Originally, WhatsApp allowed users to back up chat history to Google Drive, but recent leaks have suggested that an option to export chat backups is coming soon to the messaging service.
Now, according to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has already started testing the feature in the latest beta release v22.214.171.124, and an ‘import’ option is now available, which works in tandem with the leaked ‘export’ option.
If you log into WhatsApp from a new device running WhatsApp v126.96.36.199, you will get the option to “import” a local chat backup, instead of having to import the backup from Google Drive.
This makes sense in instances where you’ve lost access to your Google Drive, or are trying to switch phones and transfer backup over a slow internet connection. According to WaBetaInfo, the feature is still in development, and the import tool doesn’t do anything at the moment, not even in the beta app. There is no tentative release date for the new feature.