WhatsApp backups: problems and solutions


In this article we have listed the main known problems when backing up and restoring your chat history from a WhatsApp backup. Read the details below to discover what are the solutions.


Common questions Answers
Topic about? WhatsApp Backups
Guide valid for? WhatsApp for iOS and Android.
Previous article? WhatsApp is developing a review tool for voice messages
Thanks: FastenM and Alex from my Discord Server for our conversation about WhatsApp for Android.

I decided to write this article to give voice to all users that are experiencing issues with WhatsApp backups. WhatsApp users on Android can usually experience issues while backing up their chat history, instead users on iOS may have difficulty while uploading their chat history on iCloud and restoring too.

WhatsApp for Android:

  • WhatsApp never ends to back up the chat history or it’s automatically cancelled: there might be an issue with background data on your Android version. If you experience a similar issue, be sure that the battery optimization for WhatsApp is off. In the past some users were also experiencing issues with stickers, when the battery optimization was enabled for WhatsApp.
  • Preparing the backup seems really infinite: turning off the battery optimization for WhatsApp can help, here too. Some people are experiencing this on Android 11, but it’s not really known if it’s a problem with Android 11 itself or if lower Android versions are afflicted too.
  • The backup gets stuck at 99%: the only known solution is to restart your backup again. Try to back up your chat history again and the issue should be solved.
  • I’ve reinstalled WhatsApp but WhatsApp doesn’t see my previous backup: be sure to use the correct Google account. If you’re already using the correct Google account, try to log out and sign in again: this helps a lot of times and WhatsApp should now see your backup.

WhatsApp for iOS:

  • The backup gets randomly stuck: this depends by your space iCloud. Even if you believe there is space available for the backup on iCloud, you should know an important rule: if you haven’t 2.05 times the space available in your iCloud account than the actual size of your backup, you need to buy a new plan from iCloud. For example, if the new backup size is 3GB, you need 3GB x 2.05 = 6.15GB. In this case you need to buy more storage.
  • WhatsApp doesn’t see my previous backup after the reinstallation: the solution is the same listed for Android, you have to verify if WhatsApp has permissions to read files on iCloud, from iPhone Settings > iCloud > WhatsApp. If it’s already turned on, you have to verify if you’re using the correct Apple ID.
  • WhatsApp has restored my chat history but I don’t see media anymore: unfortunately this is a WhatsApp issue that’s around since years and it has been never fixed. It usually happens when you have a lot of media to restore. You can try to reinstall WhatsApp again restoring from the backup to see if WhatsApp can finally restore your chat history and media without issues, but if it persists, unfortunately there is nothing you can do. I’ve talked a lot of times about this issue on Twitter, recommending to avoid using the in-app backup feature within WhatsApp. You can back up your chat history from iCloud Settings > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now. This procedure will back up the entire content of your device, that you can restore when you switch to a new iPhone.

Below you can see some screenshots and tweet about the issue where WhatsApp cannot restore media from the chat history:

As you can see in the last image, the screenshot was taken from a post on Reddit, where users are asking for help because they experience the issue. The only suggestion I can give you is to back up your entire iPhone content from iCloud Settings, if you don’t want to lose media.


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