Keeping Conversations Alive: A Guide to Exporting WhatsApp Chats on Android


I’m sorry for your loss. You’re looking to preserve the precious conversations with your late girlfriend, which are currently on WhatsApp, and you’re seeking a method to back them up independently of the app. Ideally, you’d like to have them in a format that’s easily accessible, such as PDF or HTML. You’re using a Pixel 5 with Android 11. Could you guide me on how to create a complete backup of WhatsApp conversations that bypasses the app’s export limitations?


1. Local Backup on Android:

WhatsApp automatically creates a local backup of your chats daily at 2 a.m. These backups are stored on your phone’s internal memory or external SD card. To access this backup:

  • Navigate to the `WhatsApp/Databases` folder on your phone.
  • Look for files named `msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12` (the date and number may vary).
  • Copy these files to a safe location.

2. Google Drive Backup:

WhatsApp also offers an option to back up your chats to Google Drive. To ensure you have the latest backup:

  • Open WhatsApp and go to `Settings` > `Chats` > `Chat backup`.
  • Tap on `Back Up` to create an immediate backup.
  • You can also set the frequency of the backup to daily, weekly, or monthly.

3. Exporting Chats:

While WhatsApp limits the number of messages you can export, you can still use this feature multiple times to save entire conversations:

  • Open the chat you wish to export.
  • Tap on the three dots in the top right corner and select `More` > `Export chat`.
  • Choose whether to include media or not, as including media will result in a larger file and more messages will be excluded due to size limits.
  • Repeat this process as many times as needed to cover all your messages.

4. Third-Party Apps:

There are several third-party apps available that can bypass WhatsApp’s limitations and create a complete backup in various formats like PDF or HTML. However, please be cautious and research the app’s reviews and permissions before using them, as they may pose security risks.

5. Manual Conversion to PDF/HTML:

If you’re technically inclined, you can manually convert the `.db.crypt12` files to a readable format using specific software designed for decrypting and reading WhatsApp backups. Once decrypted, you can print your chats or convert them to PDF or HTML format.

6. Professional Services:

If the above methods seem daunting, there are professional data recovery services that specialize in extracting and converting WhatsApp conversations into user-friendly formats. They can ensure that your conversations are preserved accurately and securely.

Remember to keep multiple copies of your backups in different locations to prevent data loss. And, if you choose to use third-party services, always prioritize your privacy and data security.

I hope this guide assists you in preserving the cherished conversations with your girlfriend. If you need further assistance or have any questions, feel free to ask. 🙏🏻

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