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How to transfer WhatsApp conversations to new devices: the easy way

WhatsApp is one of the most popular communication tools on the planet. But if you get a new phone and transfer your WhatsApp account to it, your old messages don't automatically come with you. Thankfully we're here to help. This tutorial explains how to transfer WhatsApp conversations to a new device, so you can pick up your chats where you left off.  

Google Drive backup and restore

Newer versions of WhatsApp include automatic Google Drive backups, which makes the process of transferring your WhatsApp chat history between phones even easier than before.

  • You simply tap the trio of dots at the top left of the screen and go to Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup. 
  • From here, you can back up manually, or set it to automatically back up as regularly as you like. When WhatsApp is reinstalled, it will prompt you to recover your chats and multimedia from Google Drive. 
whats app backup chat
The ability to make Google Drive backups in the latest version of WhatsApp makes life easier. / © AndroidPIT

Manually backing up chats and restoring them

If you've yet to receive the Google Drive WhatsApp update, it's still reasonably easy to create a backup and move it to your new phone. Simply proceed as follows:

  • Open the Settings menu of WhatsApp, tap on Chats and calls and then tap Chat backup.
whats app chat backup
Tap the three dots (options) button. Go to Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup. / © AndroidPIT
  • Connect your smartphone to your PC via USB cable, and navigate to the internal memory of the device to the folder WhatsApp / Database. This is where all the backup files are saved with a date. They will look something like "msgstore-2013-05-29.db.crypt". Copy the file with the latest creation date (it will have a different name from the automatic backups created, mine is "msgstore.db.crypt8") onto your PC in an easy to find location (such as your desktop). 
  • Install WhatsApp on your new device but do not start the app!

  • Connect your new device to the PC via USB. Because you've already downloaded WhatsApp onto your new handset, the folder WhatsApp / Databases should now exist. If not, you can manually create a new Databases folder in the WhatsApp folder. 

androidpit whatsapp databases conversations
You can use a folder browsing app like File Commander to navigate to your internal storage on your phone, just like you can on your PC. / © AndroidPIT
  • Copy your WhatsApp conversation backup file into this folder.
  • Now start WhatsApp on your new phone and verify your phone number. You should now get a notification that a message backup was found. Just tap Restore, and you're done. After a few seconds, all of your messages should have appeared on your new device.

Transferring WhatsApp chats from iPhone to Android

Please note that without using a questionable third party tool, it is not currently possible to transfer chats from iOS to Android or vice versa. iPhone users can, however, use iCloud to get their old messages on their new iPhone in much the same way as Android users can make use of the Google Drive backup feature.

Are there any other methods you've tried? Did your transfer to a new phone go smoothly? Let us know in the comments. 

127 comments

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  • I was trying to transfer WhatsApp messages from iPhone 6 to my Galaxy S7 Android and found this guide but unfortunately it talks about transferring WhatsApp chat from one Android to Another which is not that difficult. Anyway, I spend few more hours and finally found this solution to transfer WhatsApp messages from an iPhone to Android : http://www.easyphonerecovery.com/transfer-whatsapp-chat-history-messages-iphone-to-android.html

    It did the job for me. In case you're looking to transfer WhatsApp chat from Android to iPhone, you might find this useful: https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-transfer-WhatsApp-messages-from-Android-to-iOS

  • I love you <3

  • I just want to say thank you. I followed the instructions and have now transferred all my WhatsApp chats to my new S7. I am so pleased as I did have some comments I wished to keep and had been going round in circles trying to work out how to do it! I now have the nickname "TechoMum". Thanks once again for your help.

  • Hope they provide some way to transfer chats cross platform, i.e. iPhone to Android.

  • Yo tengo WhapSaApt existente, necesito transferir mi WhapSaApt

  • This instruction proved crucial in migrating my chats from an older Android device to a new Android device: "Install WhatsApp on your new device but do not start the app!" I tried other methods first--moving the databases prior to installation. That didn't work out.
    The only downside of this method is that my Whatsapp folder is now on the internal memory, while I would have preferred to have it on my micro SD-storage card.

  • Method1. Using Email Chat
    1. Open WhatsApp on your Android device, go "Setting>Chats Setting>Chat History>Email chat"

    2. Choose the WhatsApp history that you want to transfer. A window will pop out says that “Attaching Media will generate a larger email message”. Depending on your needs, you can click “Without Media” or “Attach Media”.

    3. Then it will come to the sending page. Provide an email account and click the sending option.

    4. Once you have sent, you can now log into your email on your new iPhone. You will be able to view your WhatsApp messages at your email account but you won't be able to sync the messages to your WhatsApp account.

    Method2. Using WhatsApp Backup
    1.Back up your WhatsApp messages on your old device.
    On your old Android device, backup your WhatsApp messages. Once the backup is complete, go to "Settings" and click Chat Settings. On the drop-down list, that appears, click "Email Chat".

    2. Uninstall WhatsApp on your Android device.

    3. Install WhatsApp and register your original phone number at the new device.
    A window will pop out says that message backup was found. Click “Restore”, and transfer WhatsApp messages from iPhone to Android will be finished soon. Same as transfer WhatsApp messages from Android to iPhone.

    It also can help you transfer WhatsApp messages to a new devices easily.

  • xiamia 1 month ago Link to comment

    To transfer WhatsApp conversations to a new device, Google Drive backup feature is very helpful. And pro mobile transfer tool can also help us do that directly between mobile devices.

  • When I followed the copy directions (copy the file with the latest creation date) it did not work. But it did work when I copied the whole content (all the files) of the folder WhatsApp/Databases.

  • Is there any way to transfer chats from iPhone to Android without third-party tool.

  • Rich G 2 months ago Link to comment

    Hi, does anyone know to how to solve issues regarding getting chat history to come up. I've backed it up to a Google Drive account and I was transferring it from an S4 Samsung Phone to an S7 Edge Phone, using the same phone number, but for some reason when I reinstall it, the only thing it brings up is groups that I have created or a part of and no chat history whatsoever! Would really appreciate some help as the WhatApp people haven't been that helpful.

  • Is the voice-messages can be transferred too?

    • They can be found in the folder Whatsapp>>Media>>Whatsapp Voice Notes in several folders with a date and number stamp (format: YYYY##). I transferred these folder to the same location on your new device, following the method described above.
      I used an application called Android File Transfer for Mac to move files from old device to my computer's hard drive, then to my new device. You will find it via a google search.
      I am not sure however, if the voice messages will be downloaded again once you've successfully migrated your chats via your msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.db.crypt-files. Maybe you want to share your experience with us.

  • I backed up my whatsapp chats. Then i formatted my phone(android). Now if i reinstall the app, i'll be able to retrieve my chats?

  • Some steps needs to be updated.

  • i have bought new lenovo phone. i installed whatsapp on my new device, however i am not able to retrieve my whatsapp msg of last two months. i even copied complete whatsapp folder from previous device, but still not able to retrieve the last two months msgs after reinstalling the whatsapp on new device. pls help.

    • I had the exact same issue when I was changing from one Android phone to another and the link here worked for me and did the magic and I am now able to see ALL my chats and respective messages:

      "To restore a less recent local backup

      Your phone will store up to the last 7 days worth of local backup files (Google Drive will only have the most recent). If you wish to restore a local backup which is not the most recent, you will need to do the following:

      Download a file manager. Here are some choices: File Managers and Explorers.
      - In the File Manager, navigate to sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases. If your data is not stored on the SD card, you may see internal storage or main storage instead of sdcard.
      - Rename the backup file you wish to restore from msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12 to msgstore.db.crypt12. It is possible that your earlier backup may have been on an earlier protocol, such as crypt9 or crypt10. Do not change the number of the crypt extension.
      -Uninstall WhatsApp.
      - Install WhatsApp.
      - Tap Restore when asked

      Good Luck!

  • What would I do if I need to transfer from iOS to Android?

    • Coko Sira 5 months ago Link to comment

      An easy way to transfer whatsapp conversations between iOS and Android is by using a program called Backuptrans Android iPhone WhatsApp Transfer. You just need to connect your devices to the program on computer via USB and then click a "Transfer“ button. It is a paid tool but works like a charm.

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