Author Topic: Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android  (Read 2923 times)

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Offline peter-hTopic starter

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Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android
« on: December 18, 2023, 05:14:35 pm »
Incredibly, I cannot find out how to do this. The internet is full of stuff (much clickbait, too) on how to transfer all WA messages from one to the other (one method uses a cable and QR code scanning) as if e.g. replacing an Iphone with an Android one, but I just want to copy the one conversation.

Basically, a friend has all the messages but I have deleted some of them at my end and now I would like to recover them :)

All descriptions I can find of the cable method (method #3 here https://mobiletrans.wondershare.com/whatsapp/transfer-whatsapp-from-iphone-to-android.html) will transfer everything. That is too risky to even try it.

The source Iphone doesn't seem to list any options for the backup destination. It should show e.g. Whatsapp itself, Files, Email, etc, but actually as soon as the user selects whether to add or not add media, it seems to just start a backup, which - knowing a bit about IOS - probably ends up god knows where on the phone...

I know from doing Export Chat under android is that the destination gets loads of files. Each image is a jpeg, and then there is a txt file containing all the text. Ideally this should be zipped, obviously, but under android I can select a dropbox folder so it doesn't matter (you make sure it is empty first).

Thank you in advance for any help.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2023, 10:00:15 pm by peter-h »
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2023, 01:50:56 am »
I'm not aware of the option to select individual message threads. My experience is generally all or nothing as they are stored in an SQlite database. If the UI doesn't give you the option to export selected threads/messages, then it's probably not something you're going to be able to do easily. If you're able to extract the database itself from the phone, then open it in an appropriate reader, you could then extract the relevant data out, but then importing them back in to a different handset would be a headache.
 

Offline peter-hTopic starter

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Re: Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2023, 09:03:56 am »
You can definitely run an Export option for a specific conversation. It offers whether to Add or not add media (same as on my android). Then when Export is activated, it immediately goes "somewhere" (typical f-ing Apple stupid-user design).

Under Android you get loads of export options... I suspect there is a config under WA -> Settings where you might specify export options, but I don't have the phone in my hands. Maybe an Iphone + WA user can confirm?

I am sure you will never get the database - IOS stuff is locked (except for a few things like Camera Roll) unless you jailbreak it (Iphone 7, this) and then banking etc apps stop working.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2023, 12:20:52 am »
(typical f-ing Apple stupid-user design).

I am sure you will never get the database - IOS stuff is locked (except for a few things like Camera Roll) unless you jailbreak it (Iphone 7, this) and then banking etc apps stop working.

Yep! That's pretty much how Apple IOS rolls. Sorry I can't be of more help. I don't use Whatsapp. My main experience with it has been examining and parsing the database itself, as opposed to the application or UI. Haven't touched the application since Facebook bought it.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2023, 12:23:23 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline peter-hTopic starter

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Re: Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2023, 02:37:31 pm »
Surely somebody here has an Iphone with Whatsapp on it? There must be 100M people like that :)
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Offline peter-hTopic starter

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Re: Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2023, 11:02:44 pm »
Just to conclude this in case somebody finds it one day.

In short, it is impossible. WA does not support import of its own Exported data :) You can probably do it for the entire app (there is a procedure whereby you uninstall the app, thus dumping all data, and then import the zipfile) but not for a specific conversation.

I have easily Exported the conversation from the Iphone to a zipfile. This zipfile now resides on the Android (14) phone.

The next step – importing a conversation into WA from a zipfile – is a mystery. There is a ton of stuff on google but none of it works. All of it refers to a directory called Whatsapp in “the root folder” (which of course isn’t actually a root folder, and anyway this is not a rooted device) which is shown in screenshots to be the same directory as the one in which e.g. DCIM is seen. But the Whatsapp directory does not exist in that location, or anywhere else I can find, on either android 12 or android 14.

The zipfile content is obvious. It is the text of the chat (as a simple .txt file) and then the media (mostly .jpg). But how does one import it? The web is packed with clickbait offering various import tools but none work, and some require you to uninstall WA first (suggesting that they are for a fresh phone where you are importing everything new.

So while it would be easy enough to just dump the media into the Media directory, it won’t get linked into the database to form the conversation, and there is nowhere to drop the .txt file which contains the text.

As an aside, it’s really stupid to be encrypting the text when not encrypting the media but I guess nobody has realised this yet ;)

I think there is actually no way to import the Export file. Best one can achieve is some viewer and there is a number of them online, some as JS and some even online but all ones I found do just the text. The text contains links to media files so it would be fairly trivial to add those but he strips off the text lines containing the links.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2023, 11:06:06 pm by peter-h »
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2023, 03:00:14 am »
As an aside, it’s really stupid to be encrypting the text when not encrypting the media but I guess nobody has realised this yet ;)

This is why I use Signal instead of Whatsapp.

That being said, it is still possible to read out the Signal database in some versions of Signal (and depending on the device itself) using specialised tools, however as I always say when it comes to security of data, all bets are off once you get physical access to a device.
 

Offline peter-hTopic starter

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Re: Whatsapp: Transferring a single conversation from IOS to Android
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2023, 09:31:06 am »
Well, yes, personally I use telegram due to the superior architecture/functionality. The problem is that 99% of people use whatsapp.

I did find an online viewer which also did media: https://whatsapp-chat-viewer.netlify.app/
I can't tell whether this is a website or the processing is done locally with JS; I think the latter. This runs on a PC or on a phone but the phone version is horrible.

Media support is easy e.g. from
https://github.com/sinky/whatsapp-chat-export-viewer/blob/main/app.js
you just do

Code: [Select]
// Media
line = line.replace(/([a-zA-Z0-9-]+\.jpg)\ &lt;angeh�ngt>/g, '<div class="media"><a href="media/$1" target="blank"><img src="media/$1" /></a></div>');
line = line.replace(/\&lt;Anhang: ([a-zA-Z0-9-]+\.jpg|webp|gif)\>/g, '<div class="media"><a href="media/$1" target="blank"><img src="media/$1" /></a></div>');
line = line.replace(/\&lt;Anhang: ([a-zA-Z0-9-]+\.mp4)\>/g, '<div class="media"><video src="media/$1" controls=""></div>');
line = line.replace(/\&lt;Anhang: ([a-zA-Z0-9-]+\..+)\>/g, '<div class="media">Media: <a href="media/$1" target="blank">$1</a></div>');

i.e. the system viewer does it.
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