I uninstalled and reinstalled WhatsApp on my iPhone 6S Plus.

It appears as if my iCloud backups have not been working for the past month (even though it was set to back up the messages weekly), so I am missing messages from pretty much the entire month of November (some of which were pretty important).

I would imagine that I am out of luck regarding those messages, but I was wondering if there is still a way to recover them?


Usually, there are two ways to backup WhatsApp chats to iCloud.

  1. Within the WhatsApp settings, go to Chats and then Chat-Backup. There you have several options, e.g. automatically backup your Chats or exclude videos.
  2. In the settings App, head to Apple-ID, iCloud and then you will find iCloud-Backup. There you can select which apps and documents you want to backup to iCloud, i.e. you can backup all phone data and apps.

If you haven't select/used either one of the above backup options, then you are out of luck. They should both display the date and time when the last backup has been completed, so you should be able to check both.

In your case I assume you have not selected the chat backup method in WhatsApp, but the second one, backing up your complete iPhone. Yet, if the last successful backup was completed one month ago, there is no way to retrieve newer Chats.

As a general rule: If you are not 100% that your data is in a backup, never modify important apps and documents. Especially if your work relies on that. It is definitely worth it spending a - comparatively to the harm it may cause - little money on iCloud Backup or a hard-drive for local backups than to risk losing the data forever.

I know this refers to Mac (and TM), but in general - deepening on how important your data on your phone is - the same general backup procedures could be applied to your phone.

Note: There is still the option to backup to a computer. If you have done that, you can also restore the data from there.

  • The app was set to back up weekly. I have never had any problems with this (even going so far as to transfer data from my old phone a while back), and I never received a notification from the app that the backups were no longer being made, so I never figured it would be an issue. What I did do as a workaround was to ask my supervisor to forward the important messages to me. It is not ideal, but it works. – bob loblaw Dec 11 '20 at 2:06

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