• How To: Backup WhatsApp with Google Drive

    By Josh , July 27, 2017 - Leave a comment

    WhatsApp LogoDo you use WhatsApp as a method of communication? According to WhatsApp, they have a user base of over 1 billion – so the likelihood is that you do!

    WhasApp is far more than the simple messaging service it once was. It now caters for voice and video calls, even across operating systems. Plus all of your chat history is saved with them against your number, in case you switch phones.

    But have you ever thought about what it would be like if you lost that chat history?

    Changing phone number or email address can make it very difficult to get access to your old data.

    If you move to a new phone and change one of these key pieces of ID, you’ll want to have backed up in order to restore.

    The following guide explains how to use Google Drive to backup your WhatsApp conversations. Also included is how to restore the conversations. This works if you change phone, or simply restore to your current phone.

    Please Note: This guide is for Android phones only.

    Creating a Google Drive backup

    Google Drive logo

    • Open WhatsApp
    • Go to Menu > Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup
    • Tap on Back up to Google Drive and set up the backup frequency (if not on WiFi, this uses mobile data)
    • You will be prompted to select a Google account to back up to. It is recommended to use the Google account associated with your phone. If you do not have a Google account, tap Add account when prompted. Please remember the Google account you are using for the backup.
    • Tap on Back up over to choose the network you wish to use for backup. Please note that backing up over cellular may result in additional data charges.

    Manually back up your WhatsApp chats to Google Drive

    • Open WhatsApp
    • Go to Menu Button > Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup
    • Tap on Back up to Google Drive and select a backup frequency other than Never
    • Tap on Back Up to begin your Google Drive backup. This process may take a few minutes

    Note: Depending on the size of the chat, the first complete backup could take a while. We recommend that you connect your phone to a power source. However, subsequent backups are incremental, thus not requiring a completely new backup of all your data every time.

    Restoring from a Google Drive backup

    In order to successfully restore a Google Drive backup, you need to use the same phone number and Google account used to create the back up.

    Then, follow these steps to restore your backup:

    • Make sure the same Google account that was used to perform the backup has been added to your phone
    • Uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp
    • After verifying your number, you will be prompted to restore your messages and media from Google Drive
    • When the restoration process is complete, tap on Next and your chats will be displayed once initialisation is complete
    • After restoring your chats, WhatsApp will begin restoring your media files

    Note: If you are installing WhatsApp without any prior backups from Google Drive, WhatsApp will automatically restore from your locally stored backup files. Learn more here.

    Configuring your Google Drive backup settings

    To change the frequency of your Google Drive backup:

    • Open WhatsApp
    • Go to Menu Button > Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup
    • Tap on Back up to Google Drive
    • Set the backup frequency to your liking

    Change the account to back up your chat history

    • Open WhatsApp
    • Go to Menu Button > Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup
    • Tap on Account and select the account you wish to back up your chat history to.

    Note: If you change your Google account, you will not be able to access your backups that are linked to a different Google account.

    To change the connection you wish to use for backup:

    • Open WhatsApp
    • Go to Menu Button > Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup
    • Tap on Back up over and select the network you wish to use for backup

    Deleting your backup file from your Google account

    You can remove WhatsApp data from your Google Drive. To do so:

    • Go to Google Drive (https://drive.google.com) and log in to your Google account
    • If you are accessing the link from your phone, you have to tap on the Menu Button in the top left corner and then choose to use Desktop Version
    • Click on the Gear icon in the top right > Settings > Manage Apps
    • Scroll until you find WhatsApp in the list. Please note it may take several minutes for WhatsApp to appear on the list
    • After you see WhatsApp, wait until “Hidden app data” size comes up. This may also take several minutes
    • Click on Options > Delete hidden app data

    You can find out more on the official WhatsApp Android support pages


    Josh joined Clove part time a few years ago whilst studying Computing at Bournemouth University. Since finishing his studies he has remained at Clove in a full time position, involved in sales, returns and social media. Involved with both consumer electronics and software since the mid 2000s, keeping up to date with industry developments is as much a hobby as it is a job. Easy going but never afraid to share an opinion, Josh can often be found in his spare time listening to some heavy rock or at a local gig as well as playing with the latest gadgets and video games.


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