WhatsApp is the leading instant messaging app with over two billion monthly users. While it lasts for just 24hours, WhatsApp allows you to choose who sees your status. Being able to choose who sees your status is another area where WhatsApp has excelled over the years.
Their privacy and security innovations are some of the best in the industry. Many users still complain that WhatsApp collects far too much user data.
Nowdays, it begins rolling out end-to-end encryption for chat backups after privacy fears. While it has allowed users to securely message each other since 2016. Now it becomes more difficult to decrypt WhatsApp messages, although not impossible.
This article addresses means of offering three effective ways to read encrypted WhatsApp messages.
- Part 1. Are WhatsApp Messages Encrypted?
- Part 2. Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages online
- Part 3. Read WhatsApp Encrypted Messages with WhatsApp Recovery Tool
- Part 4. Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages on Android without Key (only for Android)
- FAQ: How to Enable and Disable End-to-end Encryption Backup in WhatsApp?
Are WhatsApp Messages Encrypted?
Yes, WhatsApp messages are encrypted using end-to-end encryption. This means of security ensures that every communication on WhatsApp stays between the sender and recipient of the message. That way, no third-party individual or organization can access the messages while it is being sent.
Not even WhatsApp or Facebook, which is WhatsApp's parent company, can access the content of your communication. This encryption method works hand in hand with the Signal protocol encryption. Signal protocol protection uses cryptographic keys or, as WhatsApp calls it, private keys.
Private keys are unique identity keys that are needed to decrypt a message sent through WhatsApp. However, this will be impossible since no third party has access to these keys.
But in the bid to expand users' options of companion devices that can be used to access a WhatsApp account, a multi-device architecture was also added to the encryption procedure. Each device has a specific private key that WhatsApp account owners can use to list their different devices. To verify a new device, you will need to scan the QR code for that device.
Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages online
You can log in to an account and read its encrypted messages through the WhatsApp Web. However, you need the login details of the account you want to decrypt its messages.
Also, since each device connected to the account already has private keys, you need access to the device that the account is connected to. The WhatsApp Web will ask you to use the mobile device to scan the QR code it will display.
Read WhatsApp Encrypted Messages with WhatsApp Recovery Tool
You can read WhatsApp encrypted messages from iPhone and Android directly. If you want to read encrypted messages of from the Google Drive or iTunes backup, the tool can also decrypt the WhatsApp backup. The software tool to use is iMyFone ChatsBack.
Let’s take reading the encrypted WhatsApp messages from iPhone as example. Please follow the below steps;
Step 1. Launch the iMyFone ChatsBack application on your computer, then connect your device to the computer.
Step 2. Select Device Storage from the home page. Choose WhatsApp Messenger from the next window and click Start to scan your iPhone.
Step 3. The encrypted message will be feasible to see after scanning. You can also recover the encrypted messages to your computer.
Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages on Android without Key (only for Android)
Before using this method, you have to have unrestricted access to the device your WhatsApp account is connected to, i.e., get your mobile device rooted. You also have to download WhatsApp viewer on your computer, then have it installed. Once all that has been done, you can follow this process.
- Lunch your device’s File Manager application. Navigate to the backup file for your messages depending on where it is stored.
- On your Root Storage: Device Storage → WhatsApp → Databases
- On your SD Card: SD Card → WhatsApp → Databases
- In your Databases folder, scroll through the list until you see the folder labeled as Files, then open it.
- Find the file titled Key, then copy it to a folder on your computer.
- Go back to your Databases folder and copy the file titled msgstore.db.cryptX to the same folder you copied the Key file on your computer.
- Open the WhatsApp Viewer app on your computer and select the File menu at the top of the screen. From the File menu options, choose Decrypt.crypt12.
- Now, load the two files you copied to your computer earlier. Click the OK button, then wait for the decryption to finish.
- In the folder you kept the two files, you will find a file named "msgstore.decrypted.db.” Import the new file using the File menu as shown above, then press OK.
- Select the account number from the right panel, and the app will display the chat on the left panel.
Bonus: How to Enable and Disable End-to-end Encryption Backup in WhatsApp?
Your cloud storage is where your chats and media are backed up after encryption. The 64-digit private key or your chosen password is how WhatsApp data are encrypted before being stored in your Google Drive or iCloud. However, you have the choice to turn on or off this feature.
- Open your WhatsApp Settings and select the Chats option in your WhatsApp Settings.
- Tap on the Chat Backup button at the bottom of the screen.
- Pick the End-to-end Encrypted Backup link and tap on Turn on or Turn off.
- Up next, follow the promptings by the app to create a password or key.
- Tap on Create to complete the process. Wait for WhatsApp to complete your end-to-end encrypted backup. This process may take a while.
When asked the question, how can I read Encrypted WhatsApp messages? The answer is dependent on the user whose account you want to decipher its messages. Suppose the user does not give away their login details and does not allow access to the device that the account is connected to.
In that case, you probably cannot read the encrypted message of that WhatsApp Account. But if the account is yours - you have the login details, the device that the account is connected to - you can follow the processes mentioned above to decrypt your WhatsApp messages.