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3 Effective Methods to Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages

Elsa Updated on Feb 27, 2023 Filed to: Parent Control

WhatsApp encryption began in 2012, three years after its initial launch. Then Meta (Facebook) teamed up with the software group – Open Whisper System – to provide end-to-end encryption on the platform in 2016. So far, the rate at which third-party attackers gain access to user accounts has reduced significantly. While this innovation provides users with an extra layer of security, it also limits their access to their data. 

Users cannot directly access encrypted data outside the platform. However, when users want to use their chat information for special needs like court evidence, it is not easy without a voluminous screenshot. Hence, this article explores possible solutions to read their encrypted WhatsApp messages.

read encrypted WhatsApp messages

Part 1. Is There Any Way to Decrypt WhatsApp Messages?

There are no ways to decrypt WhatsApp messages. Once a user enables the end-to-end encryption security feature, every chat on the WhatsApp account is protected and only accessible through the sender and recipient of the messages in the chat. That way, no other person can read it, including Meta (Facebook), who owns WhatsApp. This security feature uses private keys - unique identity keys to decrypt WhatsApp messages.

Now, the encryption process has a multi-device feature. This feature was introduced to make WhatsApp accounts accessible for users on different platforms. Hence, a user can log in to their account on different devices by scanning the QR code for their phone. This security loophole now makes it possible to decrypt WhatsApp messages. In the next section, we will discuss using the loophole to read encrypted WhatsApp messages.

Part 2. How to Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages

This section discusses the three main methods of reading encrypted WhatsApp messages.

1Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages from WhatsApp Web

You can log in to a WhatsApp account and read its encrypted messages through WhatsApp Web. Therefore, it would help if you had the login details and the target account phone before using this decryption method.

Tap more and you will find Linked devcies, open it and the tap the icon. Then you can use the mobile device to scan the QR code displayed on the another screen. Once the process is complete, all the chats of the targeted phone will be visible on your WhatsApp web or other linked devices.

Tips : You don't need to keep your phone online to use WhatsApp on web or other linked devices. However, suppose you didn't use your phone for over 14 days, the linked devices will be logged out.

2Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages from Another Mobile Device

A WhatsApp monitoring is helpful for parents read encrypted WhatsApp messages on child's device. AirDroid Parental Control is the best parental monitoring app to track the activities of their children on Android devices.

AirDroid Parental Control

Unlike other monitoring apps, AirDroid Parental Control does not require rooting or jailbreaking your Android or iPhone. Instead, you can read WhatsApp chats on the target phone with a simple setup procedure. It is an easy-to-use tool that does not require the help of an expert. There are many other features on the app to read encrypted messages.

  • Cast your child's device to your phone so you can use it remotely.
  • Monitor their WhatsApp activities in real-time.
  • Sync Notifications and SMS to monitor social media apps' notifications, such as WhatsApp.

Steps to Use AirDroid Parental Control

  1. Step 1: Download and Install AirDroid Parental Control on your device.
  3. Step 2: Open the app on your phone, and AirDroid will direct you to the sign-up page. Create an account and log in.
  4. Step 3: Download AirDroid Kids on your kid's Android phone and open the app.
  5. Step 4: Bind the devices with a pairing code showing on AirDroid Parental Control and set up all the required settings on the phone.
  6. Step 5: Now, you can read encrypted WhatsApp messages from Notifications or screens mirroring your kid's device.

3Read Encrypted WhatsApp Messages by Decrypting Databases on PC (Android, Root Required)

The last method is longer than the other two. It requires giving third-party apps unrestricted access to the phone to which your WhatsApp account is connected, i.e., root or jailbreak your mobile device. Rooting your phone will let you access the encrypted files. Also, you need to download WhatsApp viewer on your computer and use it to decrypt your WhatsApp chats. Here is the process to follow.

Step 1. Open File Manager on your phone.

Step 2. Go to the backup files for your WhatsApp messages, depending on where they are stored.
*On your Phone Storage: Internal Storage → WhatsApp → Databases
*On your Memory Card: SD Card → WhatsApp → Databases

Step 3. Connect your phone to the computer with the appropriate cable.

Step 4. Find the folder labeled Files in your Databases folder, then open it.

Step 5. Please find the file titled Key, then copy it to a folder on your computer.

Step 6. Go back to the Databases folder and copy msgstore.db.cryptX to the folder where you placed the Key file on your computer.

Step 7. Launch the WhatsApp Viewer app on your computer.

Step 8. Select the File menu at the top of the screen.
- From the File menu options, choose Decrypt.crypt12.

Step 9. Now, load the two files you copied to your computer earlier.

Step 10. Click the OK button, then wait for the decryption to finish.

Step 11. In the folder where the two files were kept, you will find a file named "msgstore.decrypted.db."

Step 12. Import the new file using the File menu above, then press OK.

Step 13. Select the contact from the right panel, and the app will show the chats on the left panel.

Part 3. Learn More about WhatsApp's End-to-End Encryption 

WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that only the sender and the recipient can read or listen to messages in a chat. The security procedure automatically deploys encryption forms that keep users' data safe. These forms create the encryption files in your WhatsApp database. The user can disable the feature if they so choose.

WhatsApp backup isn't end-to-end encrypted by default. Suppose you also want to keep your WhatsApp secure, you can turn on the feature manually.

Words at End

Even though WhatsApp started with allegations that users' files are not kept private, it is safe to say a lot has changed since then. One of the main changes is the introduction of end-to-end encryption for chats. Hence, only senders and recipients can read or listen to messages in a chat. 

Unfortunately, this improvement has also made it difficult for anyone to decrypt chats on WhatsApp. However, this article has provided three solutions for reading encrypted files. You can use WhatsApp Web, AirDroid Parental Control, or decryption software.

Hottest Question Related to Reading Encrypted WhatsApp Messages

Find below the most popular questions about reading end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp messages.

Q 1. How Do I Read an End-to-end Encrypted Message?
You can read an end-to-end encrypted message by decrypting the file. Alternatively, you can read it through a monitoring app.
Q 2. Can Encrypted WhatsApp Messages Be Retrieved?
Yes, you can retrieve an encrypted message. It is because encrypted WhatsApp messages are backed up on your local storage. Hence, you can use a decryption tool to check it.
Q 3. How Can I Read WhatsApp Encryption on Android Without Key?
You can read WhatsApp encrypted messages on Android without the private key using a monitoring app. What the monitoring app does is that it shows your message on another device in real-time.
Q 4. Who Can Read Messages with End-to-end Encryption?
Yes, you can read messages with end-to-end encryption. For example, you can log in to the account with the message to another device to read the messages. Or you can decrypt it on your PC.
Q 5. How to Read Crypt14 File Without Key?
You can use a decryption tool like WhatsApp viewer to read the Crypt14 file without a key. To decrypt encryption forms above Crypt6, you need WhatsApp-Key-DB-Extractor. After extracting it, the third-party app can read the file.
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Elsa has worked on a number of iOS & Android solutions, she can always find her way around almost any application. She is an accomplished, skilled and versatile writer with more than 7 years of technical article writing experience.
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