it would be in.

    AND finally if a new backup has been created it might have wiped out the backup with the chat already in!

    Sorry I can’t be more help!

  16. Fabio says:

    Hi, very useful suggest, but now I have another problem.
    I changed the smartphone before reading your article and i began to use what’sup so now i should have to join two histories, is it possible?
    By the way in the older phone folder I also have a subfolder named “Backups” (containing a file named wallpaper.bkup) that is not present in the
    newest one: is it useful to anything?
    Thanks and sorry for my english

  17. Yonas says:

    Much much grateful for the tips, it worked like a charm. Thank you thank you for saving me from the stress =)

  18. cake.s says:

    Hi ,

    I accidentally pressed on the chat history backup key in my HTC wildfireS (android) . Then i figured out i don’t have a SD card in my phone. I wanna know where is the data getting stored and i also want to stop the back up history , how can i do that,, please help me.. Thanks in advance !!

  19. shannon says:

    I have tried several times downloading whatsapp and restoring but my chat history still cant be restored. Only my Group link is there and there is no messages inside too. Any ideas or advices on how to solve this?


  20. anis says:

    i am trying to retreive files that have been sent to me, i have a nokia X3 touch and type. do you know how i can do this. The files were sent over 2 weeks ago

  21. Peter says:

    You don’t actually need to uninstall and reinstall. You can simply go to your apps settings and “clear user data”. Load up WhatsApp again and you are asked to enter your details and also if you would like to restore a backup.

    If you run Android the backup file should be on your SD Card. If you wiped the SD Card but made a copy on your computer, transfer via USB/Card Reader etc to /sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases/
    If you have an iPhone, just restore from previous iTunes or iCloud backup.

    Saves you time and possible data charges if you don’t have access to wifi =)

  22. Brad says:

    Hi. how do i transfer my iphone whatsapp chat history? do u know what is the chat history in the iphone stored? ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. marco says:

    Thanks! Works great.

  24. Keiron says:

    Sorry I haven’t replied to everyone!

    I haven’t had the need to do this again, nor do it on an iPhone so hopefully some of the other readers here can help you all out!

  25. Jeroen says:

    This worked like a charm on the Galaxy S3. Thnx!

  26. kathryn says:

    I restored my iphone 4 (backup to computer rather than icloud) when I restored and synced I lost all content from whatsapp, other than the group headings (but no content in any of the groups) do you know how I can get it back?

    Many thanks!


  27. Viral says:

    I had formeted my phone and my sd card.is crashed.so what should i do…..

  28. Iloveyouxx says:

    I have whatsapp on my ipod because I’ve
    jailbreaked it, and it worked perfectly
    but now my whapp won’t open, if I click on it it loads for a few seconds but then it automatically shuts down…
    If I remove and reinstall my whapp, will all my chats be gone?


  29. Sly says:

    hellow, i have an android phone that i bought it from a year ago and whatsapp is installed on it. And now, I want to buy a new android phone but i want all the chat history FROM 1 YEAR TILL NOW to be restored on the new phone. Can this be happened? And if yes how?
    Plz help and reply as soon as possible, thank you!

  30. S says:

    Hello, my previous phone Galaxy S just down on its own, and I’m totally unable to reuse it. We’ve tried everything (maybe it was a virus). So I don’t have access to my previous SDcard. Does that mean I will not be able to restore my previous whatsapp messages?

    Thanks in advance for you assistance!

  31. asc says:

    Thanks! very useful ๐Ÿ˜‰
    It works on CyanogenMod 7 (android 2.3.7)

  32. Stella says:

    Just did this today and it worked perfectly! Thank you so so much.

  33. JohnDoe82 says:

    OMG! you just saved my life. whats app crashed on my samsung y (phone sucks) and thanks to this I was able to restore my conversations! thank you so much xx

  34. Simon says:

    Thanks a lot for this. This worked perfectly when I moved from one phone to another and the different SIM sizes prevented me from using the built-in backup option.

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