Would you like to create a backup copy of the messages you exchange daily with friends, relatives, and work colleagues on WhatsApp but are not very good at using your smartphone yet, would you like a hand to understand how to do it? Are you about to change your smartphone, and would you like to ensure that the backups made by WhatsApp are recent and, above all, working on your next device? No problem, I’m here to help you out.
Give me five minutes of your time, and I will explain, in detail, how to back up WhatsApp on all the main platforms of the mobile world. Then I will tell you how to restore chats on a new phone (or on the same device, in case of formatting), and, finally, I will explain how to copy WhatsApp data to your computer to have an additional chat security copy, Photo, and video. I assure you that these are extremely quick and simple procedures. There is nothing complex or “technical” to learn.
How to backup WhatsApp on Android
Let’s start with the green robot devices, which allow you to back up your chats through Google Drive and locally.
How to backup WhatsApp to Google Drive
As just mentioned, WhatsApp mainly relies on cloud services for its backups. In fact, on Android, it copies chats, photos, and videos to Google Drive: the cloud storage service of the Mountain View giant, with 15GB of free space. As I think you can easily imagine, you must have a Google account configured correctly on your smartphone to perform this procedure. Then open the Android Settings menu (the gear icon located on the home screen or the screen with the icons of all the apps), go to Google and verify that your @ gmail.com account is correctly configured. For more information, you can read my tutorial on associating a Google account with a device.
If you do not have a Google account yet, you can create it directly from the phone by pressing on the item Or create a new account located at the bottom of the Google login page. Go and visit my article and also check out my site. The procedure is very simple; in any case, you can find all the instructions to complete it in my tutorial on creating a Google account.
Once the account has been configured, you must open WhatsApp by tapping on its icon, going to the app’s main screen, pressing the button of the three vertical dots at the top right, and selecting the Settings item from the menu that appears.
In the screen that opens, click on the Chat item, then on the wording Backup of the chats, and press the Backup button to start saving all your conversations, both on Google Drive and locally. If this is the first time you back up WhatsApp on Google Drive, you must authorize the app to access the service by responding affirmatively to the warning on the screen.
By default, WhatsApp does not include videos in its backups (as they may take up a lot of space), but if you want, you can activate their saving by placing the check mark next to Include videos. The saving operations, if it is the first time you back up, could take several minutes: you can follow the progress thanks to the indications on the screen. Subsequent backups will be faster as they are incremental (so only the missing information compared to the last backup made will be uploaded online).
Once the backup function is activated, WhatsApp will save chats, photos, and (if you have activated the appropriate option) videos on Google Drive and your smartphone with a certain frequency (for example, daily, weekly, and so on). To change this behavior, go to the Settings> Chats> WhatsApp Chat Backup screen and select the options listed under the Google Drive Settings item.
By pressing Backup on Google Drive, you can change the frequency with which the automatic backup of the chats must be made (never, daily, weekly, or monthly); by selecting the Google Account option, you can choose which Google Drive account to save the data to (useful option if you have configured more than one Google account on your phone), while pressing the Backup with cellular data network item you can choose whether to make backups even when you only have a mobile data connection available (with significant data consumption).
In the initial part of the screen, however, under the heading Last backup, you can view the date and size (in MB) of the last backup made by WhatsApp: this is the information you need to check to make sure that the latest WhatsApp backup is quite recent.
WhatsApp backups include chats, groups, photos, and videos, but not contacts managed by the phone’s address book. In any case, don’t worry: Google’s cloud services allow you to save even those on the cloud and restore them instantly in case of switching to another phone or formatting your device.
To make sure you have a backup of your contacts on Google’s servers, go to the Settings> Accounts menu, select your Gmail account, then press on the Account Synchronization item and check that the lever relating to the Contacts option is active: if not it is, activate it yourself by moving it to ON.
By default, WhatsApp backups are not protected with end-to-end encryption, so they are potentially accessible by Google and Apple (the companies that own the cloud services on which they are stored). If you want to apply this type of protection, go to the Chat menu> App chat backup and activate the End-to-end encrypted backup option; be careful. However, this way, if you lose the password set for the backup of WhatsApp, you will no longer be able to restore the latter because no company will have the “spare keys” to access it.
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