.CRYPT15 File Extension
WhatsApp Encrypted Database File
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What is a CRYPT15 file?
A CRYPT15 file is an encrypted backup file created by the Android version of WhatsApp Messenger. It contains a record of the messages a user has sent and received through WhatsApp, encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption.
Periodically, WhatsApp backs up a user's messages in CRYPT15 files. These files are .DB database files that are encrypted and appended with the .crypt15 extension to create a .db.crypt15 file. Throughout WhatsApp's existence, the app has used different algorithms to encrypt users' messages and has appended backups with the .CRYPT14, .CRYPT12, .CRYPT10, .CRYPT8, and .CRYPT7 extensions, among others.
If you want to decrypt a CRYPT15 database and view the message history it contains, you must first locate your WhatsApp key file, which stores your CRYPT15 file's encryption key. Your key file is stored in the following location: /data/data/com.whatsapp/files/key.
Then, you must locate your CRYPT15 file. WhatsApp stores CRYPT15 files in the following directory: /sdcard/WhatsApp/Databases.
Why do I have multiple CRYPT15 files?
You may find multiple CRYPT15 database files in your Databases folder, with YYYY-MM-DD dates included in their filenames. WhatsApp creates new backup files periodically; the dates in these files' filenames represent when they were created.
Can I delete CRYPT15 files?
If you need to free up space on your SD card, you can delete most of your dated CRYPT15 files without affecting WhatsApp or your message history. However, you should always keep the most recent one or two CRYPT15 files, in case you need to restore your message history.
NOTE: WhatsApp began saving message history backups as CRYPT15 files in late 2021.
How to open a CRYPT15 file
At the time of this writing, there is no program that allows users to decrypt their CRYPT15 files and view the data they contain. However, in the future, WhatsApp Viewer (Windows) will likely allow you to decrypt, view, and save the data stored in your CRYPT15 files. To do so, you will need both your WhatsApp encryption key and your CRYPT15 file(s).
You can also use a CRYPT15 file to migrate or restore your WhatsApp message history on an Android device. To do so, you must rename your most recent CRYPT15 file to msgstore.db.crypt15, delete and reinstall WhatsApp, and then follow the app's prompts to manually restore your message history. For more detailed instructions from WhatsApp, click here.