It’s a process that requires quite some installation and some good reading of the instructions but it can be done.
The trick is to install an older version of WhatsApp, extract the key and then copy the message databases. Then you can decrypt the database file and read it using another program. The hardest bit is extracting the key. Once you have that it’s all pretty fast. Apple IOS users have a definite advantage here because they can easily get to the key file.
You need to download WhatsApp-2.11.431.apk and abe-all.jar
Then rename WhatsApp-2.11.431.apk to LegacyWhatsApp.apk and copy it to the tmp/ directory
Rename abe-all.jar to abe.jar and copy it to the bin/ directory
Run the script.
Make sure you enable File transfer mode on the phone after you connect it
Also, I needed to open the old version of WhatsApp before making the backup in the script – fortunately the script waits here for a password! First it wants you to update: don’t! I got a phone date is inaccurate error. Just wait on this screen and then continue on with the script. The script goes silent here for quite some time.
The best instructions are to be found here by PIRATA! but miss the above few steps.
** Version 4.7 Updated October 2016 – Supports Android 4.0-7.0 ** SUMMARY: Allows WhatsApp users to extract their cipher key and databases on non-rooted Android devices. UPDATE: This tool was last updated on October 12th 2016. and confirmed… forum.xda-developers.com