Whatsapp didn't restore local backup , where can I find them?
I wanted to clear&restore Whatsapp to make sure it deploys encrypted Google Drive backups. I've never done a Drive backup, only local.
I made a local backup on the fly, then wiped Whatsapp data using app settings.
I re-registered to WA but my chat history was totally blank! I found that the local directory
/sdcard/WhatsAppwas missing in Google Files app.
Panic again. I am now restoring a NAS backup of my WA directory, but I am surprised to see that, while last synchronization occurred one week ago, all backup files are dated April 25th 2021.
Questions: does WhatsApp still store data in
/sdcard/WhatsApp? Does it get deleted automagically when you clear WA data from settings? If I have to format my device and don't have Google Drive backups, what directories should I backup?
Have I lost months of chat history??
Pixel 5, Android 12
In the end, it was because the Android file system policy has changed. I'll share for reference.
Before Android 11, Whatsapp saved files under
Starting from Android 11, and anyways since someday around April 25th 2021, WhatsApp now stores data under
/storage/emulated/0/Android/media/com.whatsapp/WhatsAppto comply with A11 storage APIs.
I had FolderSync to sync all my
/sdcarddirectory. In my own case, except for
/sdcard/Androidbecause of file permissions issues. So while the
/sdcard/WhatsAppfolder was already gone on my device, the last sync was made on April 25th (WA backups chats every day).
In the end, I lost 6 months of chat, not 10 years.
More, there's a pitfall. Deleting app from settings wipes
/storage/emulated/0/Android/media/com.whatsapp, wiping backups and media. Uninstalling WA prompts for keeping or deleting data, but when you uninstall/reinstall WA you have to register again.
In the end, I'll have to open another question why WA didn't deploy e2e encrypted backups.