If you are considering moving away from the WhatsApp messaging app but would like to keep your messages, conversations and memories for posterity. This quick guide will show you how to export your WhatsApp chats and your chat history, allowing you to safely delete your WhatsApp account, knowing that you have everything still available to read in a handy archive.
You can’t regain access to your account once it has been deleted
This method can be used on Android and iOS but it is also worth remembering that you can’t regain access to your account once it has been deleted. It might also take up to 90 days from the beginning of the deletion process to delete your WhatsApp account information says Facebook or rather now Meta. Copies of your information may also remain after the 90 days in the backup storage that we use to recover in the event of a disaster, software error, or other data loss event. Although the information isn’t available to you on WhatsApp during this time.
WhatsApp Users can still see messages you sent to them
Another important note is that it doesn’t affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them. Meta may also keep certain log data in its databases even after you delete your account, “but such data will be disassociated from any identifying information such that it can no longer be linked to your account. To do this, on a regular basis, we wipe certain identifying information from this log data, and we replace any instance of your account ID with a replacement identifier which cannot be linked back to your account once it is deleted” explains Meta.
To delete your WhatsApp account while also saving your data, follow these steps:
Step 1: Export your WhatsApp chats
1. Open WhatsApp and go to the ‘Settings’ option.
2. Select Chats.
3. Tap on Chat backup.
4. There, select ‘Back up to Google Drive’ and choose the backup frequency to ‘Only when I tap Back up‘.
5. Tap on Account to select the Google account where you want to save your backup. If you don’t have a Google account, tap on ‘Add account’ to create one.
6. Tap on ‘Back Up’ to start your Google Drive backup.
This step may take some time, depending on the amount of data that you need to back up.
Step 2: Export your chat history
WhatsApp also allows you to export a copy of individual or group chats histories to your email:
1. Open the chat you wish to export.
2. Tap on More options (three dots at the top right corner).
3. Choose More and then Export chat.
4. You will be asked if you want to export with media or without media. Choose accordingly.
5. After this, choose the platform through which you want to send your chat history (email, Google Drive, etc.).
Please note that this process must be repeated for each chat you wish to export. Also, because of maximum email sizes, you may not be able to send a history with all the media files.
Step 3: Delete your WhatsApp account
1. Open WhatsApp and tap ‘More options’ (three dots at the top right corner).
2. Go to Settings.
3. Select Account.
4. Tap Delete my account.
5. You will be asked to enter your phone number in full international format.
6. After entering your phone number, tap on Delete my account.
7. Select a reason for deleting your account from the dropdown.
8. Tap ‘DELETE MY ACCOUNT’.
Deleting your account will erase your message history, delete you from all of your WhatsApp groups, and delete your Google Drive backup. It’s a good idea to ensure you’ve exported all your necessary data before performing this step.
If you are interested in learning more about the information that Meta retains after you delete your WhatsApp account jump over to the official WhatsApp Help Centre website for more information and instructions for different platforms.
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