Backup & restore WhatsApp messages offline on iPhone

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Sometimes, it may become necessary to remove apps from your smartphone and reinstall them later. This situation might occur under many circumstances. For example, an app might get corrupted and you may need to reinstall it; you may be switching to a new phone; or maybe trying to clear up some space on your device.

Backup & restore WhatsApp messages on iOS

In such cases, you’d probably lose all of the previous app data unless you back it up. Losing app data for messaging apps like WhatsApp might be especially annoying, as WhatsApp does not store your conversations on their servers. Reinstalling the app would clear all your previous chats and you might even be required to re-validate the phone number to activate your account.

WhatsApp does officially provide a way to backup your chat history. Though on iOS, the only official way to do so is via iCloud; and even then, video messages are not backed up. Anyway, WhatsApp chat history often tend to be huge in size, and restoring all that data from the cloud might not be suitable for everyone due to bandwidth and other related issues. Another possible way to backup WhatsApp chats on iOS is by taking a full device backup using iTunes. Device backups are also large in size and taking a full backup just because of one application is also not feasible. In this tutorial, we will demonstrate how to backup and restore WhatsApp chats offline from your iPhone.

For backing up WhatsApp chats offline, we’ll use a third-party PC / Mac software called iFunBox. iFunBox is a file explorer that allows you to access specific files and folders from your iOS device. The idea is to take a copy of certain files from WhatApp’s application storage, using iFunBox. These files contain all your chat history along with the account activation details. So, when you restore these files after reinstalling WhatsApp on your iPhone, the app would literally roll back to the same state as it was when you took the backup.

Backup WhatsApp chats from iPhone

The steps given below will guide you to backup WhatsApp chat history from your iPhone:

  1. Download and install iFunBox on your computer.
  2. Connect the iPhone to your computer and launch iFunBox. iFunBox should detect the connected device.
  3. Click on User Applications under the device tree on the left pane. This will open a list of all installed apps on your iPhone.
  4. Double click on the WhatsApp icon to access its local storage. iFunBox will display WhatsApp’s app data on the right pane.
  5. Now, create a new folder to store the WhatsApp backup, in a preferred location on your computer.
  6. Select the “documents” and “library” folders from the iFunBox window and drag them to the newly created folder. They will be copied from WhatsApp’s local storage to your computer.

These folders contain your chat and account information. Once you have saved them locally on your computer, you can restore your WhatsApp chats from this backup anytime.

Restore WhatsApp chats from backup

The following steps will guide you to restore your WhatsApp chat history:

  1. Ensure that WhatsApp application is installed but not running on your iPhone.
  2. Open the folder where you have saved WhatsApp data on your computer.
  3. Connect the iPhone to your computer and launch iFunBox. Go to User Applications >> WhatsApp to access WhatsApp’s app storage area.
  4. Select the “documents” and “library” folders from your backup and drag them into WhatsApp’s app storage area.

The  data from the backup will now replace the contents of WhatsApp’s app data location. Once this is done, you will be able to open up WhatsApp and continue your conversations from right where you left off before taking the backup. As mentioned before, your account in this case will already be in active state and you’d not be required to re-verify your phone number every time WhatsApp is freshly installed.

Note:

  1. Before backing up chat history, ensure that your installed version of WhatsApp is in working condition.
  2. Also, if WhatsApp alters the file structure of app data in future, a backup created from an older version might not be compatible with it.

So now you know how to take a full backup of your WhatsApp chats on iPhone. If you know of any other ways to backup WhatsApp messages, do let us know in the comments below.

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  • Besqui

    You guys are lifesavers. I’ve pored over the internet for this vital offline backup information for days with nothing positive till I came across yours.

    You’re blessed.