WhatsApp tests password-protected chat backups in latest beta

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Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp’s newest beta release is out with password protection for your chat backups. The feature provides an additional layer of security — and added peace of mind — that ensures only you can access your conversation history.

A long-awaited dark mode isn’t the only thing WhatsApp is quietly working on behind the scenes. Other new features and improvements are also on the way for the platform’s more than 2 billion users worldwide.

One of them, according to the latest WhatsApp beta, is the ability to protect your chat backups with a password.

Added security for your WhatsApp backups

The feature prevents a backup from being accessed or restored without a password. So, if someone gains access to your backup data, they would be unable to read your conversations without entering your password.

Password protection for chat backups is being tested on Android with Google Drive backups for now, but it’s likely the same functionality would also be extended to iOS and iCloud backups later.

That’s if the feature ever comes to WhatsApp at all, of course. “The feature is in an alpha stage of development,” notes WABetaInfo, which first spotted the change in the WhatsApp version 2.20.66 release.

That means password protection is still in the very early stages of testing and may still be dropped — as other features have in the past. This is far from a guarantee of WhatsApp’s plans for the future.

What happened to dark mode?

We are confident that dark mode is all but confirmed, given that it has been in testing for a while now, and that every other app (almost) has a dark mode at this point. There’s still no word on when we’ll get it, though.

Keep an eye on WhatsApp updates in the App Store — it shouldn’t be long before dark mode finally makes its public debut.