WhatsApp likely prevents iPhone backup

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by kiwidesign, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. kiwidesign macrumors newbie

    kiwidesign

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    #1
    Hello there helpful people! :p

    TL;DR
    iPhone 5 won't backup (neither iCloud nor iTunes) likely due to a corrupted WhatsApp plist. I fear that reinstalling whatsapp I could lose my WA database, which I highly care for. what do I do?


    The full version:
    (I'll try to be as concise as possible, but that's not my strongest suit.)

    I own an iPhone 5 which is currently on iOS 9.2...
    I'm usually slow on software updates, as I let others "test the waters" before me. But this time I'm actually unable to update the OS.

    I have no idea how the 5 works for other people NOW. Mine, which I upgraded to every major OS without ever resetting it, started randomly hanging with iOS 8 and only got worse on iOS 9 with frequent crashes and reboots. I'd likely solve some problems by reinstalling iOS 9 from scratch, but a few things (mainly a handful of apps hat does not sync locally nor to the cloud - hence would lose all data if I reset the phone) currently prevents me from doing it.

    That's the starting point. That said, I would gladly update my phone to iOS 9.3.4 but - of course - I never updated my devices without a proper backup. And sadly, my iPhone won't backup anymore.
    Both iCloud backup (which ran routinely every night) and iTunes backup fail. The first one without any error, the second one with an irritatingly generic "iTunes could not back up the iPhone 'iPhone name' because an error occurred."

    I tried to follow every advice found online without any luck, than the turning point:
    monitoring an iTunes backup with Console.app, this line consistently came up when the backup failed!

    Code:
    03/06/16 18:50:49,103 AppleMobileBackup[657]: ERROR: Backup message response: 100 open_dprotected_np error: Operation not permitted (1) at path "/var/mobile/Containers/Shared/AppGroup/3CB5722D-96BF-4936-B0DF-E036BF419176/Library/Preferences/group.net.whatsapp.WhatsApp.shared.plist.LxPqWVZ" (MBErrorDomain/100)
    03/06/16 18:50:49,104 AppleMobileBackup[657]: WARNING: No MobileSync error code defined for error code: 100
    03/06/16 18:50:49,104 AppleMobileBackup[657]: ERROR: Backup error: -1
    as you can see reading the entire line, WhatsApp appears to be the culprit!
    in a normal situation, the solution would be simple: remove whatsapp, backup, reinstall whatsapp :)
    (which is backed by this post here)

    my huge problem is that I have valuable (sentimental value mostly) information in my whatsapp chat history, and I fear losing it... I'm obviously aware of the backup function, but since you can read a lot of horror stories online of WhatsApp backup restores gone wrong... I fear that maybe that same (corrupted?) .plist file that apparently prevents my iPhone from backing up, could also mess with whatsapp's own restore mechanism and make me lose my entire chat history if I delete and reinstall WA.

    (you guys can't imagine how much I hate whatsapp local-only approach to chat storage. I get taht it was and likely still is a selling point for some people, but I would KILL for a simple switch in WA setings to make the chat sync on the damn facebook servers like Messenger does... insead of having a local 2GB-and-growing database of whatsapp chat history that needs to be separately backed up on iCloud Drive to be safe...)

    As you can see, I'm stuck. Updating iOS might make my phone run better, but I'm not gonna update without backing up my phone before, and I currently can't backup the phone without deleting whatsapp, which I have reasons not to remove from my phone.

    I honestly don't see many solutions here, but you guys might be able to think outside the box and help me! I'm sitting here and hoping :)
     
  2. chscag macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #2
    Copy your WhatsApp chat history to your Mac first, then delete WhatsApp, and update your iPhone 5. You can copy your WhatsApp chat history to your Mac with either iExplorer or iMazing. Both are not free, but there may be other apps you can use which are free. Do some searching.
     
  3. kiwidesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    kiwidesign

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    #3
    I might be horribly wrong, but weren't these kind of apps made useless by iOS 8? I was an iFunBox user, but after changes in iOS 8 the application wasn't able to access iOS apps content anymore...
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    iFunbox has released several updates over time and the current version works fine with iOS 9.3.3.
     
  5. kiwidesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    kiwidesign

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    #5
    Wow that's news to me. For several months after iOS 8 release the developer had no clue how to work around the new restrictions... so the content of apps is writable again?
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    No...sorry...forgot I was jailbroken.
     
  7. chscag macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #7
    Both of the apps I mentioned above work fine from El Capitan and iOS 9.3.4. You install them on your Mac, attach your iPhone 5, and you should be able to see your chat history and be able to copy it. I believe both apps have a trial version you can try first.
     

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