Computers and smartphones have given us an incredible ability to go back through old memories. Whether it's all the digital pictures you've taken over the years, ghosts waiting in old video games, or chats with friends and family, it's easy to get nostalgic.
But technology isn't perfect and you can lose all those memories if you don't back them up regularly. WhatsApp chats are no different. If you're not backed up and something happens to your iPhone, all those memories could be gone forever.
Let's look at how to backup WhatsApp so your chats are safe from unexpected problems.
How to Backup WhatsApp on Your iPhone and to Your Computer
There are 4 ways to back up your WhatsApp messages:
- iCloud Drive
- iTunes backup
- Export conversations from WhatsApp
These each have varying degrees of usefulness so let's go through the details about how each of them works.
iCloud Drive Backups
iCloud Drive backup is a built-in feature on all iPhones. It lets you back up the information on your phone to your iCloud account, storing everything in the "cloud". Most iPhone apps, including WhatsApp, have an option to backup their information this way.
These backups happen in the background automatically so you don't have to remember to do a backup. To set up iCloud Drive backup for WhatsApp, follow these steps:
- Open Settings, tap on the Apple ID banner at the top, and then tap on iCloud.
- Scroll down to find WhatsApp in the list and tap the switch to toggle it on.
- Launch WhatsApp
- Tap on the Settings menu (the gear), then the Chats button, and Chat Backup.
- Tap Back Up Now to run a backup
- Turn on the Auto Backup toggle and choose how frequently you want it to back up.
- Turn on Include Videos if you want to save videos as well. Keep in mind they can be quite large and could use a lot of your iCloud storage space.
Once your messages are backup in iCloud, you can restore them if something happens to your phone or you replace it with a new device. You can't work with individual messages though, it's all or nothing.
iTunes Backup on Your Mac or PC
Backing up your iPhone with iTunes on your Mac or PC is another option but this one is even less specific than the first method. Instead of only backing up your WhatsApp messages, this will back up everything on your iPhone.
There's no way to restore only WhatsApp. If something goes wrong and you restore from this backup, your iPhone would be back to where it was when you did the backup. Email, photos, WhatsApp, and everything else will go back to that "snapshot."
To back up your iPhone with iTunes, follow these steps:
- Connect your iPhone to your computer using a Lightning cable.
- Open iTunes and click on the iPhone device icon in the top left.
- Click the Back Up Now button in the middle of the screen.
- If your iPhone is encrypted, enter your encryption password.
This will save a complete backup on your computer.
Exporting Conversations from WhatsApp
If you want to save conversations in a way that lets you read them individually, exporting them from the WhatsApp app does the trick. You can export your messages to other apps on your iPhone, such as Messages, Notes, or Mail.
The text of the conversation will be sent to the other app, where you can save it to read back through or send it to someone else. You can only do this with one conversation at a time and there's no way to organize the messages within the conversation. You'll get one long document with all the messages.
To export conversations from WhatsApp, these are the steps to follow:
- Open WhatsApp, tap on Chats, and find the conversation you want to export.
- Slide from right to left on the conversation and tap the More button.
- Select Export Chat then choose where you want to send it from the share sheet (Notes, Messages, Mail, etc.)
If you want to export several conversations, you'll need to follow this process for each of them separately.
Backing Up Your WhatsApp Messages with Keepster
The Keepster app lets you back up your WhatsApp messages but once they're backed up, you can search for specific messages by keyword, sender, or date. You can also create folders and organize your messages in any way you want. This backup system gives you the most flexibility to work with your messages once they're saved.
Keepster also lets you create printed books from your conversations so you can turn them into gifts and keepsakes. There are versions available for macOS and Windows 10 so you can run it from any modern PC.
It works with more than just WhatsApp as well. Keepster supports several different messaging platforms, including:
- hike Messenger
If you use different apps to chat with different people, it's the perfect way to back everything up in one place.
How to Back Up Your WhatsApp Messages with Keepster
First, download and install the app on your computer. Once it's installed, open the app and create a Keepster account. Make sure you choose a strong password to keep your messages safe.
Keepster takes your privacy extremely seriously. Your message backup is fully private and secure, stored locally on your computer. Keepster has no access to your data and doesn't read any of the messages saved in the app. You can read more about the privacy and security of the app here.
Once the app is installed and you've created your account, you're ready to do your first backup. Keep in mind that you need enough free storage space on your computer to save all the messages. If you don't have enough space, you'll get a message when you start the backup process.
Connect your iPhone to your computer using a Lightning cable and accept any trust notifications that pop up. Click on the Backup tab in the Keepster app then on the Create New Backup button at the bottom.
Granting Full Disk Access
If you use a Mac, you'll have to provide Keepster with full disk access the first time you run it. This is a security feature of macOS to ensure only apps that you've authorized have access to your data.
To provide access, click the Open System Preferences button in Keepster. This opens the Full Disk Access settings page in preferences. Click the lock icon at the bottom left and enter your system password.
Next, click the + button, find Keepster in the list of installed apps, and double-click on it. If you get a message asking if you want to quit Keepster, click later.
Switch back to Keepster and click the blue Finish button at the bottom to restart the app.
Running the Backup
To back up your messages in Keepster, click the Backup tab and then the Create New Backup button at the bottom. Click the button that says "Click here to open iTunes" and when iTunes opens, click on the iPhone device icon at the top left.
Click the Back Up Now button in the center of the iTunes window. If your iPhone is encrypted, you'll need to enter your encryption password to start the backup. Once iTunes has finished backing up your phone, you can disconnect it from your computer.
Next, switch back to the Keepster app and click on the Backup tab again. There should a new button with the details of the backup you just did in iTunes. Click on that button to start the backup process in Keepster.
Keepster will back up all your WhatsApp messages and the time it takes will depend on how many messages you have. Once it's finished, you'll be able to use Keepster to search them, organize them, and order printed books from them if you wish.
Once the backup is finished, click the "hamburger" menu in Keepster and log out to keep your messages safe from anyone else who uses the same computer.
Check out our getting started with Keepster video to see this process in action. And take a look at our other how-to videos to learn more about all of Keepster's features.
The Best Option for Backing Up WhatsApp
Any backup is better than none at all so using any of these four methods is a step in the right direction. But if you want to know how to backup WhatsApp messages so you can search them, organize them, and even print them, there's only one option - Keepster.
Having your WhatsApp messages saved in Keepster will let you rest easy and not worry that you're going to lose important memories to an unexpected iPhone emergency. And if you want to be extra careful, there's no reason you shouldn't use any or all of the other backup methods we've covered here as well.
Your memories are too important to leave to chance, aren't they? Make sure you have them safely backed up before it's too late.