Alright so, I really didn't expect this but here's the story. I was doing some tests, I copied one of the .db.crypt12 in /sotrage/emulated/0/Whatsapp/Databases/ from my phone to my computer, then, I installed Whatsapp on an emulator and moved my account from my phone to the emulator. Then, I took the key file in /data/data/com.whatsapp/files/ from the emulator and tried to decrypt the database file, but with no luck. At that point I rooted my phone to get the original key and it was in fact different. How can the google drive backups be decrypted when you change phone if the key that the server sends you is different? Do they send the same key only if you login to google drive?

1 Answer 1


That's true. WhatsApp changes the keys when you switch the device. This also applies to the end-to-end encrypted conversations. But the cloud backup is not encrypted, or at least, not encrypted with the same device private key.

  • How am I able to see my old messages when I re-transfer my account in the old device? Do they check if the key that was already in the data folder is able to decrypt the db.crypt12 files?
    – ddev
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 19:42
  • Aren't they synchronizing the archives through the cloud?
    – Alex Cohn
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 22:01

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