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WhatsApp Unveils New QR Code-Based Local Data Transfer Method

WhatsApp introduces a new QR code-based feature to transfer chat history locally using Wi-Fi, offering a more secure alternative to cloud backups.

WhatsApp's new QR code-based data transfer feature.

WhatsApp has announced a new feature that offers a quicker method of transferring chat history from an old phone to a new one using a QR code-based local data transfer method.

The company explained that users switching to a new phone with the same operating system can now transfer their WhatsApp data via a local Wi-Fi connection. This presents a secure alternative to third-party solutions, as data is encrypted and shared solely between the two devices over the user's local network.

To use this feature, both devices must be powered on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Users can then navigate to Settings > Chats > Chat transfer on the old device, which will display a QR code. This code must be scanned using the new phone to complete the data transfer process.

Previously, WhatsApp relied on cloud backups to facilitate data transfers between devices running the same operating system, either iOS or Android. This is the first time the company has introduced a local transfer method for such migrations.

While WhatsApp already supports iOS to Android and Android to iOS migration, these methods are slightly more complex than the new QR code-based system. Furthermore, the chat app also allows syncing messages sent and received on multiple devices using a single account. In April, WhatsApp updated this multi-device feature to include multiple phones.