How To Back Up and Free up WeChat Data To Your Computer

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WeChat is the most popular social network, messaging app in China and among Chinese overseas. If you are like me using WeChat on a daily basis, you probably have already experienced the constant struggles of managing your WeChat storage in a manageable state.

The biggest difference between WeChat vs. all other messaging apps is that none of the private messages are actually stored on WeChat’s server (at least that’s what they claim). Unlike Messenger, Whatsapp or Telegram, messages from WeChat are ONLY stored on your mobile device, which means if you download and install WeChat on a brand new device after your first sign-in, there will not be any previous chat history. WeChat has solved this problem long ago by allowing you to scan a QR code between your old device and the new to transfer message log history. However, until just recently, if the chat log has grown out of your limited mobile device storage there is no way to keep all the chat history but to delete them.

As of WeChat Windows Desktop v2.3 (latest WeChat for Mac also have the same function, download it from Mac AppStore here), there is a brand new feature that allows you to backup and restore your entire Chat history from your mobile device to your “unlimited storage” PC. To do that make sure you are running the latest version.2017 02 26 1234 - How To Back Up and Free up WeChat Data To Your Computer

Go to Settings

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Find Chat Backup tab

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Click “Back Up” under “Backup on PC.”

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From here you can individually select who’s chat to backup, in this case, I’m going to select all the chat to be transferred and backup to my PC.

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Click OK to proceed.

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Depends on your local network wireless speed, this backup process could take a while.

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Once everything is backed up, you will see your backup under the Manage tab. Now You can safely delete all the previous chat history from your phone knowing that there is a backup sitting elsewhere.

Update November 19th, 2017

Tencent updated Mac desktop so it too gains the ability to backup chatlog, however, unlike Window’s counterpart there is no option to select where the chat is going to be saved (at least currently). By default, it will be saved under

~/Library/Containers/com.tencent.xinWeChat/Data/Library/Application\ Support/com.tencent.xinWeChat/

If you wish to change the location of the backup you can create a symbolic link to another directory that points to this path.

Overall this is a very welcome feature as some of the older iOS devices and Android phones have limited storage capacity. By allowing the user to transfer historical chat data that belong to them to their PC and free up additional valuable storage on their phone is definitely going to help many who are constantly struggling against a limited storage size with their mobile devices.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, I tried BUT could not login after scanning the QR code. Web login works so I’m confident that there is no network issue on my end.

    Update- unable to obtain QR code 🙁

  2. I had WeChat from the Windows store and couldn’t find this feature. I didn’t know that there is a “traditional” desktop app. I ditched the Store version and use now just the desktop version. Thanks for the tutorial

  3. Thank you, Mr Hu.
    I have the latest Wechat for PC but it does not support backup option. I am using I phone-6. From your article it should support I phone also.
    Could you please let me know by email?

    • it’s mainly used for restore the backup to your mobile device. From there you can view the backed up messages.

      If you are looking to view the message without restoring the message on your mobile devices, there are tools out there on Github but require some technical skills to do that.

  4. Does anyone know the backup directory on Mac (MacOS)?
    Unlike the Windows version WeChat for MacOS doesn’t reveal the file path, let alone allow you to change the default location. I currently have to 2 Chat logs backed up on my MacBook and it frustrates me that I have no idea where those files reside on my local drive.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks, Robert

    • Robert, totally get your frustration. I checked on my Mac and found it’s under this path

      ~/Library/Containers/com.tencent.xinWeChat/Data/Library/Application\ Support/com.tencent.xinWeChat/

      you should be able to find all the chatlog and backups stored in such location. Hope that helps!

  5. I have the latest updated version 2.9.0.123. I did use the option of Backup and Restore and it did ask me permission on the phone which means everything went well. BUT there is no data restored on my laptop !!

  6. Hi Jonathan,
    Ref to your nice post on WeChat, may I request you to take a loom on my problem as your solution did not work for me.
    WeChat for Windows & Android = Both are latest Version as on today.
    * I have full back up in my Windows WeChat in my Laptop.
    * I want to transfer all history to my new Mobile phone.
    * I have switched off my old Mobile.
    * I have logged on to WeChat in my new mobile phone with my WeChat ID & Password.
    * When I try to “Restore on Phone” from Wechat Desktop, it restores only 15 history but I have more than 50 contact history & media files in my Desktop Back up.
    >> How can I transfer my Windows WeChat Back up files to my NEW Mobile ?
    Thanks a lot for your time to help me.
    Remain grateful.

    • Hi Siraj,

      Your order of procedure is all correct. If all you want is to transfer from WeChat from one phone to another phone, there is a new way you can do that with your phone right now. It doesn’t involve the backup and restores from your Windows PC.

      To do that, you need to login to your new Phone and there should be a setting to allow you to transfer from an old phone.

      Hope that works for you,

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  7. Hello Jonathan,

    I had to reset my Macbook recently and was wondering, if it is possible to restore my chat history including pictures etc. from my phone to my laptop? Currently, there is no chat history and it doesnt seem as if there is an option to restore it from the backup that I created through the application.

    Thank you for you help 🙂

  8. Hey Jonathan,

    I’ve accidentally deleted wechat on my old phone, but all my messages were still in my mac from the last sync with my computer. Is there any way to get into the mac’s file storage to get the messages back into my phone?

  9. Hello,

    If i want to restory my history Wechat on a new PC?
    I have Wechat on another PC: ALL is OK
    I have wechat on Android and Iphone all is SYnchronised
    But now i have new pc and when i open Wechat i don’t have the history and files on wechat PC.

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