How to Install WhatsApp & Restore Backup on new Huawei phones without Google Services

Install WhatsApp and restore backup on new Huawei phones

The new phones from Huawei and the sub-brand Honor no longer come with Google Play Services. There are several ways to install the apps missing from the App Gallery, but setting them up isn’t as easy. The same is the case for WhatsApp, which you can install from a lot of sources, but restoring a previous WhatsApp backup is where things become a little complicated. That’s because WhatsApp on new Huawei phones cannot sync to Google Drive to upload/restore a backup.

So, in this guide, let’s look at the step-by-step process to install WhatsApp on Huawei phones without Google services. We’ll also include the steps to restore an existing backup from the previous phone. The backup includes your messages, media, stickers, location; etc.

The process:

Time needed: 15 minutes

Follow the steps below to learn how to use get a functional WhatsApp on your new Huawei phone. We will cover the steps to install WhatsApp on your new Huawei phone and restore the backup such that you do not lose any of your previous chats or media.

Compatible phones: All Huawei (and Honor) smartphones that do not have Google Services. These include – Huawei P40 Pro, Honor 9X Pro, Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro, and other smartphones with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).

  1. Create a fresh WhatsApp backup on your old phone

    Starting off, the first thing to do is to generate a new backup file on your old phone. This will ensure that our backup includes all of the recent chats and we do not lose any messages.

    To create a backup, open WhatsApp on your old phone and go to Options > Settings > Chats > Chat backup. Then press on the green BACK UP button. Wait for the backup to finish. You can ignore the part where it syncs to Google Drive as that is not needed.

  2. Create a zip of the WhatsApp folder in your internal storage

    WhatsApp backups can be big, especially for the individual media files which can take too long to copy individually. So, the ideal way to transfer the data is to create a zip archive which will give us only one file to copy to the new phone.

    You can use any of the File explorer apps from Play Store. We are using Solid Explorer in this demo, but you can any, even the one pre-installed on your phone. Just remember that the steps to create an archive may vary.

    • On your old phone, Install Solid Explorer from the Play Store and open it.
    • Navigate to the Internal memory > WhatsApp.
    If you do not see any WhatsApp folder here, then go to Internal storage > Android > Media > com.whatsapp > WhatsApp.
    • Select all the folders. Then press on options (3 vertical dots) and select Archive.
    • Name the archive as WhatsApp. Note the capitalization for W and A.
    • Tap on Create to start the archive creation.

    Create a zip archive of WhatsApp folder

    Tip: If your old phone is low on storage, then you should copy the WhatsApp folder to your computer and then create a zip archive on your computer.

  3. Transfer the WhatsApp zip file to your Huawei phone

    Now you should copy the file to your brand new Huawei phone. Depending on your WhatsApp backup size, the file can be big or small. You can send small files over Bluetooth. However, for bigger files, you should use a MicroSD card, USB cable, pen drive, or file transfer apps like ShareIt/Xender.

    You should place the file to the root of the internal storage of your Huawei phone i.e. outside of any other subfolder. Place the file just where you see the Download, Pictures & DCIM folders.

    Update: In new versions of WhatsApp, the backup folder is moved to Internal storage > Android > Media > com.whatsapp. So, navigate to this folder instead and copy the backup here. Create the com.whatsapp folder if it does not exist already.

  4. Extract the WhatsApp zip file

    Its time to extract the zip file. You can install Solid Explorer or else you can use the pre-installed file manager (called Files). We are using the pre-installed Files app for this guide.

    • Open Files app, then navigate to your Internal storage.
    Update: In new versions of WhatsApp, the backup folder is moved to Internal storage > Android > Media > com.whatsapp. So, navigate to this folder instead.
    • Tap and hold on the file in your internal storage. Then press on the more button.
    • Select Extract to > Current directory.

    Extract the WhatsApp backup on Huawei phone

    The process will create a new folder named “WhatsApp” in your internal storage (or the com.whatsapp folder). Please open the folder to check that all of the WhatsApp folders like Backups, Database, Media are within this initial WhatsApp folder and not in a sub-folder.

  5. Install WhatsApp from their website

    Now is the time to install WhatsApp on your Huawei phone. Follow these steps:

    • Open the App Gallery (Huawei’s app store).
    • Search for WhatsApp.
    • Tap on the first result titled “WhatsApp – official app”. It will open the download page on the website.
    You can skip the above steps and directly browse to this URL as well:
    • Tap on the green “Download Now” button to download the WhatsApp.apk file.
    • Install the WhatsApp apk file which you have just downloaded.
    DO NOT open WhatsApp yet. Skip to the next step.

    Install WhatsApp on Huawei phone

  6. Set the right permissions for WhatsApp

    WhatsApp needs the permissions to get better access to the phone functions. The most important permission in our case is the “Storage” permission. You cannot restore a WhatsApp backup unless you grant the permissions properly.

    • Open the Settings app on your Huawei/Honor smartphone.
    • Go to Apps > Apps > WhatsApp > Permissions.
    • Grant all permissions. Or at least, please grant the storage permission.

    Grannt permissions to WhatsApp on Huawei

    WhatsApp backup restore will fail if you do not grant the storage permission. The backup will show as 0 kb, and created on 01/01/70 5:30 am. This is because WhatsApp cannot read the backup properly from the internal storage. You will get the error “Sorry, we were unable to restore any of your message history backups” if you still attempt.

  7. Setup WhatsApp & restore the backup

    Now we are towards the end of this guide. Open the WhatsApp app and do the setup as usual. That is:

    • Enter your phone number.
    • Enter the SMS/IVR OTP sent to your phone number.
    • Wait for WhatsApp to read the backup from your phone.
    • Tap the restore button to begin the restoration.
    • Enter your name and start using WhatsApp.

    Restore WhatsApp backup on Huawei phone

A note about future backups

There is currently no way to auto-sync WhatsApp backup to any cloud platform on the phones without Google Play Services. So, WhatsApp backups on your Huawei smartphone will be locally stored only. WhatsApp creates a local backup every day at around 2 AM.

You should periodically copy your WhatsApp folder to a safer place, such as your computer or even cloud storage. The folder includes all your Whats App media files and database backups. I would recommend you to create a zip archive instead of keeping individual files. You can also compress the archive to reduce the storage consumed by the backup.


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  • Hi, I tried downloading using the WhatsApp apk but it does not want to install error “package signature does not match the install app” when I use the download green button it directs me to play store which I can’t use…The device I’m using is hauwei nova 9 please advise

  • i have tried many times, but its not picking the restoration from the back up file. I don’t know what else to do. I have followed all the steps.

  • Thank you so much for this article. Followed every step and it saved me from losing my 2+years chat. I appreciate.

  • Hi, so I installed Whatsapp via Gspace on my Huawei Nova 9 and was having delayed notifications and missed calls and I’m not sure why, so I tried the local backup and compress like you mentioned above and completely uninstall Whatsapp from Gspace. Then I install Whatsapp from Huawei AppGallery and follow all the steps. However, when doing the first time setup, there is no automatic backup file detection and I’m not able to restore my backup file.

    • Hi, WhatsApp has recently started moving its backups and data to a different folder in line with updated data access features of new Android versions. So, can you please try by moving your data files to this folder instead –
      Internal Storage > Android > media > com.whatsapp > WhatsApp? Make sure that the Backups, Databases and Media folders rest immediately inside the WhatsApp folder here and not a sub-folder.
      Let me know if it works or not. If this new location gets picked, then I will update the guide with these details.

      • Yes… It worked for me. Thanks very much. They should update the document as per your points..

        • Hi, thank you for the feedback. We have made the changes to the text to better help Huawei users 🙂

          • Hi,
            thank you for sharing this.
            I have tried all of the above step by step but it just didn’t read anything or even suggested restore.
            I even created the com.whatsapp, extract files and all still could not work. I have tried it at least 5 times. I even waited for few hours before retrying again because whatsapp have limits. Can upload to SD card and can new huawei phone read the whatsapp from SD card? Mine is new huawei nova phone. No google play services. Sorry for the long message. Hope you can answer or any help is appreciated. Thank you.

            • Hi, WhatsApp will only read the backups from the internal storage. Did you already try both of the folder locations? That is directly within the Internal storage as well as the Android folder? This is strange though as WhatsApp only reads those two locations to pick up backups.

              • Thank you for replying. Appreciate that.
                I tried.
                2 locations? One is android > media > com.whatsapp
                what is the other location? Is it purely “whatsapp” folder, if yes, i did.
                Did i miss anything?
                Thank you.

                • That’s really strange, Nikole. Let’s understand the directory structure as well.
                  So, your database files (crypt14) were placed exactly in: Internal > Android > Media > com.whatsapp > WhatsApp > Databases folder? Am I correct? Are you sure of the character case as well as any extra spaces which may make it sound like a different directory?
                  It is strange because I have used this to load an existing backup on a variety of devices, including Huawei and they have worked every time. I will try it again tonight to double-check and I will add some updates to the comment.

  • Hi can you please help me, I want do it the other way around I have A Huawei Y7P and I wanna move my WhatsApp to my S20

    • Hi, you can do the same process, but the other way around. Copy the backup from your Huawei to your Samsung and then proceed with the installation of WhatsApp. It will automatically detect the backup and offer to restore it.

    • You have lost your Huawei phone? In that case since the backups are not synced to the cloud, there is no way to restore the chats.

  • Great help! I followed all steps written, the only difference is I copied the zip file to my Dropbox, then download to my new Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G via the same Dropbox account. And need to move the unzip WhatsApp file (they are 3 folders – Backups, Databases & Media) directly inside the WhatsApp folder in the internal storage & delete the empty WhatsApp folder which was created when unzipping.

  • Hello,
    I’ve sent the zip file over blue tooth to the new phone but when I try to open it it tells me ‘sorry, extraction error. Please check files.’ I’ve done it twice and I’ve got that response both times. Before I’ve even tried to do anything with whatsapp app itself. Or can you only check the files if you’ve granted storage permission? The new phone is a Y6p.
    Thank you!

      • Hi, it should likely be a bad archive. Did you try opening it on your previous phone to see if it opens? If it does open up, then I’d recommend transferring via some other means Let’s say via cloud storage – upload to Google Drive and use the link on the new phone.

  • My Huawei Mate40 Pro found the chat history file, all permissions granted, but still return with the message “Sorry, we were unable to restore any of your message history backups” when the restore button is pressed. Any idea?

  • The best instructions ever for this – I was having a lot of issues transferring from old andoid to Nova 7 Huawei phone. Thank you ever so much for this.

  • Thank you! I have been hours trying to restore WA backup from my old phone to a Huaewi Y6P.

    I read a lot of pages, but yours is the only one I have seen to mention the Storage permission thing. That did the trick!

    Would you know a way to get Huawei to sync Google contacts?

  • My old phone is Tecno and I have backed up into my Google Drive. My new phone which is HUAWEI Y6P . I tried restoring my whtasapp chat it has failed.

    • Hi, did you make sure that you have granted the permissions to the WhatsApp app before starting the restore within WhatsApp?

  • heloo can you plz guide if therebany option to het my WhatsApp chat history back as i reset factory mobile old one before doing all this and now in new mobile no chat i have both mobiles are huawei old with google new without googel

    • Hi, so, what you need to do in such a state is to rely on the WhatsApp backup on your old device. Install WhatsApp again on your old device (if you don’t have it, use any device with Google support). Then during setup, restore the backup from Google drive. Now wait for the messages and media files to restore. Once all of that is complete, then you can follow the current article to transfer the files to your new Huawei phone and then you can start using WhatsApp on your new phone 🙂 Let me know if you face any problems.

  • Thank you very much! After 4 failed attempts, your tip about enabling permissions turned out to be what I needed to successfully transfer my chats!

  • Hi,

    I tried your method many times as advised even tried the blutooth where I had to wait a long time but unfortunately everything failed.

  • Thank you! I have successfully installed WhatsApp on my Honor 9X Pro. The backup also restored successfully. Now I am happy. I was so frustrated for the lack of WhatsApp support but this guide is so helpful! Thanks again!!!!

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