I set up my phone to automatically backup WhatsApp media to Google Photos. Now I want to print one of my conversations as a book using a service like Zapptales. The problem is, that all media, that has already been backed up, is no longer available:

'Sorry, this media file doesn't exist on your SD card.'

However, the photos and videos are all still available on Google Photos. Is there a way to restore certain or all WhatsApp media from there back to my device?

1 Answer 1


Downloading the photos, keeping the names the same and putting them back in the

/storage/emulated/0/WhatsApp/Media/WhatsApp Images/

folder will work for most of them. Some photos might have been resized or other meta data changed during the upload to google photos and so it might not work for all.

If you are talking about a large number of photos, then you can download ALL your google photos from here (could take a while):


to your PC, and then select all the ones with a WhatsApp-style name, e.g:


If you have set up google drive backup (Settings -> Chats -> Chat backup), then you might stand a chance by uninstalling WhatsApp, deleting the local backup from the phone, and allowing WhatsApp to retrive the backup from Google Drive. Before going to all that effort however, it is probably worth checking the size of the backup listed under (Settings -> Chats -> Chat backup). If it is large then it might contain all your photos. If it is small then it is unlikely to be worth the effort.

  • Thank you for the answer! Is there a way to filter for Whatsapp photos before downloading? I have several (probably hundreds) of GB of photos. Downloading them all is - almost - out of the question. It's hard to believe there's no way to figure out which folder photos were synced from or search for ones with certain name patterns inside Google Photos.
    – martin
    Sep 10, 2016 at 19:30
  • 1
    It is hard to believe isn't it. My Google photos is a complete mess of folders mixed together and there doesn't seem to be any way back. Anyway, the best I can come up with for downloading whatsapp photos is to go to Google photos, search for "IMG WA". Select all by clicking the first one, then scroll down, press shift and select the last one. Then download as a zip.
    – Mark Ch
    Sep 10, 2016 at 22:04

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