How to Retrieve Deleted WhatsApp Messages
As WhatsApp has been gaining in popularity (so much so that Facebook bought it out recently) as a way to replace traditional text messages more of us are using it the same way we would a standard SMS.
This means we rely on it to store important information and when we somehow manage to delete everything… It can be a bit of a problem.
So just how easy is it to retrieve deleted WhatsApp text messages?
The answer is, pretty damn easy. Most of the time when we’re recovering deleted data from a phone it involves low level scans of the hidden parts of the memory where you normally can’t reach. That’s because most of our applications don’t back things up automatically and, let’s face it, we’re not going to take the time to do it manually. Who can be bothered?
It turns out WhatsApp can.
Every day at 4AM it automatically makes a backup of your messages and stores them on the memory. This means if you need to restore a recent message it’s as simple as removing and re-installing WhatsApp again. It will ask you if you’d like to start fresh or if you’d rather use the backup file – the answer should be pretty obvious.
If it’s not giving you the option of restoring then something has gone wrong with the backup (could be a lack of memory or maybe your phone wasn’t on?) and there are some limitations. If WhatsApp tried to backup every single message you receiving your phoned would pretty quickly be out of space. So it’s limited to messages within the last seven days.
Restoring Older WhatsApp Messages
First things first. If you want to restore older messages you’ll want to backup the newer ones first because we’re going to have to overwrite the current database. Pretty simple just make a manual backup within the app itself:
WhatsApp > Menu Button > Settings > Chat Settings > Backup conversations
Ideally you’re going to want to plug your phone into a computer for this one. You could do it from a file browser on the phone but it’ll be easier from the computer.
You need to navigate to the backup folder kept on your phone. By default this will be /sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases. First thing to do is find the msgstore.db.crypt7 file. This is the most recent backup. Just in case you want these back rename that file something you’ll remember. Add a .recent or something. This means you’ll have this database of messages in case you need them.
In that folder you’ll have a number of backups to choose from. They’ll be dated and it’s down to you to find the day you had the message you want to retrieve. That said you can keep trying so even if it is by trial and error, if it was backed up you’ll get there.
Once you find the one you want rename it to msgstore.db.crypt7 so that the backup from the date you found is the one the phone thinks is the most recent. Now it’s just the same as before.
Uninstall, re-install and choose to restore your messages. If you wasn’t to revert back to your newer ones just repeat the process using the first file we renamed.
Recovering Deleted WhatsApp Without Backups
So what if, for whatever reason, you can’t use a backup file to recover the deleted messages? Not to worry. If data (so in this case the WhatsApp messages and media files) was ever on the phone memory and has been deleted – the memory location it was stored on might still have the data on it.
All we need to do is find it, and recover it. This isn’t as simple as renaming a few files if we tried to do it manually so luckily there’s tools which do it for us. It’s as simple as clicking the scan button and selecting the messages you’d like back.
Now it won’t guarantee recovery. If the memory location has been used again by anything on the phone it is not coming back so it’s important you stop using your phone (I mean completely, not just WhatsApp) until you’ve ran the recovery. Smart phones three days have big storage drives so there’s a good chance your data is there, but you need to get to it quickly.
To restore deleted WhatsApp messages, pictures and videos without a backup file – you can use the same tool we use to restore deleted text messages. If you want to use the #1 tool for that (which is free by the way) hit the download button at the top or click here.