WhatsApp rolled out a feature Friday that allows users to back up their conversation history with end-to-end encryption.

Users who apply the encryption have sole access to their backup cloud, the messaging service reports.

Normally the backups are behind a password that is managed by WhatsApp.

The backups of your conversation history are put on Google Drive or iCloud by WhatsApp.

These may only be viewed by the chat service, Google or Apple if the user gives explicit permission for this.

The password you create with the new function will not be shared with anyone, WhatsApp writes.

This means that only the user can know the password.

A downside to this is that if the user loses or forgets their password, they will no longer be able to access their cloud backups.

The feature was tested earlier this year and is now available for all smartphones.

It was already possible to encrypt unsaved conversations, so that only the sender and receiver can read the messages.

WhatsApp can forward reported messages and have them viewed by experts at Facebook. They only have access to the forwarded messages, the rest of the chat history is also still inaccessible to them.

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