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I was wondering. Suppose you are a member of a WhatsApp group. You may or may not have created that group. What happens if someone grabs your phone and maliciously deletes the messages or the group and you want the whole chat back?

If you are the group creator, can you simply request someone else that was part of the group to add you back by sending them a message to delete your name from the group and add you back?

Thanks.

P.S.: I only have one phone and one SIM card so I cannot try this out for myself as also I don't think my contacts would be bothered to go along and try this with me. Thank you for helping me figure this out. I hope that if someone answers this question it will be of help to others.

Thanks.

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    One option would be to backup data. Restoring the data would restore all the chats and messages. But you'll have to look out that the update in cloud is not changed after the messages are deleted, otherwise you'll have no chance to get them back. – BuddingPhysicist Dec 5 '17 at 10:31
  • Yes, that's a real problem. I'm now looking for a program that will do incremental WhatsApp backups because of just part of a message is deleted and then a backup is performed the backup will be permanently lost. – Neil Zaneil Dec 7 '17 at 9:07
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You will still be part of the group unless the one that deleted your messages also pressed "exit group". In that case all you have to do is ask the group admin to add you back, or use the group link to get back in.

The method you're suggesting to retrieve the messages is not going to work. Because when you join a WhatsApp group, wether you're new, or returning member, you do not get any messages that were previously posted in that group.

This is because WhatsApp doesn't store your messages in a cloud. It stores them on your phone, and it makes a backup to Google drive and into your phone, but those will not show up if you rejoin a group.

There are a few options to get your group message history back.

Option 1. The easiest would probably be to ask one of the members to email you the chat history.

The member would have to open the group chat, press on the three dots menu on the top right then press "more" -> "email chat" enter your email address and send.

This will send you a PDF file of all the message, and you will not be able to see those messages in WhatsApp. (To have the message show up in your WhatsApp chat, go to option 2 or 3)

Option 2. Restore your Google drive backup.

First, check to make sure that no backup was made after you deleted the messages. To do that go to WhatsApp settings>chats>chat backup, now on the top left of your page, it will tell you the last time a Google drive backup was made. If the date is after you have lost the chats, then move to option 3.

(Using this option, you will lose the message you have written since the last backup)

Go to settings->apps -> WhatsApp -> storage -> clear data.

Then, open WhatsApp and follow the regular registration process. When it asks if you want to retrieve your backups, press yes.

You will now have the messages that you have lost.

Option 3 follow the instructions on the WhatsApp FAQ page, to restore messages from local storage.

  • What group link? Won't the group link be gone if I press "exit group"? Where would I find this "group link"? Thanks. – Neil Zaneil Dec 7 '17 at 9:08
  • As for option three, if you could please confirm that a local backup is only good for up to a week of chats, unless the database is renamed thorough a file manager app or similar, I will accept your answer. Presumably uninstalling and reinstalling WhatsApp will find the most recent seven-day history and restore it, but everything else will be lost. Please let me know whether I understood this part correctly as I am not completely or entirely sure about this. Thank you for time and effort. – Neil Zaneil Dec 7 '17 at 9:22
  • @NeilZaneil here's some info on group links. It's something that the admin of a group could send to you so you can join the group. As for your second question, I'll explain it like this: WhatsApp makes a local backup at 2 am every night. It backs up everything you have in WhatsApp at the time of backup. Being that it makes a backup every night, WhatsApp deletes the older backups and only keeps them for 7 days. This means that if you deleted something 2 weeks ago, then the backups that are available now, will not have those chats anytime. – aBochur Dec 7 '17 at 19:42
  • So if you restore the latest backup it will have all the chats that you have written up to last night at 2. This includes any history that you haven't deleted. It could go back as far as 8 years of history. The point of option 3, is that if you lost any chats on Monday, and you only realized this in Tuesday, then restoring your messages from the latest backup will not restore them because they got deleted before the last backup. And therefore you would use the method to restore backups made on Sunday night which includes the deleted chat. Hope i didn't confuse you even more – aBochur Dec 7 '17 at 19:48

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