After rolling it out to beta users, WhatsApp has officially started rolling out end-to-end encrypted cloud backups to all Android and iPhone users, the company said in a statement. Currently, WhatsApp messages and local backups are end-to-end encrypted. However, cloud backups, which WhatsApp uploads to Google Drive for Android users and iCloud for iOS users, are not. Starting today, WhatsApp is rolling out encrypted cloud backups so the content of the backups is not visible to the cloud storage services.
“Starting today, we are making available an extra, optional layer of security to protect backups stored on Google Drive or iCloud with end-to-end encryption. No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups.”
Now, you can protect your WhatsApp cloud backup using a password of your choice or a 64-digit encryption key. When you enable encrypted cloud backups for the first time, you’re required to create a password for it. When you restore your WhatsApp the next time, you’ll need to enter this password, or the 64-digit encryption key, to restore the backup otherwise you won’t be able to.
How to enable end-to-end encrypted cloud backups on WhatsApp
To enable end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp backup, follow these steps:
- Open WhatsApp on your Android or iOS device.
- Tap on three dots → Settings on the top right corner on Android or the Settings tab on iOS.
- Next, go to Chats → Chat Backup → End-to-End Encrypted Backup.
- Select Turn On and then select Continue.
- Next, you’ll be asked to create a password.
- Optionally, you can use the 64-digit encryption key. If you create an encryption key, please save it to a place you can access at any time.
- After you’ve turned on end-to-end cloud backups, click on Backup Now.
WhatsApp will now upload the whole backup to your cloud storage, instead of uploading only the recent chats and media. This is primarily because now an encrypted version of the backup is uploaded to Google Drive or iCloud.
The feature is being rolled out “slowly” right now. If you’re not seeing the option to enable end-to-end encrypted cloud backups on your Android or iOS device, make sure your WhatsApp app is updated to the latest version.