Since quite some time I’ve been wanting that the folks at WhatsApp allow us to backup chats on WhatsApp without the need to use any third party tools. I am not sure when this was enabled, but I just found out about it today, so I decided to make this quick step by step guide so you can take advantage of it too. I am basing this guide for iPhone devices but the steps to be followed by Android folks should be pretty similar if not the same.

With the amount of media files and social interactions we have, we accumulate a huge amount of data in our devices. In my case the iPhone is showing currently 22 GB of data being taken by chats and shared media. I have a lot of WhatsApp groups where I share a lot of contents with friends and acquaintances. And this is because I already emptied quite a lot of them with the old method I was using.

Until now, I have been using a tool called iMazing that would first do a full backup of your phone, and then within the tool you could select to export all chat media from chats and groups. You could also export all chat texts to a PDF making it quite convenient in case you needed to consult or recover any old files or chat messages. Don’t get me wrong, the tool works very well and remains to be a good option, but it takes more time to work with it because you first need to do a full backup of your whole iPhone first.

With the embedded functionality within WhatApp you get a similar outcome as with iMazing. The chats are exported with their timestamps into a TXT. Then all videos, audio files and pictures are also exported in familiar formats to access them easily.

The main advantage of this for me, was the fact that this is now an included functionality within WhatsApp, so you could choose which backup to make and send it to Google Drive, share it over AirDrop or whatever you prefer.

I did some tests, and it seems that at least on the iPhone when you export a large file to an external storage like Google Drive, you need to ensure the phone screen doesn’t turn off, or the backup copy seems to cancel. So I decided to AirDrop the files to my MacBook Pro, this resulted in a much faster transfer and then I could send the files to Google Drive fro there.

On WhatsApp for iPhone follow these steps:

That’s it, that’s how you export all your chats. Once the chat is exported, you might want to verify it, and then you can consider deleting the chat from your mobile device so it doesn’t take so much space from it.

On the following link you can find the original WhatsApp instructions from their help site, where you can also find additional tips and tricks.

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