Have you ever restored WhatsApp on your new iPhone from a WhatsApp backup of your old iPhone, just to find that instead of the images you want, you just get photos of question marks? We see many complaints that WhatsApp photos become question marks after restoring WhatsApp from iCloud or iTunes backup.
This blog will include all the solutions we think will help when WhatsApp is not restoring photos from backup.
There’s a big chance that you can sort out your problem more quickly than you think. You might think the issue is a big one, but actually, you can solve it in less than 5 minutes. Here are 2 things that we recommend that you check first. You can also jump to the solutions if you have already checked these.
#1 Phone Storage
One reason your photos might not be restored from backup is that you don’t have enough storage on your iPhone. Check your phone storage by going to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. You will be able to see how much storage each app takes up.
Try deleting some stuff you don’t need from your phone if it is not enough for WhatsApp to restore from backup. Take a look at your apps, and delete the ones you never use. Also, look at your pictures and get rid of those you never look at. It can also be helpful to delete the files you don’t want or need.
#2 Internet Connection
If you got question marks instead of WhatsApp photos when restoring from iCloud, then one common reason is that the internet connection isn’t strong enough, so the photos are not loading successfully. Because media files like photos and videos use up more bandwidth than messages, you will need stronger and faster internet to restore them.
If you’re using cellular data, ensure you have enough data to restore images. However, to be safe, it’s best to use Wi-Fi instead. If your Wi-Fi is slow, try connecting to a different network, or you could wait until fewer devices are using the same Wi-Fi network.
6 Solutions to “WhatsApp Not Restoring Photos from Backup”
If you’ve checked the above things but are still struggling to restore the WhatsApp pictures to your new iPhone, here is our advice on what to do.
1. Force Restart iPhone
A force restart is like turning your phone off and back on again. It stops all the processes in the background and thus eliminates the factors that prevent WhatsApp from restoring photos from backup. If you’re using an iPhone 8, X, XS, XR, 11, 12, or 13, here’s what to do.
- Press the Volume Up button.
- Press the Volume Down button.
- Hold the Side button.
- Let go when you see the Apple logo.
If you have any other models of iPhone, you can Google how to do a force restart or check the guide here. Once you have finished the force restart, try restoring your WhatsApp from the backup again to see if the photos can be restored successfully.
2. Update WhatsApp
When WhatsApp couldn’t restore media, make sure WhatsApp on your old iPhone and new iPhone are the same version, which is the latest version. If the WhatsApp on your old iPhone is not up to date, update it first. Then you can back up WhatsApp on your old iPhone to iCloud and try to restore that backup to your new iPhone. This is to avoid any problems caused by the different versions of WhatsApp.
3. Update iPhone Software
If the same WhatsApp versions cannot be a solution for WhatsApp media not restoring from backup, you need to make sure the iOS versions on both iPhones are the same, because if you are restoring from a new version of WhatsApp, it may struggle to restore the files onto an older version of iOS.
At the time of my writing this, the latest iOS version is iOS 15. We recommend that you update the software on the devices to the latest version. To update your iOS, go to Settings > General > Software Updates > Update.
4. Restore the Entire iPhone from iCloud Backup
Before we start talking about this solution to WhatsApp restoring media not working, you should know a few things.
- You still have your old iPhone.
- The iCloud backup includes all the data supported by Apple, not just WhatsApp, so this method only works if you have enough storage on iCloud to save a full backup of your iPhone.
- If you restore your new iPhone from the iCloud backup, all other data on your new phone will be replaced by the data from your old phone.
If these things make you uncomfortable, please ignore this section and jump to the last solution. If you are fine with the above reminders, keep reading.
First of all, you need to make an iCloud backup of your old iPhone. Here is how to do that: go to Settings > Apple ID banner > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now. Wait for the backup process to finish.
Now, you need to erase everything on your new iPhone to follow this method. Follow the steps below.
- Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content Settings
- Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach a page that says “Apps and Data”.
- Click “Restore from iCloud Backup”.
- Sign in to iCloud
- Select which backup has the WhatsApp images you wish to restore. Since you just made a backup, it is usually the latest one.
- Sign in with your Apple ID
- Wait for the restore process to complete.
It will take some time which depends on how much data you have on your old phone. Also, since the restoration relies on fast internet speed, make sure you have fast and stable WiFi. After that, check if the WhatsApp photos are still question marks.
5. Restore Entire iPhone from iTunes Backup
If you got WhatsApp photos are question marks after restoring iPhone from an iTunes backup, then this solution is not for you. You can go check the next solution.
The potential issues with this solution are similar to the problems with restoring from iCloud backup. You have to back up your entire old iPhone to your computer via iTunes, and restoring the new iPhone from the iTunes backup will overwrite the current data on your phone. If you don’t mind the loss, you can follow the guide below.
- Connect your old iPhone to your Mac or PC using the original USB cable.
- Open iTunes. On Mac, it is Finder. Here we only show the steps on Windows since the steps are almost the same on Mac.
- Unlock your device and trust the computer, so that your device can be recognized.
- You should see a phone symbol in the top left-hand corner. Click this symbol.
- This will take you to a screen with various options. Click “Back Up Now”. Wait for a while until it says the backup is completed.
- Unplug your old iPhone and plug in your new iPhone.
- Click the phone symbol after your device is detected.
- Choose the option “Restore Backup” this time.
- Select the backup that you just made.
- Click “Restore” and enter your password. Then the program will do the job.
After the restoration, you need to set your device, only a few steps are needed. Now you can check if your WhatsApp photos have been restored or not.
6. Restore WhatsApp Photos using Wondershare Dr.Fone
Restoring iPhone from iCloud or iTunes backup is a solution that works to solve the problem of WhatsApp media missing after restoration, but it is complicated and time-consuming.
An alternative solution is to use Wondershare Dr.Fone. It consists of many different modules which satisfy various needs of your devices. What we use for transferring WhatsApp is Dr.Fone – WhatsApp Transfer.
With this tool, you can directly transfer WhatsApp including photos from your old iPhone to your new iPhone. Please note that you will still need your old device that contains the images you wish to restore. If you do not have it, you can also use this program to restore only WhatsApp data from your iTunes backup to your new iPhone.
Here are the steps that you can follow to transfer WhatsApp between 2 iPhones.
- Download Wondershare Dr.Fone on your computer. Choose WhatsApp Transfer on the Home page.
- Select “Transfer WhatsApp”- on the right side.
- Make sure both your old and new phones are plugged in and connected to the software.
- Press “Transfer”.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the transfer process to complete.
If you want to restore WhatsApp data from iTunes backup to your new iPhone, you can follow the steps below.
- Connect the new phone to the computer.
- Select “Restore to Device”.
- Select the iTunes backup you want to restore and click “Next”.
- Wait for the program to complete scanning your iTunes backup.
- Click “Recover to Device”. Follow the instructions on the program interface to restore WhatsApp data to your new iPhone.