In a significant shift from its long-standing policy of offering unlimited cloud storage for WhatsApp backups on Google Drive, Google has announced that it will soon restrict this feature to 15GB for Android users. This decision is expected to take effect sometime in the coming months and aligns WhatsApp’s backup experience on Android with that of other platforms.
Reasons for the Change
Google cited several reasons for this change, including the need to manage storage costs and ensure a consistent experience across different platforms. The company also noted that the vast majority of Android users utilize less than 15GB of storage for their WhatsApp backups, making the unlimited option less relevant for most users.
Impact on WhatsApp Users
The change is likely to impact Android users who have accumulated large amounts of chat history over time. These users will need to carefully manage their backup storage to ensure they don’t exceed the 15GB limit. If they exceed the limit, they will need to free up storage space or purchase additional Google One storage to continue backing up their chats.
Alternatives for WhatsApp Backup
While Google Drive serves as the primary backup method for WhatsApp chats, Android users have alternative options for storing their chat history. These include:
- Local backups: WhatsApp allows users to create local backups directly on their devices. This method offers faster backup and restore times but is limited to the device’s internal storage.
- Third-party cloud storage services: Several third-party cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and OneDrive, can be used to back up WhatsApp chats. These services offer varying storage limits and pricing plans.
Recommendations for Android Users
To ensure a smooth transition and prevent potential data loss, Android users are advised to take the following steps:
- Check current backup usage: Access WhatsApp’s Settings > Storage and Data > Manage Storage to view current backup usage.
- Manage large chats: Identify and delete large chat threads or media files that consume significant storage.
- Consider alternative backup options: Explore local backup or third-party cloud storage solutions if Google Drive’s 15GB limit poses concerns.
- Monitor storage usage: Regularly check storage usage to ensure it remains within the 15GB limit.
By following these recommendations, Android users can adapt to the change and maintain control over their WhatsApp chat backups.