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For most people breaking or losing a phone means they’re out a few hundred dollars, but the real cost is data. Sure, media and files in Google Photos or Google Drive will be backed up, but many other apps don’t automatically backup your data. One of those apps is the immensely popular WhatsApp, and if you don’t know how to backup WhatsApp, one small mistake could cost you years of messages.

Read also: How to backup your Android phone

Fortunately, it just takes a few moments to create a WhatsApp backup in the cloud, and it’s completely free of charge. Here’s how to backup WhatsApp and never lose another message again.

How to backup WhatsApp

How to backup WhatsApp

If you’re worried about backing up your WhatsApp files, the good news is that they’re already backed up on your phone. The app automatically creates a local backup every night, provided you are connected to WiFi and have sufficient storage and battery life. That said, only cloud backups will protect you if you lose or break your phone.

To help with this, WhatsApp also has a built-in function to backup all of your messages and media to the cloud via Google Drive. It can be scheduled to run automatically every day, week, or month, with the additional option of backing up manually whenever you want.

How to backup WhatsApp

  1. Tap the three dots in the top right, then Settings.
  2. Tap Chats, then Chat backup at the bottom.
  3. Configure your WhatsApp backup settings.

At the top of the screen you will see when your lask WhatsApp backup was created, plus an option to back up right away. Make sure to do this on WiFi if possible, as backing up media can use up a lot of mobile data.

Read also: 21 essential WhatsApp tricks and tips you should know

Below that you can choose the Google Account you want to back up to, back up frequency, and more. We recommend not backing up videos, as this will quickly eat through your Google Drive storage capacity!

It’s worth noting that you can only backup WhatsApp files via Google Drive for now. If your phone doesn’t have Google Play Services (newer Huawei phones, for example), you may not be able to create a WhatsApp backup using the method above. Additionally, WhatsApp backups are not protected by end-to-end encryption like messages are, and they’re automatically deleted from your Google Drive account after one year of inactivity.

Restoring a WhatsApp backup

Restore WhatsApp backup

When you want to install WhatsApp on a new phone, the process for restoring all of your messages and media via your backup is simple. Before you get started though, make sure you’ve logged into the same Google Account that you used for your backup.

How to restore a WhatsApp backup

  1. Install WhatsApp via the Play Store or App Store.
  2. Open WhatsApp and verify your phone number.
  3. Tap Restore when prompted during setup.
  4. Tap Next and wait for the WhatsApp backup to complete.

WhatsApp will restore all of your messages first, then move on to media which may take longer. If you are reinstalling the app on a phone that has a local backup, WhatsApp may use that copy instead. By default, local backups are created every day, so it may have more recent data than your cloud-based backup files.

That’s all you need to know about how to backup WhatsApp messages and media! Check out more WhatsApp guides and news below.

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