In order to find a solution to a certain problem I'm having, I'm trying to do a Google search with the terms:

copy "msgstore.db" to new phone

A bit of context must be provided before I can continue:

  • msgstore.db is a file which contains the Whatsapp messages in unencrypted form. It does not exist outside the Whatsapp DATA folder within the Android system (so it cannot be accessed by conventional means). It`s the working database file for Whatsapp.

  • Anything ending in .crypt is an encrypted database file, created for backup purposes in the sdcard. Thus it can be accessed by anyone.

Now, the vast majority of websites out there are full or articles directed to "casual" users, so they only contain info pertaining to the second case, but these are useless to me since I'm trying to do something very peculiar. (Posted on Android.SE).

I need results containing the exact words "msgstore.db", but my query is returning pages containing keywords like msgstore.db.crypt or msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.db.crypt8 despite the fact that I isolated the terms with quotation marks.

Is my query wrong, and if so, what would be the right way to do such a search?

  • Your query is telling Google just to include the search terms you specified, NOT to not include pages containing other keywords. So your results do contain the exact words msgstore.db but they also contain other things because you haven't specifically excluded them. Aren't you potentially missing important results by excluding anything that doesn't contain the literal msgstore.db? Just because it includes msgstore.db.crypt doesn't mean the result is less valid, eg, maybe the best answer also contains msgstore.db.crypt as the person is describing something that didn't work.
    – Matthew
    Oct 30, 2016 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


Try to negate the terms you don't want. Wildcards may help.

Try something like this:

copy "msgstore.db" to new phone -"msgstore.db.crypt" -"msgstore-*.db.crypt8"
  • Good idea. Although it's not working for me. The results are much the same as previously. Did you test it, and did it work?
    – Marc.2377
    Jul 7, 2016 at 20:22

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