Whether you believe them or not, WeChat says it does not store your chat history on its servers. If you change phone, that means all your old chats will disappear when you switch phones and will disappear forever when you factory reset your old phone before selling it or passing it on. That is unless you export your WeChat history.
We are used to having to copy across our files, contacts, SMS and other data from one phone to another. Both Apple and Google have made that as easy as possible with the various sync tools they offer but there is still manual copying to do. One of which will be your chat history.
Fortunately there are a couple of ways to back up and restore your chat history in WeChat. One uses your phone and one uses WeChat for PC.
Export your chat history in WeChat
This first method will need a little forward planning as it requires your old phone with all your chats on it to work. If you lose your phone or it gets stolen or broken, this won’t work. In those situations, nothing will work I’m afraid. You manually have to back up your chats in order to keep them.
If you still have your old phone, do this:
- Join both your old phone and new phone to the same WiFi network and make sure they are visible to each other.
- Open WeChat on your phone and select Me.
- Select Settings and Chats.
- Select Backup and Migrate Chats on the next screen.
- Select Migrate Chats to Another Device.
- Check the boxes next to the chats you want to export to your new phone or Select All at the bottom of the screen.
- Select Done when you’re ready.
- Log into WeChat on your new phone and scan the QR code on your old device.
Your chats should be exported as soon as the QR code is verified. If you haven’t scanned a QR code before, it’s simple.
- Log into WeChat as normal.
- Select the ‘+’ icon at the top of the main WeChat screen.
- Select Scan from the dropdown menu that appears.
- Point the phone camera at the QR code and let the camera scan.
Once complete, you will see a confirmation on screen telling you the scan was successful.
QR codes are used a lot in WeChat for adding friends so it’s a useful feature to get to know.
Export your WeChat chat history using PC
WeChat is predominantly a phone app but it also has a PC version. It installs onto your PC and works a bit like WhatsApp web only outside the browser. It’s a useful tool if you’re big into WeChat and don’t always have your phone to hand. One very useful feature is the ability to back up and export your chat history.
You will still need access to your old phone for this to work.
This works on Windows or Mac.
- Download and install WeChat for PC from here.
- Open the program and log in using your WeChat ID.
- Select the three line menu icon in the bottom left of the screen.
- Select Backup and Restore and Back up on PC.
- Select the Backup All option on your phone. This should appear as you finished Step 4.
- The Chat history will be saved to your computer.
- Select your new phone and log into WeChat on there.
- Select Restore on Phone from the PC app menu.
- Select all or specific chats to restore and select OK.
- Confirm by selecting Restore again on the phone.
A copy of your chat history should then be transferred from your computer backup to your new phone. Once complete, you can factory wipe your old one or do whatever you need to do with it.
Third party backup tools for WeChat
There are a bunch of backup tools that also say they can back up your chats from WeChat. While I’m sure they work, the app has its own tools built in so you don’t need to pay for a specific app for this job. If you have one already, I’m sure it will back up and export your chats perfectly well but you don’t need to buy one specifically for this use.
I don’t know if iTunes will back up your WeChat data if you use an iPhone or not. Do you use WeChat on iPhone? Can you tell us whether it backs up those conversations or not when you do a phone backup? Know of any other tools to back up and export WeChat data? Tell us below if you do!