WhatsApp backup for Android: Transfer chats to a new smartphone

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You have a new smartphone and want to continue using WhatsApp with the old number? Then you should make a backup of your WhatsApp data before switching. What works with the iPhone almost by ghost still requires manual work on Android smartphones. Learn how to back up your WhatsApp chat history and transfer it to your new device.

In this article, we primarily cover the use case that both your old and your new smartphone work with Android operating system, but your phone number remains the same. However, the latter is not a prerequisite for transmitting WhatsApp chats. In a separate guide, we’ll explain how you can change the phone in WhatsApp. It is also possible to use WhatsApp with a different number than that of the phone itself.

Jumps to the section

WhatsApp backup: Android stays Android and iOS stays iOS

If you want to back up your WhatsApp chats and transfer them to your new smartphone, you will encounter an inconvenient obstacle: a backup can only be restored to a device with the operating system on which it was created. This means that you can only transfer your chat histories from iPhone to iPhone, but not away from the iPhone from to one(em) Android smartphone from manufacturers like Samsung or Huawei. (Transferring WhatsApp backups from Huawei to Samsung or vice versa is no problem.)

Let us therefore start with the …

WhatsApp backup from Android to Android

The easiest way to do this is by one of two methods. These would be either …

WhatsApp backup via Google Drive

The easiest backup path in Android is via Google Drive. Free cloud storage is part of your Google account, which you had to create to use the Play Store anyway. This storage can be used for WhatsApp chat backups. Opens the WhatsApp settings and then goes to the menu items Chats > Chat Backup.

whatsapp chat backup

WhatsApp: Backup via cloud is the fastest way. / © Screenshots: AndroidPIT

In the section Google Drive Settings First, tap Google Account. After that, you select the Google account where you want to save WhatsApp back-ups. In the above point Back up to Google Drive sets the backup interval.

About the green SecureButton you can also immediately initiate a backup, for example if you want to transfer the WhatsApp chat history from the old to the new smartphone at that very moment.

Now you can restore the backup to your new Android phone (see below).

WhatsApp backup offline

However, it is much more reliable to copy the backup file from WhatsApp itself from the old to the new smartphone. WhatsApp’s chat histories are stored in Android as an encrypted file. first creates the file:

  • Tap in WhatsApp settings Chats > Chat Backup On Secure

The backup file is then located in the accessible area of the smartphone memory. This can be viewed with File Explorer apps or from your computer. The WhatsApp backup is located in the directory WhatsApp/Databases and is called msgstore.db.crypt12.

If you copy the complete Whatsappdirectory from the old to the new smartphone, voice recordings, photos and videos are also transferred. File transfers from smartphone to smartphone can be quickly achieved with a Type-C cable, or wirelessly via Google Files; or also wireless lynotwithised but without an app with native features like Beam or Wi-Fi-Direct that you’ll find in the Share menu.

To restore the backup, look at the last part of our guide.

From iPhone to iPhone via iCloud

The WhatsApp chat history is backed up on the iPhone, similar to the Google Drive backup in iCloud explained above. Again, the backups cannot be transferred to the other platform, i.e. only to a new iPhone and not to an Android device. The WhatsApp migration from iPhone to Android is unfortunately only possible with paid third-party software.

Ex-factory, only chats, voice messages, and photos are backed up to WhatsApp backup in iCloud. Video backups must be checked separately. Keep in mind that videos are clearly mehr need storage space and this one goes against your iCloud quota.

Export individual WhatsApp chat histories

If you don’t want to back up all WhatsApp chats in one wash,’ you can export individual chat histories. Go to a single chat, open its menu and find the entry Send chat by e-mail. After that, you have the choice to attach the media and voice recordings, or to limit yourself to the text. Afterwards, the unencrypted Txtfile with the chat log, all images, voice recordings as .opusfile to your email app. The .opus-Files can be opened with the VLC player, among others.

Attention: This form of backup is a pure export. The WhatsApp data secured in this way cannot be migrated to a new WhatsApp installation; at least this is not provided for.

Back up WhatsApp photos to the cloud

In both Android and iOS, your Photos app automatically tries to back up images from the WhatsApp directory to the respective cloud. This form of backup has the advantage that the images are decoupled from WhatsApp as well as your smartphone operating system. The disadvantage is that the sorting by chat partner or group is canceled, so a mess arises.

photos automatic backup pick folder de

Backs up the picture folder extra. / © AndroidPIT

In addition, it should be noted that images and videos from WhatsApp are compressed lossia-affected. What spares the mobile data causes trouble at the latest when viewing the videos on a large screen or when printing the photos. Because there, the sometimes ugly artifacts make themselves disturbingly noticeable and tarnish the memory value.

Back up and restore WhatsApp chats across systems

When moving from iPhone to Android smartphone or from Android to iPhone, you can’t follow the default route. Don’t allow WhatsApp for iOS to restore from Google Drive, nor can you use WhatsApp for Android to restore it from iCloud. You are also blocked from using the backup file.

Therefore, you need to use third-party tools across systems, but they often cost money. The final question here is whether this is worthwhile.

The comments refer to a successful transfer via iPhone to PC (website). If you want to switch from iPhone to Android, you can watch the app WazzapMigrator and follow the tutorial of the app.

Restore WhatsApp chat history

In Android

… from the cloud

  1. Creates the backup on the old smartphone.
  2. Install WhatsApp on your new device.
  3. Verify your phone number.
  4. Waits for notification that a message backup has been found.
  5. Taps Restore.

If you’re having trouble recovering your WhatsApp data from Google Drive, you should check the official help page for up-to-date solutions or contact support.

whatsapp backup

With the new device, WhatsApp detects existing backups in the database and asks for recovery. / © ANDROIDPIT

… Offline

  1. Copies the WhatsApp backup to the new smartphone (see above).
  2. Installs and launchEs WhatsApp on the new device.
  3. Verify your phone number.
  4. Waits for notification that a message backup has been found.
  5. Taps Restore.

Did you have the complete Whatsappdirectory? Then it just copies it to the new smartphone and starts the above list at step 2.

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