How to backup WhatsApp messages on iPhone for Free?

whatsapp for mobileIt is easy to back up WhatsApp messages. We have covered this issue in this step-by-step guide for both iPhone and Android users to backup WhatsApp chat history on mobile phones. There are different ways and tools you can use to save your WhatsApp chats or conversations on to computer or a cloud service. WhatsApp for iPhone has the built-in feature to backup its messages, documents and data. You do not need to download or install any third party apps in order to backup WhatsApp messages. In this guide, we will introduce two of the easiest ways to backup WhatsApp chats and attachments: backup WhatsApp through iCloud or email. They are built into WhatsApp for iPhone, totally free to make backups of your WhatsApp chats. The two backup methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, choose the one suits your need the best.

Three ways to back up WhatsApp data:

How to backup WhatsApp messages through iCloud?

WhatsApp chat backup through iCloud is the default backup tool built into this instant messaging app for iPhone. You do not need to download any third party transfer or backup app for WhatsApp. As long as you have an Apple account, which all iPhone users should do, you can backup your WhatsApp chats or message to Apple iCloud service without any fee.

Step 1. Enable WhatsApp backup via iCloud

Backup WhatsApp to iCloud is the default backup method built-in WhatsApp on iPhone. Before you use iCloud free service to save WhatsApp backups, you need to enable it from your iCloud Settings on iPhone. Go to iPhone Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data, turn on Documents & Data and enable WhatsApp to store documents and data in iCloud. Optionally you can enable or disable Use Cellular Data. If you turned on Cellular Data for iCloud backup, it may occur a fee. To avoid potential data costs, disable the Use Cellular Data for iCloud backup option and connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network to backup or restore your WhatsApp documents and data.

Enable WhatsApp backup via iCloud

Step 2. Open Settings in WhatsApp

Run WhatsApp on iPhone. From the bottom of WhatsApp main screens, you should find the Settings icon on the bottom right corner. Tap to open Setting in WhatsApp, you will get a window like this.

whatsapp settings on iphone

Step 3. Open Chat Settings in WhatsApp

When you are at the WhatsApp Settings window, you should find a Chat Settings item in the middle, which is just below Account and above Notifications, see above screenshot. Choose Chat Settings in WhatsApp.

Step 4. Select Chat Backup in WhatsApp

Once you opened the Chat Settings following above step 3, you can find the Chat Backup option for WhatsApp on iPhone.

whatsapp chat settings on iphone

Step 5. Backup Chat History in WhatsApp

Now you are at the Chat Backup window where you can back up WhatsApp Chat history, messages or conversations. WhatsApp on iPhone allows you to schedule auto backup. To do that, tap on the interval settings besides the Auto Backup to select how often you like WhatsApp to backup your chats, messages. You can also manually backup WhatsApp messages anytime from here. Tap on the Back Up Now butto to instantly create a backup or save a copy of all your WhatsApp chat history, including WhatsApp messages, conversations, attachments, documents and app data. Your media files, except videos, will be backed up as well.

backup whatsapp chat on iphone

If you can’t find the backup size, messages numbers, photos numbers, or can’t backup your WhatsApp, it means you have not enabled iCloud storage for WhatsApp on iPhone. You need to be signed into iCloud and have “Documents & Data” set to ON. Scroll up to the first step to enable WhatsApp backup via iCloud.

Restore WhatsApp Chat history (messages, documents, data)

Once you backed up your chat history to iCloud. You can restore Whatsapp chat history (messages, conversations, documents, data) when you reinstall WhatsApp. When you delete WhatsApp from iPhone, install it again, you will be prompted to enter your phone number at the first place, when WhatsApp service will search for your account information, if any backups of your WhatsApp account found, you will be then redirected to a Restore chat history screen:
“Restore your chat history from iCloud. You will not be able to restore later if you decline to restore now.

Tap on the Restore chat history button to download and restore the iCloud backup of your WhatsApp account.

How to backup WhatsApp messages to computer through Email?

iCloud can backup WhatsApp history (chats, messages, conversations, photos, documents and other data). However the backups will be uploaded to Apple iCloud servers. If you like to backup WhatsApp to computer, you can simply email the WhatsApp chats or conversations to yourself. Then download the WhatsApp backup to Mac or PC computer through email. This is convenient to backup WhatsApp to computer. As you do not need an iCloud account, or any other transfer or backup tools for WhatsApp. As long as you have an email account, you can do the backup by yourself.

Step 1. Open the Chats Window in WhatsApp for iPhone

Run WhatsApp for iPhone, then switch to the Chats windows if other window opens automatically. You can find the Chats from the bottom of WhatsApp main screen.

whatsapp chats on iphone

From the above WhatsApp Chats screen, select the contact you have previous conversation with, you will open the conversation with the selected WhatsApp contact.

whatsapp chats info on iphone

Step 2. Email WhatsApp conversation from iPhone

Tap on the Info button to open Contact Info window like below.  At the bottom of this screen, there will be an Email Conversation button or link. Tap on it, you will be prompted whether to attach media files to the email or not. If you like to backup WhatsApp messages from iPhone to computer without the media files, choose the Without Media option. If you like to transfer WhatsApp photos, videos and documents to computer as well, choose the Attach Media option. After that you will open a new email, you can compose the email and choose yourself as the receipient and send the email from iPhone.

email whatsapp conversation on iphone

Step 3. Download WhatsApp messages and conversations to computer

Now log on your email account on your PC or Mac, find the email with your WhatsApp conversations and attachments, download and save your WhatsApp chats history onto your computer for backup. Unlike those backups on iCloud, the WhatsApp backup on computer sent through emails can’t be restore to your iPhone. You can only transfer the WhatsApp photos, videos or other documents to iPhone but not into existing WhatsApp conversations, unless you share them again using WhatsApp. The WhatsApp messages backups can’t be restored to iPhone neither.

Back up WhatsApp chats and files to computer

You can also make use of a iOS data backup tool to easily extract WhatsApp data from iPhone to your PC or Mac. As this requires another article, we will not discuss into details here. If interested, you can refer to this tutorial to back up WhatsApp chats and files from iPhone to computer. This solution works for both Windows and Mac OS X users. Your Whatsapp messages and received files will be exported to PC or Mac as user-friendly files.

More WhatsApp Restore Guides:

  1. Sometimes you have accidentally deleted messages, conversations or documents in WhatsApp without any prior backups either through iCloud or Emails. If you want to restore those deleted WhatsApp data or files, you can refer to this guide to recover WhatsApp messages without backups for iPhone or this guide to recover WhatsApp messages on Android without backups.
  2. WhatsApp is full of good features except making free calls, sending instant messages. For example, you can transfer videos between mobile phones using WhatsApp, share mobile contacts, photos and more files using WhatsApp. The power resides in WhatsApp for mobile is immense. No wonder so many mobile phone users consider it as the first-rate instant messenger.
  3. If you are using WhatsApp on Android, check out this guide instead: how to backup WhatsApp on Android?