Technology

Old WhatsApp Chats Are Disappearing, And No One Has Any Clue Why

old WhatsApp chats
antonbe / Pixabay

Earlier this month WhatsApp fixed a crucial bug that potentially allowed hackers to crash it during a video call. However, many users are now reporting a new issue after the last bug was patched. It seems old WhatsApp chats are disappearing. For now, no one has any idea about what might be happening.

What’s happening to the old WhatsApp chats?

Affected users are raising the issue on social media and product forums.

“I’m starting to realise that my old chats disappeared. It’s not archived. The oldest chat went first and day by day they disappeared one by one chronologically. I did reinstall and re-login but it stays the same,” the user who started the thread said.

Many other users have confirmed they’re facing the same issue. One user mentioned that he even checked his message count in storage management. He said the message count is decreasing by the day.

It seems WhatsApp is aware of the issue and has asked affected users to disable their cleaner or anti-virus application, which might be removing their old WhatsApp chats without informing them. However, the issue is still there.

It does not appear to be smartphone-specific either. Users of different smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, OnePlus 6, Honor 6X and others, have reported that their old WhatsApp chats are disappearing. The issue might not be related to the recent bug fix as many users say they have been noticing that their old WhatsApp chats have been disappearing since April.

So far there has been no response from WhatsApp. Even on the forums, there is no further update on the issue. Users facing the same issue may try updating to the latest OS version and updating WhatsApp as well if they haven’t already. If the issue persists, users are advised to contact the support team, and don’t forget to back up your important chats on Google Drive.

Let us know if you are also facing the same issue or have any workaround that could solve the problem. You can keep track of your total message count to find out if you have lost your old WhatsApp chats. To check the total message count, first, open WhatsApp, then go to the settings and “click Data and storage usage” to find the total message count.

Bug that allowed hackers to crash the app fixed

WhatsApp announced last week that it fixed a major bug that could have allowed hackers take over the app when a user answers a video call. The vulnerability was discovered in late August and fixed by the Facebook-owned company earlier this month.

It must be noted that the vulnerability affected only Android and iOS users as both use Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) for video calls. The web version was unaffected because it uses WebRTC for video conferencing.

“We routinely engage with security researchers from around the world to ensure WhatsApp remains safe and reliable. We promptly issued a fix to the latest version of WhatsApp to resolve this issue,” the messaging app told Reuters.

The company said there is no evidence that hackers ever exploited the vulnerability, which was first spotted by Natalie Silvanovich, a member of Google’s Project Zero security research team.

New WhatsApp features

In addition to battling bugs, WhatsApp is also working on new features. According to tech site WABetaInfo, the messaging app is working on features like Linked Accounts, Vacation and Silent Mode.

The Linked Accounts feature would reportedly allow users to link their account with external services like Instagram, another Facebook-owned property. The Linked Accounts feature appears to be for WhatsApp Business, but some references to it have been found in the standard WhatsApp version as well, WABetaInfo said. The option for linked accounts is expected to be placed below the profile settings.

WhatsApp’s Vacation Mode feature will ensure that archived chats are never unarchived if you have muted them. Such a feature will come in handy if you don’t want to see a specific chat in your Chats List. It would mean that if you mute and archive a chat, you will never it see it again, unless you visit the Archived Chats section.

The Silent Mode feature would reportedly help users hide the app badge for muted chats. The feature would ensure that you never see the badge when you get a message from muted chats and groups.