WhatsApp is now rolling out end-to-end encrypted chat cloud backups, enabling users to keep a copy of their messaging history without compromising their privacy. The feature is rolling out to users gradually while the company monitors the experience, ensuring any potential issues can be addressed before everyone has access to the backup option.
The encrypted cloud backups first arrived for some beta users this past summer, but most people didn’t have access to the feature. That changes today as WhatsApp kicks off the wider rollout, giving those who want it the option to store encrypted messaging logs on iCloud or Google Drive.
This is a key feature as it allows users to access their past messages even if they lose their phone. Though you may not want to keep everything you’ve ever sent, there may be some special moments and notable conversations in the mix that you don’t want to lose, and that’s where the cloud backups are useful.
The end-to-end encrypted cloud backups cover chat logs, video calls, voice messages, text-based messages, and media-based messages. Users are given the option of securing their encrypted backups with either a 64-digit encryption key or a password, neither of which are available to WhatsApp or anyone else unless you choose to share it with them.
You’ll need the latest version of WhatsApp on Android or iOS in order to access the new feature, though you’ll have to remain patient if you’re not seeing it yet. To access the feature, open Settings and then tap Chat > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup. You’ll be prompted to create a password or encryption key, after which point the backup process will start.