I ran into this weird situation, where:

  1. I backed up my WhatsApp to local storage, inside the Databases folder

  2. Then I changed my WhatsApp number (to another new SIM)

  3. Format my HTC Phone (HTC One E9+ Dual SIM).

  4. Copy back all WhatsApp folder back to the Internal Storage

  5. Re-install WhatsApp, but, all it asks me is this (below)

    Upon "Skip", nothing, no chat restored.

I have already renamed the database file as per Restoring your chat history to msgstore.db.crypt12 and also kept the same file with the name msgstore.db.crypt. But, it simply, doesn't even detect it & asks nothing as backup found/restore.

Any guess/idea?


6 Answers 6


Disclaimer: this solution is offered to those who as myself found this post via googling for "whatsapp not restoring local backup", I have not changed my number.

I've tried giving permissions before Whatsapp starting as advised in other answer, but to no success, restarted my phone - again no success. But then I noted "Whatsapp" folder as seen by android file manager contains only "Media" folder, whereas to my Linux mounted drive I copied all folders, which gave me a clue. I copied all "whatsapp" previous phone folder to some folder on the "new" phone via laptop and copied from there to "whatsapp" folder via internal android file manager app. Then Whatsapp found backup. Looks in my case the issue might have been with Linux-Android USB link.

ADDED: Android 11 release issue and solution:

WhatsApp is now in [Internal storage]/Android/media/com.whatsapp/WhatsApp/Databases - that you can check for yourself after installing it on a new phone (install first - not run yet, then copy files from old phone over to new one in that new folder, then start WhatsApp on new phone).

  • 2
    I wanted to confirm that this method works! Somehow the folder was moved from data/whatsapp to Android/media/com.whatsapp/WhatsApp. I had to copy the backups and databases folder and then it worked. Also this article helped me faq.whatsapp.com/android/chats/how-to-restore-your-chat-history (you can rename the backups if you want to restore a specific date)
    – Enrico
    Oct 21, 2021 at 8:55
  • 4
    I had to copy to this new folder and then give permissions in advance (see other answer). Thank you! Oct 27, 2021 at 21:53
  • 2
    @RobieBasak Thank you. Yes, the process is "Install WhatsApp without starting", "If started though, clear storage", "Copy WhatsApp folder over", "Give WhatsApp all necessary permissions", "Start WhatsApp". Let's go. Oct 24, 2022 at 16:18
  • This worked without granting Contacts permission. I did grant the media permissions, so I don't know if it would have worked without those. Jan 19 at 4:16

Android 11 release issue and solution:

In my case, after backing up the WhatsApp folder via USB and restoring it using the same method to the new phone, I discovered that WhatsApp was unable to find the backup in the path /data/media/0/WhatsApp (which is mapped to USB on my Android 11 Pixel 4a as "Internal Storage").

Moving the folder instead to /data/media/0/Android/media/com.whatsapp/WhatsApp did the trick for me. No permission changes were necessary. I did this via a root shell on a custom ROM, but it should also be possible on a regular phone to simply recreate the folder structure using the USB connection:

  • Force close WhatsApp
  • Go into app settings and clear WhatsApp's storage
  • Via USB, create Android folder if it's missing
  • Create media subfolder if it's missing
  • Create com.whatsapp subfolder if it's missing
  • Copy your WhatsApp folder to the com.whatsapp subfolder

I had problems with this too, and today finally it worked. I'm not sure which of the following additional steps did the trick, so I'll list both:

  1. I copied the entire WhatsApp folder over from the old phone to the new one (apparently the asker already did this).
  2. After installing WhatsApp, I gave the app all possible permissions before running it: under Settings/Apps, select WhatsApp, tap Permissions, and then select all permissions listed under "denied" and tap "allow" (you can revoke the permissions again after the backup is succesfully restored).

After doing this, running WhatsApp and confirming my phone number, I was finally prompted to restore the local backup. Before that, I had selected "give permission" in the popup from the screenshot above, then approved the permissions it asked for, but apparently this is only for the Google Drive restore. It looks like restoring a local backup only works if the permissions are already present?!

  • Hi you mention "Google drive restore". Strangely I could not find a way to give such permission via neither "app permissions", not in "drive" app. rawinfopages.com/tips/2015/10/… says to use drive.google.com address, but does not work on my Android. Do you know where is it? Aug 31, 2021 at 3:50
  • I had to copy to the new folder (see other answer) and then give permissions in advance. I then agreed to let it look in my Google Drive (even though I've never backed up there) and then it found the local backup. Thank you! Oct 27, 2021 at 21:53
  • I also had to disconnect Whatsup from Google Drive. Otherwise it would only attempt to restore from the drive which failed bacuse the backup never succeeded
    – RM.
    May 8, 2022 at 1:10

If your backup was made when you had a different phone number than the one you currently have, you will not be able to restore it. As found on https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/android/20887921/#restore

Restoring or transferring a backup

WhatsApp will ask you to restore your chats and media from a backup once you verify your number. Simply tap RESTORE when prompted to. If WhatsApp doesn't detect a backup, it could be because:

  • You aren't logged into the same Google account.
  • You aren't using the same phone number that was used to create the backup.
  • Your SD card or chat history is corrupted.
  • A backup file doesn't exist on the Google Drive account or locally on your phone.

Note: The easiest way to transfer data to a new phone is by using Google Drive. If you want to use a local backup, you'll need to transfer the files to the new phone using a computer, file explorer or SD Card. If your data isn't stored on the /sdcard/WhatsApp/ folder, you might see "internal storage" or "main storage" folders.

  • Thanks. Trying to get OLD SIM working :( BUt I already changed my number in whatsapp, but, yeah, backup was made with previous sim. Nov 7, 2018 at 19:14
  • I just want to be clear on the steps, please let me know if this is correct. 1. Made backup 2. Reset phone with new SIM 3. Installed WhatApp 4. Changed number connected to account in Whatsapp 5. Attempted Whatsapp restore
    – Lazer
    Nov 8, 2018 at 8:30

rob74's answer works.

With respect to this website, I will add icing above the cake for others with a similar problem - referencing to the asker step one to five - the right sequence should be:

  1. (2) I changed my Whatsapp Number (to another new SIM). Link: Change WhatsApp number
  2. (1) I backed up my Whatsapp to local storage, inside the Databases Folder
  3. (3) Format my HTC Phone (HTC One E9+ Dual SIM).
  4. (4) Copy back all Whatsapp Folder back to the Internal Storage
  5. Here, I use the solution number (2) from rob74

The option to restore from local data will pop up, just hit OK and done, continue like usual

For those with new phones:

  1. In the new phone, I install WhatsApp just so I know where to paste the copied data
  2. Uninstall WhatsApp. Even though it gave a warning that all data will be erased, it didn't erase my copied data.
  3. Same with above
  • 1
    It does not work for me with the latest version of whatsapp...it does have the names of the groups but not the conversations....aany suggestions?
    – Millemila
    Feb 14, 2021 at 5:50

Update: (July 6th, 2023):

New, Easier, Better Way To Transfer Your WhatsApp to A New Phone.

For Android:

What you need:

1- Android OS Lollipop 5.1, SDK 23 or above, or Android 6 or above installed on both your old and new Android phones.
2- Use the same phone number as your old phone on your new phone.
3- Your new phone must not be registered on WhatsApp until you start the migration on your old phone.
4- Your phones must be close to each other.
5- Both of your phones should be connected to a power source.
6- Both of your phones need to have WiFi enabled. They don’t need to be connected to a network. 7- Certain device permissions are required to initiate the transfer. Precise location permissions are required by the device in Android 12 and below, but WhatsApp does not collect your precise location.

On Old Phone:

1- Open WhatsApp on your old phone.
2- Tap More Options > Settings > Chats > Transfer chats > Start.
3- Accept requested permissions
4- prepare to scan the QR code that will be shown on your new phone.

On New Phone:

1- Download and then open WhatsApp on your new phone.
2- Go through the setup.
3- Tap Accept terms and conditions.
4- Verify your phone number.
5- Tap Start on Transfer chat history from old phone.
6- Accept requested permissions and then you’ll see a QR code.
7- On your old phone scan the QR code shown on your new phone.
8- Accept the invitation.


1- While your chat history is transferring, a percentage bar will track the progress.
2- Keep both phones unlocked and don’t leave WhatsApp.
3- Messaging is paused during the chat history transfer.
4- You can Cancel the process at any time.
5- Once the import is complete, tap Done.

For iPhone:

It is similar, and you can get detailed steps for both on the WhatsApp website if you cannot figure it out yourself.

Source: WhatsApp.com

OLD Stuff:

Disclaimer: This is based on my personal experience and it is NOT official. If you like to use it, do it at your own risk.

In addition to all the previous answers, and if WhatsApp ignored the local backup after canceling the google drive backup, one can try this:

When WhatsApp asks for google drive backup:

1- Close WhatsApp.
2- Put the phone on flight mode.
3- Run WhatsApp again.
4- When asks for google drive Skip.
5- Now Local backup should be recognized.
6- Reconnect to the Internet.
7- Go on and restore the local backup.

It is important that you use the same phone number to restore, so either:

1- Change the phone number on the old phone before the backup. or,
2- Use the old phone number to restore then change it on the new phone.

  • how did you work around the need to auth by phone number? that requires networking to request SMS token. You cannot do that in flight mode. Apr 28, 2023 at 20:26
  • 6- Reconnect to the Internet.
    – Shadi
    Apr 30, 2023 at 7:10

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