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My old phone just died on me yesterday. It used to backup the Whatsapp chat history to my main google account, which I also used to register the device.

Now I have a new phone, and I registered it to the same google account. After installing Whatsapp, I tried to restore the google drive backup to the new installation. However, when I try to enter my google account, it tells me "This account already exists on your device"

Somehow after switching apps, Whatsapp assumed I don't want to restore a backup, and now I'm stuck with no history.

Also, when I try to setup the google drive backup on my new device, it gives me the same error when I try to enter my google account; "This account already exists on your device". I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. Is it just impossible to backup whatsapp to an account already registered to the same device?

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Did you already add that Google account while setting up the phone? Please check Settings > Users & accounts if that account is already added. If it is, then try removing it and adding it again.

P.S: It may be called Accounts in older Android versions.

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After several unsuccessful attempts to get Whatsapp to use my main google account, I just left it as it was. After a few weeks, Whatsapp notified me by itself that I should set up a backup plan. At that time, it did allow me to select the account I wanted to use, without a hassle.

Looks like the problem fixed itself over time.

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