Recover deleted WhatsApp messages from iPhone using iTunes and iCloud backups - iPhone Backup Extractor
Recover WhatsApp menu icon

How to recover deleted WhatsApp messages

Our complete guide for WhatsApp message recovery.

Difficulty: easy

Steps: up to 3

Time needed: 5 minutes

How to get your WhatsApp messages back from an iPhone

With over a billion users, WhatsApp is one of the most globally popular messaging apps. As with any other data on your iPhone, WhatsApp chats are important, and losing them can be a pain. iPhone Backup Extractor can undelete WhatsApp conversations from all iOS devices. Here's how to get your lost data back in few steps, if you’ve lost your iPhone or accidentally deleted WhatsApp messages.

WhatsApp messages can be recovered from an iPhone in 4 steps:

  1. Download and install iPhone Backup Extractor
  2. Find a suitable iTunes or iCloud backup
  3. Use iPhone Backup Extractor to recover the messages ...even if they were deleted before the backup was taken


What can be recovered








You'll need


A Windows PC or Mac


An iCloud backup and credentials


Or an iTunes backup


iPhone Backup Extractor

WhatsApp conversations aren't stored on WhatsApp's servers, so it's not possible to restore them directly from the app itself. The good news is that by using an iTunes or iCloud backup, you can extract the messages you had stored on your iPhone or iPad.

Not sure what backups you have? Check here:

  • iTunes backups: if you didn’t enable iCloud backups on your device, iTunes backups are automatically created when you sync your iPhone with iTunes, and you should have one in your default backup folder. If you’re not sure whether you have an iTunes backup, iPhone Backup Extractor will be able to show you.

  • iCloud backup: to check if you have an iCloud backup, open Settings on your iPhone, and in the first menu, tap iCloud. At the bottom of the iCloud Drive screen you should see Backup - tap that. If iCloud backup is "on", then you'll see information about the date and time of the last backup. *Don't hit "backup now", as that will overwrite your current backup!

screen icloud

Before starting, make sure your device will not overwrite your last backup. To do this, check that your device is not charging or connected via USB (iCloud backups can be updated and overwritten automatically if the device is connected to Wi-Fi, charging, and locked).

Here are the steps you'll need:

Step 1. Download and install the free edition of iPhone Backup Extractor

You can get it for Mac or Windows PC. (If you plan to use an iCloud backup for recovery, you’ll need to buy a licence of iPhone Backup Extractor for full iCloud access.)

Step 2. Select the backup that contains your data

If using an iTunes backup

iPhone Backup Extractor will automatically check for backups located in your default backup folder. If your backup is located in a different location, select the folder by clicking the button "Add backups".

iTunes WhatsApp add backups

If using an iCloud backup

Click the "Add iCloud backups" text in the app's iPhone backup browser, on the left-hand side of the app, and then sign in to iCloud using the window that pops up. You'll need your iCloud username and password.


If multiple backups are available from iTunes or iCloud, select the one containing your WhatsApp messages from the list of backups shown on the left-hand side of the app. If you have an encrypted iTunes backup, you'll need to enter your backup password.

Step 3. Recover your WhatsApp messages with a click

With the iTunes or iCloud backup loaded into iPhone Backup Extractor, you'll be able to see the number of WhatsApp messages found in your backup in the ”Overview” section.

iTunes whatsapp extract

Click on the WhatsApp icon to extract your messages. iPhone Backup Extractor will ask you which format you’d like to get your data in, PDF, CSV or HTML (CSV option will save all your messages as text in a single file without any images, while HTML option will save them in separate files, allowing you to open them in a browser). We'd recommend you extract your data in PDF, as it's easiest to read anywhere.

whatsapp html

Then you’ll have to select the location where you want to export the files. Click OK and the folder with your messages will open. That's it!

Alternately, once your backup has been selected, you have 3 other ways to see your WhatsApp messages and attachments: "Preview", "Expert" or "App view" modes:

  • The "Preview" mode allows you to preview WhatsApp messages and their attachments. Click on "WhatsApp", and you will see a list of all possible messages that can be extracted in the right hand side. Select messages with attachments, click on "Extract", and chose a location to save them. Messages are extracted as HTML, whilst images and videos are saved in a separate folder called "Data".

    WhatsApp attachments preview mode

  • In "App View" mode, select "WhatsApp Messenger" and click on the link next to "All Files". Then pick a location where you need to extract the attachments. You'll find your data in Library > Media folder.

    Recover WhatsApp app view mode

  • In "Expert Mode", access the following path Application Domain > net.whatsapp.WhatsApp > Library > Media. The "Media" folder contains all the WhatsApp attachments. Choose the Media folder then click on "Extract" to save your WhatsApp attachments.

    Extract WhatsApp images videos

WhatsApp photos recovery

Supported iOS versions, backups and devices

iPhone Backup Extractor is fully compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and any macOS version from 10.7 and above. See below:


Compatible with all iOS devices

iPhone 4, 4S, iPhone 5, 5C, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, 6S, 6S Plus, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus


It works with all iOSes

iOS 11, iOS 10, iOS 9, iOS 8, iOS 7 and lower


Full support for all backups

Corrupted backup, iCloud backup, 2FA iCloud backup, Encrypted backup

Data privacy and security

With more than 8 years of experience, Reincubate adheres fully to the strictest data privacy laws. Your iCloud credentials are not stored in any way on any third party server or on our servers. The connections are encrypted and secured. iPhone Backup Extractor is clean of adware, viruses or spyware.

iCloud and iTunes support
No viruses
Compatible with all iOS devices

Help us improve 😊

Can we improve this guide and help others recover more of their data, or have we helped you with your recovery? We’ve been doing this for 10 years but there’s always room to improve, and we love hearing how people get on. Why not drop us an email at the address below, or tweet us @reincubate?

Ready to test it with your iPhone?

See what iPhone Backup Extractor can do for you.

30 day money back guarantee
All iOS versions
Every iPhone, iPad and iPod

Why trust us?

Here's a photo of our founder Aidan (the tall guy) meeting Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, after Reincubate was awarded the UK’s highest business award for our work since 2008 on developing this technology. We invented the iPhone Backup Extractor, the first tool on the market for iOS data recovery. We're on a mission to help people make the most of their data in an ethical, transparent way.

Read more about Reincubate

Reincubate's CEO at Buckingham Palace

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Reincubate is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Terms & conditions. Privacy Policy. It's your data, not ours. We recommend 2FA.


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iTunes support

Works with Windows and Mac

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Preview iCloud device list




iCloud and iTunes support

Works with Windows and Mac

Customer support

5 iCloud devices


This is iPhone Backup Extractor, think of it as a "personal forensics" utility. It's pretty awesome.

Jonathan Zdziarski

Forensics and iOS expert

For business and pro users



25 iCloud devices

High priority customer support

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