WhatsApp and Google have reached an agreement where an unlimited amount of WhatsApp backup will now be allowed to be stored for free and will not count on your free or purchased Google Drive account. The changes will be effective starting November 12, 2018, and all backup data from WhatsApp that’ll be stored henceforth will be the treated as free and unlimited.
The news comes fromWhatsApp’s FAQ page saying the backup package will no longer count towards your available Drive storage space. Google has also been circulating emails to several users about the same and has urged users to manually backup your WhatsApp data before October 30 for getting the changes in effect.
WhatsApp has been providing users with a way to back up their conversation, pictures and videos to Google Drive for a while now. The mechanism would require users to have sufficient space on their Google Drive account in order to upload all chats and media to Google’s servers. This meant WhatsApp users were restricted to limited storage on Google Drive because of their backup quota.
The latest development means you can get your most recent WhatsApp chats and media available to you even if you lose your old phone or are trying to transfer data to a newer phone. As is obvious, WhatsApp backups on Google Drive would need you to activate a Google account on your Android phone which has Google Play services installed. For the backup to be safely uploaded, users will have to make sure there’s sufficient local storage on the smartphone to create a backup.
In order to create a backup, you’ll need to head over to WhatsApp > Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat backup and click on ‘Back up to Google Drive’ to manually start the upload process for the first time. This backup will be saved inside your Google Drive for now and starting November 12, the same backup will no longer occupy any storage quota on your Google Drive, which will be a rescue to users who have limited or free storage on their Google account.
It’s to be noted that not all backups you upload will be stored and backups older than a year will be automatically removed from the Drive without notice. Another thing to note that once your backed up messages and media files are on the cloud, it’s no longer protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption. So, there’s your catch.