How to Recover WhatsApp Chat History, Contacts and Media Files

In this article, we will have a look at methods for recovering history, contacts, chats and messages as well as sent or received files or images in one of the most popular messengers, WhatsApp.

How to Recover WhatsApp Chat History, Contacts and Media Files

WhatsApp users face the need to recover data when they change from one smarphone to another, when they accidentally delete one or all of their chats, when the smartphone memory is reset or the memory card is formatted (this is where messaging history is usually saved).

Contents:
  1. Recovering Messages or Chat if they were Deleted from the Application.
  2. How to Recover WhatsApp Chats After Cleaning or Formatting the Memory Card?
  3. Recovering or Transferring Data from One Smartphone to Another.
  4. Recovering Images, Videos or Audio Files Deleted from WhatsApp.
  5. Added in January 2019
Welcome to WhatsApp

Recovering Messages or Chat if they were Deleted from the Application

Recovering Recent Messages

In order to recover messages which are less than 7 days old, you just need to reinstall the application on your mobile device: first, uninstall it, and then reinstall it again. WhatsApp automatically creates a backup of your data every day and saves it to your smartphone’s memory card.

After reinstallation, the application will suggest you to restore chat history from a previously created backup copy. Just click on «Restore» and data for the last 7 days will be recovered automatically.

Click on «Restore» and data for the last 7 days will be recovered automatically

Recovering Older Messages

Recovering chats older than 7 days is a more complicated procedure. To do it, go to the folder on your device’s memory card where WhatsApp saves user chat backups:
/sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases.

/sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases

If you go to that folder, you will find a file with the name msgstore.db.crypt12 there, and several more files with names like msgstore-2016-11-08.1.db.crypt12.

msgstore.db.crypt12 is the file with the latest WhatsApp chat backup. This is the file used for automatic chat and contact recovery after reinstallation of WhatsApp.

msgstore-2016-11-08.1.db.crypt12 is a backup copy of the application’s chats for a certain date which is given in the file name. In our case, this is a chat backup copy dated 8 November 2016.

That is why, when you need to restore chats as they were on a certain date, find a file which contains this date in its name, and rename such file into msgstore.db.crypt12.

After that, delete WhatsApp from your device and reinstall it. During the installation, the program will suggest recovering the chat and contact backup copy which it has found, in the way that we described in the previous part of the article. Recover it, and the chat history from the previously renamed file will be restored.

Restore chat history

Yet, bear in mind that current chat history will be deleted from your device as the result of this procedure. To recover it, you will have to do the same but in the reverse order.

Note. If you create a chat backu manually, it is also saved to the file with the name msgstore.db.crypt12. That is why you should rename the chat backup file which you have created manually and save it to a convenient location, so that you do not lose it. When it is nesessary to recover chats just from this file, rename the file back into msgstore.db.crypt12.

You can create a chat backup copy manually by using the WhatsApp menu Settings / Chats / Backup chats.

WhatsApp Settings

Settings / Chats

How to Recover WhatsApp Chats After Cleaning or Formatting the Memory Card

Even if your device’s memory card failed, you cleaned or formatted it, you can still recover your WhatsApp chat history.

To do it, connect your smartphone to a computer or connect its memory card to the computer via a card reader. Run Hetman Partition Recovery and scan the memory card. With the help of this program, go to your memory card folder /sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases and you will see chat history files that WhatsApp created there.

Hetman Partition Recovery. Scan the memory card

Restore the contents of the folder Databases. Bring the necessary chat history file to the memory card folder of your WhatsApp device. After that, repeat the procedure which you have used to recover older chat history (in the part «Recovering older messages»).

Recovering or Transferring Data from One Smartphone to Another

If you have replaced your smartphone with a new one and you need to recover chat history from the old device there, transfer files from the folder /sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases of your old phone to your new device. During WhatsApp installation, the application will find the chat backup copy and will suggest restoring it.

Recovering Images, Videos or Audio Files Deleted from WhatsApp

All files (images, videos, audio files, documents etc) sent or received with the use of WhatsApp are also saved to the memory card, into the folder /sdcard/WhatsApp/Media. If such files are deleted from the chat, they are still kept in that folder. You can just go to /sdcard/WhatsApp/Media, and open the folder corresponding to the type of the file you are looking for.

All files (images, videos, audio files, documents etc) sent or received with the use of WhatsApp are also saved to the memory card: /sdcard/WhatsApp/Media

If you need to recover an image, audio or video file from WhatsApp chats after the memory card of your device has been formatted or cleaned, this is how you can do it.

Connect your smartphone to a computer or connect its memory card to a computer via a card reader. Run Hetman Partition Recovery and scan the memory card. With the help of this program, go to your memory card folder /sdcard/WhatsApp/Media, and you will see there folders containing files received or sent with the use of WhatsApp; they will be sorted by file type.

Hetman Partition Recovery. Scan the memory card

Bring the necessary files to the Recovery List and recover them to a convenient location.

Added in January 2019

Please note that the latest versions of WhatsApp do not keep any data on the memory card of a smartphone or tablet PC.

That is why if you want to restore chats and messages which are older than seven days, go to the folder in the memory of your device here WhatsApp saves user chat backups:

/WhatsApp/Databases

WhatsApp

Also, all files (images, videos, audio files, documents etc) sent or received with WhatsApp are no longer saved to the memory of your device, but to the folder

/WhatsApp/Media

If such files are deleted from the chat, they are still kept in that folder. You can just go to /WhatsApp/Media, and open the folder corresponding to the type of the file you are looking for.

WhatsApp
Author: Michael Miroshnichenko

Comments

  1. jogos apk mods 2 months ago

    thanks mano

  2. Arnolia 2 months ago

    Hi can you please help me, yesterday my phone Hisense u962 apps were just suddenly stopping and someone suggested I clear the app cache only those that were ‘suddenly stopped’ messages and whatsapp was one of them, I did that not knowing that backup was turned off. All my chats of few days ago which are extreamly important are gone, when I followed your instructions, it only restores messages from 2018. I have few voice notes and staff from few days ago on internal storage but I don’t what to do anymore, please help…… Maybe even step by step explaination or instructions please

    • Andrey Mareev 2 months ago

      You haven’t make backup for a long time, now it is impossible to restore it

  3. luisa 3 months ago

    ill pay who ever gets me my backup back from WhatsApp I can do it I’ve tried everything

    • Andrey Mareev 3 months ago

      You can recover only data that was in a backup files

  4. Esther 3 months ago

    I mistakenly deleted some things on my phone and all my WhatsApp images and videos got corrupted; They no longer display but the details are there. How will I make them play again

    • Andrey Mareev 3 months ago

      If you deleted these files, you can try to restore them
      on your phone. Use the special application on a PlayMarket.

      If you have the GooglePhoto application installed, then maybe all the files you need are uploaded to the cloud in this application, look for them on GoogleDrive

  5. shajimon 3 months ago

    For internal space unknowingly I have deleted all msgstore databases. Now I would like to restore my chats with one contact. Now I have changed the phone also. Memory card is not working. Is it possible to recover chat between two contacts without any back up? Anticipating for your valuable reply….

    • Andrey Mareev 3 months ago

      You can restore only the information that is stored in your account on the server

  6. Μεσότης 1 year ago

    Guys,
    I have the crypt12 file on my computer. How can I open it on the computer and see my messages, voice messages and media. This is what I am after.
    Thank you

  7. shahid 1 year ago

    It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of info.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. Vibi 1 year ago

    I uninstalled Whatsapp on my Android phone. After that ES File explorer prompted to delete all related content and I clicked yes. Then I installed Whatsapp again for some other person to use my mobile and his whatsapp backup got restored on my mobile. Somehow the media from my whatsapp account was not backup up earlier. Probably because it was recently moved to the SD card on my phone. ES file explorer removed all that media from my sd card while I was uninstalling my whatsapp. Now, how can I get my whatsapp media back? It’s not backed up on google and not there on my mobile/sd card. Is there a way to retrieve a month old whatsapp backup from google drive? Please help.

  9. Fauziah Mohd Amin 2 years ago

    Pls help me urgently…….on on 3rd July, my whatsapp suddenly needed to be restored (internal storage full), and the last successful back up was on the 24th June, but when I restored, all the chats were gone. I was not worried coz all I had to do was uninstall and reinstall whatsapp. However, silly me as I postponed doing it, that night, that empty chats were backed up, and as a result I was not able to restore the chats as at 24th June. I was very2 sad and disappointed as I have kept all the important chats since 2012, and the most important ones were proof of people borrowing money, client’s essential data, etc. Please help me, I know the chat data is still there and just that it can’t be retrieved as the memory is still 3GB ++. I have contacted whatsapp, but they were not helpful at all.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated..

    Regards,
    Fauziah

    • Did you try methods described in this article?

      • Fauziah Mohd Amin 2 years ago

        Yes I have but it didnt work at all

        • Most likely, the cause of inability to restore your backup is in lack of free space in the device’s memory.

          • Fauziah Mohd Amin 2 years ago

            No, sometimes when i restored, not everything came out, what I would do is to uninstall and reinstall whatsapp, and everything is ok again. However, this is because it has overwritten the incomplete restoration before i was able
            to uninstall and reinstall. But in the whatsapp memory, there is still 3GB of data..so i think the data is there except it can;t be retrieved. Please help

  10. Karpal Singh 3 years ago

    Kindly restore all WhatsApp contacts with all the missing data.
    Thank you.

  11. Read how to recover WhatsApp chat history, contacts and media files
    and recommend it to friends. If you do have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our technical support service – we will be happy to help you.

    • Santosh B.shinde 2 months ago

      Change my ondriod mobile but mob.no.not changed pls recover my data chat whatsapp with 1 no pls recover my data pls tell me mob.no,7020426418

      • Andrey Mareev 2 months ago

        Did you use backup?

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