WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted chat backups: how it works

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Aina Prat Blasi
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WhatsApp is finally getting end-to-end encryption for chat backups to Google Drive and iCloud. Here's how to use the feature.

WhatsApp has been offering end-to-end encryption for messages for a few years now. This means that messages sent on the platform are fully encrypted and cannot be read by anyone in transit. However, WhatsApp backups on iCloud and Google Drive are not encrypted, which makes them potentially dangerous and insecure.

This is changing as Facebook announced it is rolling out end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp backups stored on iCloud and Google Drive.

Why encrypted backups are important

This is an important move from a security standpoint, especially since the content stored on Google Drive and iCloud are not encrypted. End-to-end encryption for backups will be available for WhatsApp users on both iPhone and Android. You can use a 64-bit encryption key or password to encrypt backups.

The feature isn't enabled by default, so you need to manually enable end-to-end encryption for your WhatsApp cloud backups. Nonetheless, this will provide you with additional peace of mind as no one will be able to access your WhatsApp backups without your encryption key or password.

Just make sure you remember your password or encryption key, as you won't be able to access your WhatsApp backups without them.

How to enable end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp backups

  • Open the menu Settings of WhatsApp on your Android or iPhone.
  • Go to Chat > ​​Backup chat > ​​Backup crittografato end-to-end .
  • Toccata Activate, then proceed with creating a password or encryption key for cloud backup.
  • Finally, tap Crea and wait for WhatsApp to create a backup, encrypt it and upload it to Google Drive or iCloud.

IPhone owners should note that an unencrypted version of their chat history is backed up to iCloud if they have enabled iCloud Backup. To make sure this doesn't happen, you need to disable iCloud Backup and only allow WhatsApp to upload backups directly to iCloud Drive.

How to disable encrypted backups of WhatsApp chats

You can turn off end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp from the same settings page, although you'll need to enter your password or encryption key to do so.

Enabling or disabling end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp backups will not affect the encryption of the messages you send or receive, as they will always remain encrypted.

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