An FAQ page on the WhatsApp blog indicates that WhatsApp is taking action against users of unsanctioned versions of the messaging app. While it is highly recommended that you only use the official versions of all your favorite apps, people still end up with unofficial versions on their phones. If you’re using an unofficial version of WhatsApp or if you’re not sure which version you’re using, you need to take action now.
GB WhatsApp users and WhatsApp Plus users are currently being targeted with temporary bans
The new WhatsApp FAQ page is designed to help users of two of the most common unofficial versions of WhatsApp: GB WhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus. These have become popular among users for a variety of reasons including added features like themes, hiding online status, sending big files etc., but it looks like time is finally up. As well as offering instructions on how to transfer your account from the two unofficial mods to the official app, the page also shows that users of the modded WhatsApps have been receiving temporary bans on their accounts.
They named two of the most used modded WhatsApp apps. I think it’s the first time they name “GB WhatsApp” and “WhatsApp Plus” in their website officially.
I don’t know what’s going to happen but I recommend users that use modded apps for Android to switch to the official WA. https://t.co/5xr97hhCF1
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 7, 2019
This is the first time WhatsApp has bothered to name any such unofficial apps and the reason seems to be security concerns. The FAQ page states, “Unsupported apps, such as WhatsApp Plus and GB WhatsApp, are altered versions of WhatsApp. These unofficial apps are developed by third parties and violate our Terms of Service. WhatsApp doesn’t support these third-party apps because we can’t validate their security practices.” As WhatsApp can’t guarantee the security protocols on these modded apps, it is now moving to block users of its network from using them.
To check what version of WhatsApp you’re using you need to open the More options menu, then hit Settings, then Help, and finally App info.
According to the FAQ page, these temporary bans are WhatsApp’s way of gaining user’s attention so they can no longer continue to use these unsanctioned apps. The kicker is that migrating over to the official app may cause users to lose their chat histories. Fortunately, WhatsApp offers clear instructions on how users of GB WhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus can save and transfer their chat histories
How to save and transfer your chat history from GB WhatsApp
If you are using GB WhatsApp and you want to transfer your chat history to the official app you need to follow these steps:
- In GB WhatsApp, tap More options, Chats, and finally Back up chats.
- Go to Phone Settings, tap Storage, and then hit Files.
- Find the GB WhatsApp folder and hold your finger on it to select it.
- In the upper right corner tap More then Rename and rename the folder to WhatsApp.
- Download the official version of the WhatsApp app.
- Open WhatsApp and verify your phone number.
- When you see the Backup found screen, tap Restore and then Next.
Once you’ve carried out all of those instructions you should have the official version of WhatsApp open with your complete chat history.
How to save and transfer your chat history from WhatsApp Plus
For users of WhatsApp Plus, the transfer of the chat history will happen automatically, if it is has been saved previously. If you haven’t already saved your chat history, you need to:
- Open WhatsApp and hit More options, then Settings, Chats, Chat backup, and finally Backup.
- Once your chat history is saved all you need to do is download the official version of WhatsApp, launch the app, and verify your phone number.
- You should then have access to the official version of WhatsApp, complete with your WhatsApp Plus chat history.
These temporary bans should be taken seriously. If you are a GB WhatsApp or WhatsApp Plus user, as soon as your temporary bans are over, you should follow the instructions laid out above and transfer your chat history over to the official app. Although there is no official confirmation, this move from WhatsApp is likely a part of Zuckerberg’s big push for “privacy”, that he is using to justify the merger of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. It is highly likely that if you don’t transfer your chat history sooner rather than later, you’ll lose it forever.