WhatsApp users can now download their account information. Photo: File
DURBAN - WhatsApp has released a new feature called Request Account Info which will allow users to request and export their WhatsApp account information and settings.

While users can download their account information and settings, they will not be able to download their messages.

These are the steps to follow to request a report:

1. Go to WhatsApp Settings, then click on Account and then click on Request account info.
2. Tap Request report
3. The screen will update to Request sent.

The report will be ready in about three days after the date you requested it. There will also be a Ready by date to refer to while waiting for the report.

Users should also note that certain account actions like deleting your account, changing your number or device and re-registering your WhatsApp account will cancel your request. If your request is canceled you can still request another report.

How to download and export a report

When the report is available, the user will receive a WhatsApp notification on your phone stating that their account info is ready to download.

The Request account info screen will inform you about the amount of time that you have to download the report before it is deleted from their servers.

Here are the steps on to how to download your report:

1. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
2. Click on Account, then click on Request account info and then click on Download report.
3. Then a ZIP file will be downloaded to your phone. The ZIP file will have an HTML file that is easy to view as well as a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) file that can be ported to another app.
4. After the file is downloaded to your device, select Export report.

Users will not be able to see the downloaded report within WhatsApp.

Instead, they can choose any of the external applications that appear in their share options to export the report, like email.

You should be careful when storing the report or uploading it to other services because the report has your personal information.

Once you have requested a report, you can't cancel or undo the request.

If you don't want the report to fall into the wrong hands then you can permanently delete the report from your phone after you have downloaded it. Your account data will not be deleted if you delete the report.

This feature will be available in the coming weeks to all users across the world on the newest version app.