WhatsApp backup: end-to-end encryption now possible

More security and data protection

In the beta version of WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption was tested for the backup. Now it’s official.


WhatsApp: Tips for beginners and professionals
WhatsApp backup: now also end-to-end encrypted
© Alex Ruhl / shutterstock.com

WhatsApp is constantly testing new features in the beta version. In the past few weeks, this also included end-to-end encryption for the chat backup. According to Facebook, this function should now be available to all WhatsApp users.

The chats can now be encrypted in the backup. Either with your own password or a 64-digit key. The backup is then encrypted and uploaded to Google Drive and iCloud. Neither the backup provider nor WhatsApp should be able to read the backup or use the necessary encryption.

If the user decides on a password, the encryption is verified by means of a hardware security module in the cloud. This should protect the code from third parties. The 64-digit key works without the module. This must therefore be stored locally somewhere securely so that you can access this encryption again and again.

The end-to-end encryption must be activated by the WhatsApp user. This is possible in the following steps:

  1. Open the settings on WhatsApp.
  2. Go to Chats and then select Chat Backup. Then go to end-to-end encrypted backup.
  3. Now tap on next and follow the instructions to create a password or generate a key.
  4. Then click done and wait for WhatsApp to activate the encrypted backup. This can take a few minutes.

WhatsApp: Use encrypted backup

When using the encrypted backup, you should note that you cannot change the password or the key or request a new one. If you forget your code, the WhatsApp backup cannot be restored.

If you want to deactivate the function again, follow these steps:

  1. Open the settings on WhatsApp.
  2. Go to Chats and then select Chat Backup. Then go to end-to-end encrypted backup.
  3. Click turn off.
  4. WhatsApp will ask you to enter the password or key.
  5. Once you have done this, you have to confirm again that you want to switch the function off.

End-to-end encryption in WhatsApp backup

Trustworthy messages or data exchanged in WhatsApp’s chat can now be protected from third parties with this function. The messenger service thus enables the next feature for improved user privacy.

Anyone who uses this function should be aware that you should memorize the password or key for encrypting the backup or write it down somewhere securely in order not to access the chat backup to lose.

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