Deleted a video you sent or received on WhatsApp? It’s not a big deal when the file is widely available on the Internet. But what if you deleted the video from your local or cloud storage, and solely relied on WhatsApp to keep it safe? Well, with billions of users, you’re not the only one this has happened to. Even better, WhatsApp has designed a failsafe, although you must have enabled this option in the app before you lost the videos in question. If you haven’t, don’t fret, you’re not out of options. Now that you stopped worrying, here’s how to recover WhatsApp videos.
1. Ask the sender/recipient in the WhatsApp chat
Got the “Sorry, this media file doesn’t exist on your internal storage“ error message when tapping on a video in a WhatsApp chat? The obvious solution is to ask the person you were chatting with to send the video again. If it’s the other way around and you were the sender, try to remember whether you tapped on Delete For Me or Delete For Everyone. If it’s the former, the solution is identical. Otherwise, move on to method 2 or 3.
2. Android only. Check your WhatsApp folder
Despite having a Files app, users of Apple devices have their access to internal memory heavily restricted. This applies to all operating systems, whether on iPhone, iPad, and iPod. If you’re an Android user, here’s where to find WhatsApp videos:
- Open the File Manager app.
- Go to Internal Memory or SD card folder.
This depends on where you installed WhatsApp.
- Find the WhatsApp directory, then go to Media.
- Explore the WhatsApp Videos folder.
- You’ll find the received videos in the base folder. Those you sent are in the Sent directory.
3. Steps to recover WhatsApp videos with backup
We spoke of the WhatsApp backup feature in our recovering WhatsApp chat guide. The same benefits apply to videos, but with the key difference mentioned in the introduction. If those requirements are fulfilled, simply uninstall WhatsApp, then install it again. The videos will be downloaded from iCloud/Google Drive alongside chat after you verify your identity.
Enable uploading videos to the cloud in WhatsApp
If you haven’t enabled this option in the past, do it this time to prevent losing videos on WhatsApp in the future. Here’s how to turn on video uploading to the cloud in WhatsApp::
- Tap on Settings.
It’s at the bottom of the window on the iOS and top right corner, three-dot menu on Android.
- Tap on Chats, then Chat backup.
- Make sure Back up to Google Drive/iCloud is enabled. Also, double-check that the right Apple ID/Gmail account is selected.
- Recommended. Put Back up over to Wi-Fi only if you are on a limited mobile data plan.
- On Android. Put a checkmark in the empty box next to Include videos by tapping.
- On iOS. Toggle the switch next to Include videos to on.
4. Guide to recover WhatsApp videos without backup
If you don’t have a cloud backup and the videos are gone from the storage, WhatsApp can’t assist you further. Thankfully, if you’re desperate, there’s a last resort option. To understand how it works, you should know that when you delete a file, it isn’t truly gone. The operating system marks it as deleted, true. However, the files are only replaced when you copy something over or continue to use your smartphone over time. This is where the best data recovery software for Android and best software for recovering data on iOS come in. As long as you act quickly and hold back on filling the space, there’s a good chance of retrieving WhatsApp videos you seek.
How to choose the software I need?
It’s completely up to you. We reviewed the FonePaw Android Data Recovery and Gihosoft Android Data Recovery Review, both of which have apps for iOS as well. We’ll demonstrate the process with the former. A word of warning first. You’ll have to root your Android or jailbreak your iOS device for the scan to really dig in deep. This is risky and only recommended if you exhausted all other options.
WhatsApp video recovery using FonePaw Data Recovery
Here are the steps required to get WhatsApp videos back using FonePaw:
- Download FonePaw for Android or FonePaw for iOS.
- Install and run the app.
- Click on Android Data Recovery or iOS Data Recovery sidebar in the app.
- Connect the smartphone via USB.
- For Android, you’ll need to turn on USB debugging. We covered this in our “recover Android phone after factory reset“ guide.
- Put a checkmark in front of WhatsApp and WhatsApp Attachments under Contacts & Messages.
- Click Next.
- After the scan is complete, look for videos in the WhatsApp category on the left.
- Mark the files you want to get back and click on Recover.