Over time, social media platforms across the internet have evolved tremendously. Sites established to serve one purpose have transformed into something entirely different. Facebook, for instance, was originally started as a website to connect Harvard students. But today, the site is an epitome of a full-fledged social media platform that allows users to message others, follow celebrities, post updates, read news, buy and sell products and services, and whatnot. You can find similar stories on many other social media sites.
One app, however, has remained stuck to its roots even after years of inception. Since the very beginning, WhatsApp has been a simple and secure messaging app at its core. True, there have been many updates and enhancements for WhatsApp as well. But most of them remain aimed at improving the overall messaging experience of the app. Messages constitute the heart and soul of WhatsApp.
Consequently, messages are essential for any WhatsApp user. But, what if you want to take a break from WhatsApp and switch to another messaging platform? Or, what if you just want to store some important conversation separately? In such situations, you can use the Chat Export feature of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp allows users to export their chats in a readable format. This is different from Chat Backups, which are encrypted. If you want to know all about exporting chats from WhatsApp, we want to tell you all about exporting chats from WhatsApp. In short, you have come to the right place.
Chat Exports vs. Chat Backups: What’s the difference?
Most users know about Chat Backups, as WhatsApp keeps reminding them now and then to back up their chats to Google Drive or iCloud. When it comes to exporting chats, there are no such reminders or prompts. As a result, many of you might not be familiar with the difference between the two.
The Export and Backup options can help you store your chats and shared media on your phone or online. But some major differences set them apart from each other.
For one thing, Backups are encrypted. No one – not even you – can view the messages and media stored in the backups outside WhatsApp. To read the messages, you need to restore them in WhatsApp using the same phone number you used when you backed them up.
On the contrary, exported chats are stored as a text file (in .txt format). You can store them anywhere and read them on your phone or computer using any web browser or other apps. Exported chats cannot be viewed inside WhatsApp.
How to Export WhatsApp Chats (up to 40,000 messages)
Exporting chats from WhatsApp is a fairly easy process. You can export your messages from a single chat at a time. Follow these steps to export your messages.
Step 1: Open WhatsApp on your phone.
Step 2: In the Chats tab, go to the individual or group Chat of which you want to export messages.
Step 3: On the chat screen, tap the three dots located at the top-right corner of the screen. A floating menu will appear.
Step 4: Select the last option More from the floating menu. This will show another set of options.
Step 5: Tap the fourth option, Export Chat.
Step 6: A pop-up will appear asking you if you want to include media in the export. If you want to include media, select INCLUDE MEDIA. Otherwise, tap WITHOUT MEDIA.
Note that including media will increase the size of your export and will restrict the maximum number of exported messages to 10000. If you choose to export the messages without the media, up to 40000 messages will be exported.
Step 7: Select how and where you want to send the exported files.
You can send these files as an email attachment, via Bluetooth, to Google Drive, or even to someone else via WhatsApp itself. To export another chat, go back and go to the other chat and repeat Steps 1 through 7.
Alternate Method for Android:
Step 1: Open WhatsApp and tap the three dots at the top-right corner.
Step 2: On the menu that appears, tap Settings.
Step 3: Select the Chats option on the Settings screen.
Step 4: Scroll down through the Chats page and select Chat History.
Step 5: Tap the first option, Export Chat.
Step 6: Choose the chat you want to export. You can only select one at a time.
Step 7: Choose whether you want to include media in the export.
Step 8: Select the method of sending the exported chat.
Step 1: Open WhatsApp on your iPhone.
Step 2: On the app, you will see five options at the bottom panel. Tap the last option, at the bottom-right corner, Settings.
Step 3: On the Settings page, select Chats.
Step 4: Tap Export Chat on the next screen.
Step 5: Then, you will be taken to the Choose Chat page. Select the chat you want to export.
Step 6: A pop-up will appear asking you to choose one of the two options Attach Media and Without Media. Select one of the two options as you wish.
Step 7: Select where you want to send the exported files.
The exported messages will be packed into a [.txt] file, whereas the media will be saved in the respective formats like .jpg for images, .mp4 for videos, .opus for voice messages, and so on.
In this way, you can export your chats from WhatsApp in an easily readable format. Sadly, you can export only up to 40000 messages for each chat. WhatsApp claims “these constraints are due to maximum email sizes.” But is it possible to somehow overcome these restrictions? That’s covered in the next section.