Ok, so you can recover deleted WhatsApp messages, which we’ll go through in this post, but the truth is I wouldn’t get your hopes up because, as you’ll see, it only works in certain circumstances.
I tested 3 methods. Firstly using Notification History which is only available on Android. Second was by restoring a WhatsApp backup, which you can do on both iPhone and Android. And, finally, I tried using apps like UltData from Tenorshare and ChatsBack from the ridiculously named iMyFone, both of which were useless. In fact they might have just been malware.
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Restoring from a WhatsApp Backup.
Let's assume you have a message that you want to keep, and also maybe a photo for good measure. To be able to restore these from a Whatsapp backup, you need to open WhatsApp Settings, click on Chats followed by Chat Backups.
Now, iPhone users, assuming you have both iCloud Drive and Whatsapp enabled in your iCloud settings, you can take a backup of your Whatsapp account by clicking Backup Now.
Android users will need to connect to Google, and choose Backup Now. Alternatively both iPhone and Android can rely on auto-backups.
Now, if your chat messages are ever deleted by you or someone else in your chat group, you can restore them from your backup.
To do this you’ll need to delete the WhatsApp app from your phone, reinstall it, and follow the setup process until you get to a screen that asks if you want to restore from backup. WhatsApp will restore the most recent backup. Once restored, you’ll be able to see the messages before they were deleted. For everyone else in the chat session messages will still appear as deleted.
It’s worth noting you can only restore to the most recent backup, So if auto-backups are enabled and a backup occurs after the messages were deleted, this method won’t work.
Recover WhatsApp Messages Using Apps
As I mentioned, I did also try restoring my messages using two 3rd-party apps. These work by installing the applications on your computer and then connecting your phone. As I said neither app was successful in retrieving any deleted whatsapp data.
Tenorshare’s UltData was only able to recover the profile images of my contacts, and ChatsBack was only able to tell me I had one chat session but it didn’t include any of the messages.
Both applications actually took so long to analyse my phone, I actually started to worry they were doing something more than just retrieving my deleted whatsapp messages. In fact I became so suspicious I actually decided to disable my internet connection.
Honestly, my recommendation is to steer well clear of these types of apps, and certainly don’t pay any money for them.
Notification History on Android
As mentioned at the start of this post, if you use an Android phone you can try retrieving deleted whatsapp messages using Notification History. You can enable Notification History in Settings under Notifications.
Once enabled, whenever you receive a WhatsApp message, it will be saved to your history. So, even if the message is later deleted, you can click on Notification History, choose WhatsApp, and there are the messages prior to them being deleted.
If you found this post useful, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel for lots of tips and tricks on all your favourite apps.