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Whatsapp 2.20.108 on Android 9

I try to export a chat with media. I export it either to gmail or gdrive. (please note the difference: You can backup and export to gdrive. I'm interested in the export functionality)

For some chats, it works; but for other chats, only a few media are exported instead of all. Also the chat messages are not always exported properly. For example, for one chat, only messages after June 2018 are exported, but not the older ones.

What's going on here? Can this be changed? I want to save all the chat text and all pictures, videos, audio, documents.

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tl:dr; It's a WhatsApp limitation and there seems be to no workaround.

  • Whatsapp export by mail has limitations. WhatsApp FAQ says
  • If you choose to attach media, the most recent media sent will be added as attachments.

  • When exporting with media, you can send up to 10,000 latest messages. Without media, you can send 40,000 messages. These constraints are due to maximum email sizes.

A maximum of the last 10.000 messages are sent. However, if you have some videos or images, the number of exported messages might be much smaller.

WhatsApp will start creating a “package” with the latest Media files and text. It will put the last media files and messages first and then will stop when approximately 18 Mb of data have been packaged.

  • If you have some videos in your chat, this could mean that you have two or three videos, some pictures and only one week of chat.

  • If you have basically many pictures, you will be able to export about 50 to 75 pictures and a few months of chat.

  • In case that you do not have many media files, you will be able to export a maximum of 10.000 messages with this system

  • I couldn't find any such limitations for export to Google drive in whatsapp FAQ or on my search on the net but going by this issue on Google support and fair number of people who up voted this complaint, it seems to be common. As you can see, Google has washed their hands off and pointed to WhatsApp. You may like to raise this issue with WhatsApp and post your findings here to cover the Google Drive portion
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    Thanks for that comprehensive answer! This sheds more light into it. Yes, the export to google drive has also limitations. Seems that Whatsapp is always creating a package of limited size, regardless to which app you are sending it.
    – askolotl
    Apr 14 '20 at 10:26
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I wanted to backup and delete some groups I was on that were taking up lots of space on my phone. Here is a long method which I used:

  • Backup Whatsapp to GDrive as protection and switch off WiFi/3G so you can restore any screw up.
  • Install Webdav on the phone. Will now allow internal memory to be mapped as drive letter. Can also use FTP server app. Map drive letter on Windows
  • Webdav copy limit is 50MB files. Change to 4GB ( https://www.imageway.com/2017/email-hosting-blog/email-hosting-tutorials/increase-webdav-file-limit-in-windows)
  • Copy entire Whatsapp folder to PC e.g. Original
  • In whatsapp export chat without media as text file
  • Clear/Delete the chat. Wait for deletion to finish.
  • Copy Whatsapp to a new folder called Trimmed

Now some file manipulation depending on your preference.

  • Use "dir /b /s /a-d >Trimmed.txt" in the Trimmed directory root (need /a-d so directories are not listed)
  • Use text manipulation to turn the Trimmed.txt file into a batch file to delete the Trimmed file list from the Original folder.
  • The Original folder will now contain the files that were in that chat that you deleted

If you just wanted a copy of all files but want to keep the chat as it was then uninstall/reinstall Whatsapp and restore from GDrive and all will be back the way it was.

Alternative is root and decrypt Whatsapp database but it is too much work.

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