data recovery – WhatsApp restore stops halfway through importing chat messages

I have a problem with restoring a WhatsApp backup made to transfer the messages from one phone to another.

First, I followed the advice I gave here myself after I ran into WhatsApp backup/restore issues with a local backup last year. WhatsApp finds the local backup and prompts to restore it, but after I confirm that, it stops at 44% while restoring messages, stays there for a few seconds, then displays an error message and suggests importing an older backup. If I confirm that, it displays a “progress animation”, but hangs indefinitely (I waited ~15 minutes). I checked the copied files and they are identical to those on the old phone, so I can rule out data corruption while copying the files.

Then I tried creating a fresh backup on Google Drive and restoring it on the new phone, but ran into the same issue – so the only logical conclusion would be that something in the WhatsApp data causes the restore to fail?!

I would be grateful for any pointers that could help solve this issue! One thing left to try would be to only create a backup of the messages, without media files, but I’m not really confident that would help, as it already fails while restoring the messages…