Problem with 2 apps using Google Services


I’m having an issue with 2 apps that I need that rely on Google for back ups. The first one is SMS Backup and Restore and the other one is WhatsApp. On both of these when I get to a bit that requires me to log into Google (for Google Drive) I get an error message ‘Authentication failed’. I have my Google account set on my phone so I’m not quite sure where I’ve gone wrong?

Any help very much appreciated. Thanks.

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

I use this app without a Google account: I change the backup to ‘Local Backup’ and use a directry on my external SD card, then periodically copy that directry to a connected PC

To add to that, if using the Pro version of SMS Backup & Restore one can use WebDAV as a backup location. Murena Cloud for instance. Tested and works.
Or, if you have the Nextcloud app installed you can still save to Murena cloud via Storage Access Framework via Files when selecting local backup.

I do not, however, backup to the cloud. Usually preferring the petefoth method. :smirk:

What happens if you install the Google Drive app and try again. Possibility it may be required. Won’t hurt to try.

EDIT: Disregard. Tested with and without GDrive available. Same Authentication Failed error.
Grabbed a couple of logs and I couldn’t find anything specifically.
Looks like another case of actual Play Services needed.

Decided to use the bug report option in SMS Backup & Restore. From there I see the issues. There are blocks of errrors starting with…

2023-02-06 02:38:44: Could not perform Authorization : the name must not be empty: null: java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: the name must not be empty: null
at android.accounts.Account. (
at android.accounts.Account. (

Decided to send a report anyway, mentioning using microG. Will see what they say.

Thanks for the replies. Yeah I done the same and just made a local copy and copied it over. I’m wondering if Whatsapp is the same issue? I did try a method for Whatsapp where you find the folder on the phone running Android and the copy it to the same place on the phone running e/os but it didn’t find the back up.

When I was doing this a while back on another microg os I had the same result. I cleared the storage for Whatsapp in the phone settings,copied the folders into the identical location, then open Whatsapp: it failed to detect a backup.

Looking further I found that many of the individual files in the copied folders has an additional file extension that wasn’t present on the originals. .bin I think.

Laboriously deleting all of the file extensions and clearing storage for Whatsapp once more before running again and it worked.

Another - and possibly better - solution is to use the app SMS Import / Export. It is [Open Source(GitHub - tmo1/sms-ie: SMS Import / Export is a simple Android app that imports and exports SMS and MMS messages, call logs, and contacts from and to JSON files.), has a public issue tracker , and is available on F-Droid (so it should also be available in App Lounge if you use that).

The F-Droid entry says

SMS Import / Export imports and exports SMS and MMS messages, call logs, and contacts from and to JSON files. (Contacts import and export are currently functional but considered experimental.) It does not require root.

I installed this a while ago, but I carried on using SMS Backup and Restore (because I’m lazy :slight_smile: ).

I use the NextCloud sync client to sync files with my / eCloud account. I have just had a play, and SMS Import / Export will export to a file in the tree which gets synched to the cloud account. Installing NextCloud and SMS Import / Export on a different device, I was immediately able to import the messages that I had just exported from my main phone :slight_smile:

Time for me to move to SMS Import / Export I think :slight_smile:

Edit: It also has a setting to delete old exports, so you won’t fill up your cloud storage

In a related topic on Telegram about WhatsApp, Kurtn linked this issue…

Cannot Select Google Drive Account On Whatsapp · Issue #1824 · microg/GmsCore · GitHub

The last post in that issue has a “worked for me” set of steps used. Essentially he turned on an option in the Google account to make the account available to other apps. Off by default I think.
I don’t have/use WhatsApp so I tried it with SMS Backup & Restore. Still a no go though.

I noticed in the WhatsApp settings it has the option to export chats. Does this just put them on a spreadsheet? Couldn’t see an option to import them though.

I forgot that I sent a message to SyncTech (SMS Backup & Restore) about the Google Drive issue. Their response…

The Google Drive authentication is highly dependent on the Google Play Services and, unfortunately, we don’t have a way to work around this unless you use Google Play Services.

I finally got WhatsApp to work properly last night. Turns out that the ‘Let apps find this account’, or something similar wasn’t turned on in microG. As for Sms Backup I’ve just been savi g local copies to my memory card.

Well, I mentioned that possible fix a couple of posts up. Sounds like it went unread/untried(?), :smirk:
Good to know it worked out though.