Whether your circle of friends have migrated over to a new messaging service or you're simply done with using it, there may come a time when you'll want to delete your WhatsApp account. When that time arrives, you'll want to make sure you've backed up your account and saved any important or memorable chats before you do. Because otherwise once you tap delete, it's gone for good.

How to backup and save your account data on WhatsApp for iPhone and iPad

As with most apps for iOS, WhatsApp will backup all your pertinent account data to iCloud if set up properly. First off, make sure iCloud is set to sync your WhatsApp data, then follow the following steps to manually back up your account data.

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  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on Settings.
  3. Tap on Chats.
  4. Tap on Chat backup.

  5. Tap on Back Up Now to upload your chat data to your iCloud storage.

How to archive chat logs on WhatsApp for iPhone

While iCloud will easily back up all your WhatsApp account data, you've got a secondary option to archive chats if you want to declutter your chat screens or store a copy of your chats beyond iCloud. For starters, we'll stick entirely within the app and go over how to archive chat conversations.

  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the Chats tab on the bottom menu.
  3. Swipe right to left on the Conversation you want to archive
  4. Tap on Archive. It's the file box in the blue square to the right of the conversation.

Your entire conversation to that point will disappear from your active chats.

How to find and restore archived chats in WhatsApp for iPhone

  1. Tap on the Chats tab.
  2. Swipe down to reveal "Archived Chats" above the search bar.
  3. Tap on "Archive Chats".
  4. Swipe right to left on the Conversation you want to unarchive

  5. Tap on Unarchive. It's the file box with the up arrow to the right of the conversation.

  6. Tap on Chats to go back to your active chats.

Your selected archived chats will be restored to their rightful place among your active Chats screen.

How to export conversations on WhatsApp for iPhone

If you ever want to save an epic group chat or the millions of silly awesome messages you've shared with your BFF, it's super easy to send an entire chat history to yourself as an email.

  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the Chats tab on the bottom menu.
  3. Tap on the conversation you want to export.
  4. Tap on the person's name at the top of the screen.

  5. Tap on Email Chat.

  6. Tap on Attach Media if you want all the chat pictures and videos sent along in the email, or Without Media if you just want the words.
  7. Fill in your email in the To: text field. You may also add contacts to the CC and BCC fields.
  8. Tap on Send.

There you go! All those precious digital memories have been collected into a .txt file and emailed to you for your personal records.

How to delete your WhatsApp Account

Once you've got everything backed up and exported that you want to keep, it's time to delete your WhatsApp account.

Note: If you're planning to migrate your WhatsApp account to a new iPhone, do not delete your account on the old phone first. Doing so will delete all back up data from your iCloud, which will prevent you from restoring your account on your new phone.

  1. Launch WhatsApp from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the Settings tab in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap on Accounts.
  4. Tap on Delete My Account.

  1. Enter your phone number — it must be the same one you used to set up your WhatsApp account.
  2. Tap on Delete My Account.

  1. Tap on Next on the optional feedback screen. This will load the final confirmation screen. Heed the warnings here: "It is impossible to reverse this action. If you reactivate your WhatsApp account in the future, your data will not be recovered".
  2. Tap on Delete My Account to complete the process.

And that's it — your WhatsApp account has been deleted. If there comes a time where you want to create a new account after going through the delete process, you'll have to start from scratch and create a new WhatsApp account on your iPhone. When you delete your Whats App account data, that includes all iCloud backups as well, so don't do that if you were planning on transferring your account and data to a new phone.

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