[Full Guide] How to Restore WhatsApp from SD Card

If you have a backup of WhatsApp on SD card, you will find detailed steps in this guide to restore WhatsApp from SD card to your Android phone.

Demi by Demi Updated November 20, 2023
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If you have lost your WhatsApp data and want to restore it from an SD card backup, don't worry. This guide will show you how to restore WhatsApp from SD card on your Android phone.

WhatsApp icon

With just a few simple steps, you can easily recover all your WhatsApp chats, photos, and videos from a backup file stored on your SD card. Whether you lost your data due to a software update or accidental deletion, this guide has got you covered. Follow the steps below to know how to restore WhatsApp messages from SD card to Android phone.

Part 1. How to restore WhatsApp from SD card

Usually, your WhatsApp will be backed up to your Google Drive account. While, for fewer storage limitations, you can choose to backup WhatsApp to SD card. Depending on when you last backed up WhatsApp, we offer the following two options for you to restore WhatsApp backup from SD card.

Way 1. From the latest backup

If you are still using WhatsApp on your Android phone, it is recommended that you create the latest WhatsApp backup to SD card so that you can avoid data loss to the greatest extent. If not, you can skip to Way 2 to restore WhatsApp from a less recent backup.

Tips: If you fail to restore WhatsApp from backup, tap and go to view to troubleshoot.

How to backup WhatsApp to SD card
Step 1. Disable WhatsApp backup to Google Drive

• Open the WhatsApp app on Android phone > Tap three-dots icon > Choose Settings > Chats.

• Choose Chat backup > Tap Back up to Google Drive > From the pop-up menu, choose Never.

never backup WhatsApp to Google Drive

Step 2. Backup WhatsApp to SD card by backing to the Chat backup screen > Tap BACK UP to create a new WhatsApp backup to SD card.

WhatsApp backup button

How to restore WhatsApp backup from SD card
Now, you can follow the steps below to restore the latest WhatsApp local backup on your Android phone.

Step 1. On your Android phone, uninstall the WhatsApp app and re-download WhatsApp from Google Play Store.

Step 2. Open WhatsApp, and follow the onscreen instruction to set up the app > If prompted, verify your phone number by entering the 6-digit code.

Step 3. Tap RESTORE button to restore all your WhatsApp chats.

restore WhatsApp from local backup

Way 2. From a less recent backup

If you don’t have a recent WhatsApp backup, you can still restore WhatsApp from a less recent backup saved in your SD card. Here are the steps.

Step 1. On your Android phone, open the My Files app > Choose SD card.

Step 2. Navigate to WhatsApp > Databases > From the Databases folder, see if you can find a WhatsApp backup file without date. If not, select the most recent WhatsApp backup file and remove its Date.

e.g. If the file is in msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt 12 format > Tap More Rename > Rename the file to msgstore.db.crypt 12.

WhatsApp backup files

Step 3. Finally, re-install and set up WhatsApp > Verify your phone number and tap RESTORE to get back the chats and media from local backup.

Part 2. Quick fixes to restore WhatsApp from SD card not working

WhatsApp not detecting local backup is the most likely problem you may encounter during the process of restoring WhatsApp from SD card. The issue can happen if you input incorrect phone number, the backup files are corrupted, and so on. To get rid of the issue, here are some solutions you can try.

1# Check the storage permissions of WhatsApp
Make sure your WhatsApp app has permission to read your internal storage, so that it can detect your backup files in SD card.

Tap and hold WhatsApp until you see the drop-down menu > Tap i icon > Select Permissions > Make sure the Storage permission is turned ON.

check WhatsApp permission

2# Place the backup files in the correct location
It’s possible that the files were moved to an incorrect location. The files should be at the right place. Otherwise, the WhatsApp won’t know that you’re trying to restore the backup.

As it has shown in the first part, your WhatsApp backup files should be saved in SD card (or Internal Storage) > WhatsApp > Databases

3# Log in to the same account
You need to make sure that you are using the same WhatsApp account. If you created the backups while logged in from another number and tried to restore them while logging in from another, this function will not work.

4# Check if your SD card readable
Lastly, make sure your SD card readable so that the backup files in SD card can be available on your Android phone. Just in case, you can remove the SD card from your Android phone and wipe the part of the reading strip with a clean paper towel. This will avoid the problem of SD card not being read due to humidity or oxidation.

Part 3. Restore WhatsApp messages without backup

If you haven’t backed up WhatsApp to SD card in time, you may experience some data loss when restoring WhatsApp from SD card. In this scenario, you might use data recovery software to retrieve WhatsApp messages without a backup.

Here we take AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS as an example. It allows you t choose and restore wanted WhatsApp files without overwriting previous files on your phone. Here are the steps.

Step 1. Download, install, and launch AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS > Connect your phone to computer.

Connect iOS Device

Step 2. Click Scan Now to scan your deleted and lost data from iPhone.

Click Scan Now

Step 3. And then select the data types under the Scan option, click Recover.

Select Contacts and Click Recover


In conclusion, if you have the latest backup for WhatsApp that saved in the SD card, it can be a simple process to restore WhatsApp from SD card. Hope this guide is helpful for you. And please remember to regularly backup your WhatsApp to avoid losing any important information.

Of course, if you want to be able to safely back up your WhatsApp data and easily restore them when you need to, you may need a more professional tool. We highly recommend using free FoneTool, the best iPhone file and app backup software, the simple interface and operation make it easy to operate.

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