How to restore Whatsapp chat history while installing or reinstalling it

Whatsapp as we all know is currently the most popular instant messaging application in the world with more that 600 million active users. It has recently launched various new features like Whatsapp on PC, a voice call feature which is not yet completely out, muting Whatsapp groups and they keep improving with every release. Adding to out other posts on Whatsapp messenger tips, here is another one on how to restore Whatsapp chat history while reinstalling Whatsapp on the same device or while changing devices.

Whatsapp Messenger

Whatsapp Messenger

How Whatsapp stores data on your device

Whenever you install and use Whatsapp it stores the entire data on your device only. The data is either stored on the internal memory of the device (usually in case of high end smart phones) or it is stored on your external SD card. Data stored includes images, videos, profile pictures, voice notes and most importantly the backup file of your entire chat history. Data of Whatsapp app is backed up once every day and that’s the data we are interested in.

Restoring data from Whatsapp chat database backup

  • Lets us assume you are going to format your phone or going to uninstall Whatsapp for some reason and will be installing it back. First thing first, take backup of the entire Whatsapp folder, it will be present in either your phone memory or external SD card storage. It will look something like this as seen in the screenshot below. Another screenshot shows the content of that folder.

Whatsapp folder on your internal/external storage



COntents of Whatsapp folder


  • Now that you have a backup of your Whatsapp data which is usually backed up till the previous day or could be up to date if today’s backup is already taken by the application.
  • Next step is to install Whatsapp application again on your desired device. Once installed, check where it has created the new Whatsapp folder (If you are installing it on the new device). It should be present in either Internal memory or an external SD card. Now delete that folder and paste your old Whatsapp folder which you have already saved during the first step.
  • Now you can start the newly installed Whatsapp application and as the setup progresses, it will at one point ask you if you want to restore the backup which already exist on your device. Tap ‘backup’ when that option comes. That’s all it will take some time to restore that backup and now your device have all the old chat conversations restored.

Note: If you have not formatted your device and simply uninstalling and installing the app due to some reason, it will give you a choice to restore old chat backup like we did in the last step.

Please feel free to leave comments in the section below if you have any queries or suggestions.

Also read:
How to turn off Whatsapp group notifications without deleting the group
How to use Whatsapp on your PC

5 thoughts on “How to restore Whatsapp chat history while installing or reinstalling it

  1. Hi, I hope you are doing well.
    I read your post and I liked it a lot. It was very clear and informative.
    For now I don’t need to recover my old chats after reinstalling Whatsapp and I found your post while searching for something else, but I’m 100% positive that your article will totally help anyone wanting to do this. As I said, it’s explained in a very clear way and with the information that you kindly provide, I’m sure I can do it without difficulty if I needed to. Thanks for the post!
    On the other hand, I would like to ask you the question I was searching for and that is eventually the reason why I came across your helpful post.
    My phone doesn’t have much memory and the files that are automatically downloaded when using Whatsapp (in my particular case mainly audios and voice notes) take it all and I have to download them from time to time to clear the memory or my phone’s performance decreases and at some point I can’t even record voice messages otherwise. Therefore, I’m wondering if the Whatsapp files and media can be stored in the external memory. I read your post carefully, and you imply that this can be done and you say for instance that the entire Whatsapp folder can be stored in the devices memory or in the external one, but I just want to be sure about whether this is possible or not. I want to buy a SD card for my phone, but the main purpose of acquiring it is to be able to keep my chat history without having to face any inconveniences.
    Do you know the answer to this question by any chance? If you know it, would you kindly share it with me?
    Thank you in advance and hope to hear from you if you are willing to reply, of course.
    My best wishes for you and greetings from Argentina.

    • Usually Whatsapp is installed on Phone’s internal memory. You can use some”App to SD” app to transfer your Whatsapp from internal memory to SD card, it might or might not work. Secondly you can try one more thing. Copy your entire Whatsapp folder on your external SD card and then Uninstall Whatsapp, now install Whatsapp again and see if it prompts you to restore backup stored on your SD card or not.

      Also set you media/files/photos download settings to manual by selecting appropriate option from Whatsapp settings. This will prevent automatic download of unnecessary Whatsapp media and you can delete that without downloading.

  2. hi
    actually while reinstalling my whatsapp i by mistake clicked on skip the restoring backed up datas…now i am not getting restoring option at all while reinstalling my whatsapp. my 3 years long chat history is missing. which are very necessary.
    please do guide.
    thank you

    • If you do not have your old backup i.e. Whatsapp folder either in your computer or phone you cannot recover now. If you have your old Whtsapp folder backed up somewhere do this. Uninstall Whatsapp from your phone, delete Whatsapp folder from your phone, now copy your old whatsapp folder in place of deleted folder in your phone and install whatsapp again, it will ask for you to restore.

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