I read the thread Accessing WhatsApp iCloud backup? and did all Kanthala Raghu explained to reveal icloud whatsapp backup in terminal. But what I get is only a list in terminal after typing cd ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/find whatsapp. Like these: 57TXXXXX~net~whatsapp~WhatsApp 57TXXXXXX~net~whatsapp~WhatsApp/Documents But how do I download them to my mac ? Now I can only see they exist on the terminal console...thanks for your help

  • The answer you indicate also says how to download and untar the files. What happens after you do that step?
    – fsb
    Jun 15, 2020 at 12:01
  • Sorry I'm very new to terminal command. After typing "cd ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/find whatsapp" I only see these 2 things: -57TXXXXX~net~whatsapp~WhatsApp -57TXXXXXX~net~whatsapp~WhatsApp/Documents (I put XXX instead of numbers) I can't see any .tar
    – Ted525
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:09

2 Answers 2


The files are already downloaded to your Mac. The folder you're searching is on your local Mac.

As explained in the answer you've linked, the backups are stored as tar archives (tar being a program that can bundle multiple files in one archive file). You can do as they instruct:

cp *whatsapp*/Accounts/*/backup/*.tar ~/AFolderIChoose

Create the "AFolderIChoose" folder in your home directory before running the command. You should then see that folder populated with the backup archives. You can double them in Finder to unpack them.

  • I just created a folder at the first level of my home folder (the user folder). Typed cp whatsapp*/Accounts/*/backup/.tar ~/AFolderIChoose (With the right name of my folder) but I get this: cp: whatsapp*/Accounts/*/backup/.tar: No such file or directory :(( Thanks for your help
    – Ted525
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:13
  • 1
    @Ted525 You have the command text wrong; you're missing * before the tar command. You have to follow the command exactly.
    – fsb
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:46
  • I typed cp whatsapp*/Accounts/*/backup/.tar ~/GoodFolder (which is the name of my folder). But I get this: cp: whatsapp*/Accounts/*/backup/.tar: No such file or directory. As I said above I After typing "cd ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/find whatsapp" I only see these 2 things: -57TXXXXX~net~whatsapp~WhatsApp -57TXXXXXX~net~whatsapp~WhatsApp/Documents (I put XXX instead of numbers). Does it means the backup are existing or maybe not ? You can't imagine how much finding those backup are important for me. I thank you so much for your help.
    – Ted525
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:52
  • Copy the command exactly as written. The * you missed before .tar makes the difference between a command that works, and one that does nothing at all.
    – jksoegaard
    Jun 15, 2020 at 17:28
  • I did put the * in terminal. I copy and paste the command, just replacing the name of my folder. I also checked the spaces between letters. The* don't show up in my messages ! don't know why because I also cut and pasted, they do appear on terminal. I'm trying again and again with no luck.I only see in the list 2 lines. Are the .tar inside those folders ? : -57TXXXXX~net~whatsapp~WhatsApp -57TXXXXXX~net~whatsapp~WhatsApp/Documents. Then type: cp whatsapp*/Accounts/*/backup/.tar ~/NameOfMyFolder and I get : No such file or directory .I also tried to search using EasyFind but nothing...
    – Ted525
    Jun 16, 2020 at 7:26

Another way is restore the backup directly on iphone.

  • Question asks ‘how do I download them to my Mac?’
    – grg
    Mar 13, 2021 at 8:47

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