Meta and Google Set to Discontinue Unlimited Backup for WhatsApp

Backing up your WhatsApp chats is important because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing you to store all of your important conversations. For quite a while, WhatsApp and Google offered unlimited backup storage, but an upcoming update will discontinue this feature.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that iOS WhatsApp users have already had to deal with this for a while. Apple users need to pay for extra storage, and it seems that Android users will also need to do the same in the near future. This might make it more difficult to store your data than might have been the case otherwise, although it bears mentioning that they will still have the standard 15GB of storage space available free of charge.

Most users might be unhappy that their days of free storage are over with all things having been considered and taken into account. Users that hit the storage limit will now be forced to choose what data they want to continue storing, or pay for additional storage space that might not be within their budgets.

Google's Community Manager, Jamie, explained in a help page, "WhatsApp backups on Android will soon start counting toward your Google Account cloud storage limit, similar to how WhatsApp backups are handled on other mobile platforms." Adding further, "This change will first start rolling out to WhatsApp Beta users starting in December 2023, then gradually to all WhatsApp users on Android starting early next year."

Users that have a massive multimedia library will be particularly affected by this change, since these files tend to be considerably larger than just text. In order to make it so that the update doesn’t end up affecting you negatively, it is essential that you go through your data on the off chance that there are some redundancies you can get rid of.

Furthermore, turning off auto-download settings for media might be a fruitful course of action to take. You can also decide to delete chats that are quite old, since this would allow you to prioritize chats that are more recent. Finally, users might want to give auto-deletion a try. This removes messages automatically after a certain period of time has elapsed, and the same goes for media related messages as well.

Such a change will have a seismic effect on the manner in which people use WhatsApp. In spite of the fact that this is the case, it’s fair to say that unlimited storage was never going to last forever, especially given the rising costs of data storage and the rapidly diminishing space on company servers.

Android users to join iOS in managing WhatsApp backups within limited storage; large libraries face bigger challenges.
Screenshot: WBI

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Changes to WhatsApp Backup Storage on Google Drive:

What is the recent change regarding WhatsApp backups on Google Drive?
Google and WhatsApp have announced that the unlimited storage quota for WhatsApp backups on Google Drive will be removed. Users will soon have to manage their backups within the 15GB of free cloud storage provided with their Google Account, or any additional storage purchased through Google One.

Will these changes impact all WhatsApp users?
This change primarily impacts Android users who use Google Drive for their WhatsApp backups. It's important to note that users with a Workspace subscription through work or school will not be affected at this time.

Can users still back up their WhatsApp data for free?
Yes, users can continue to back up their WhatsApp data at no extra cost as long as it fits within their available Google Drive storage limit (15GB free or more if they have purchased additional storage).

What happens if a user reaches their Google Drive storage limit?
If users hit their storage limit, they must free up space to resume backups. This can be done by removing unnecessary chats or media, or they can opt to purchase additional storage through a Google One plan.

What are some of the proactive steps users can take to manage their storage?
Users can review and clean up their future backups by deleting large or unnecessary files, adjust media auto-download settings, delete old archived conversations, and enable disappearing messages to reduce the backup size.

When will these changes come into effect?
The changes are expected to roll out to beta testers soon, with a broader rollout planned for the following year i.e. 2024. Users are encouraged to start managing their data storage strategies proactively.

What is the most cost-effective Google One plan for additional storage?
Currently, the most affordable plan is the Basic one, offering 100GB for $1.99 per month.

How can users optimize their chat backups to fit within the new limits?
Users should regularly review and clean up their chat history, control auto-downloaded media, delete non-essential archived conversations, and consider using disappearing messages to minimize the size of their backups.

Why is this change being implemented?
The shift from unlimited to limited storage for WhatsApp backups on Google Drive is part of the evolving landscape of cloud services. It addresses the challenges posed by large backups and encourages users to adopt more efficient data management practices.

How will existing backups be affected by this change?
Existing WhatsApp backups will count towards the user's Google Drive storage quota. Users should review their current backups and manage them to stay within their storage limits.

What are the implications for users who heavily rely on multimedia messaging?
Users with extensive multimedia messaging might find their backups to be larger in size. They should be more diligent in managing their backup sizes, possibly by regularly deleting large files or unnecessary media.

How can users check their current storage usage on Google Drive?
Users can check their current storage usage by going to Google Drive, clicking on Storage on the left-hand panel, and viewing their used and available storage.

Are there any alternatives to Google Drive for WhatsApp backups?
While Google Drive is the primary cloud backup option for WhatsApp on Android, users can also manually back up their chat history to their device's local storage or other cloud data storage platform (of course manually) or use the new feature to transfer chat history between devices without relying on Google Drive.

Will this change affect the security of WhatsApp backups?
The change in storage policy does not impact the security of WhatsApp backups. The backups will continue to be encrypted, ensuring user data's safety and privacy.

Can users set up automatic alerts to monitor their Google Drive storage usage?
While Google Drive does not currently offer automatic alerts for storage usage, users can regularly check their storage status manually to avoid unexpectedly reaching their limit.

What happens to WhatsApp backups if a user decides not to purchase additional storage?
If a user decides not to purchase additional storage and exceeds their free quota, they will be unable to create new backups until they free up space or purchase additional storage.

How can users access and manage their backups on Google Drive?
Users can access and manage their WhatsApp backups on Google Drive by going to the 'Backups' section in their Google Drive settings. Here, they can view, delete, or download their WhatsApp backup files.

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