Android users will no longer have free WhatsApp backups.
Google One subscriptions offer more storage for WhatsApp backups.
WhatsApp backups will start counting against Google Drive storage in December 2023.
Android users on WhatsApp will no longer enjoy free backups, marking a shift after five years during which Android users’ backups did not contribute to Google Drive storage limits, a contrast to the policy for iOS users.
Google and WhatsApp have jointly revealed that, beginning with WhatsApp beta users in December, chat history, including images and videos, will once again consume Google Drive storage, regardless of whether users are on the free 15GB plan or have a paid storage subscription.
WhatsApp has announced that this modification will be implemented for all its Android users in the first half of 2024. Users will receive a 30-day advance notification, presented as a banner in Settings > Chat > Chat backup.
For users who prefer not to utilize their Google account for backups, there will be an alternative in the form of WhatsApp Chat Transfer. This feature facilitates wireless transfers when transitioning to a new Android device, requiring only Wi-Fi to be enabled on both phones. The transfer is direct and doesn’t depend on a network connection.
Google conveyed that there will be no alterations to WhatsApp backups, except for the possibility of storage limitations impacting your ability to continue saving data to the cloud. Deleting items in WhatsApp will also remove them from your cloud backup, aiding in space savings on Google Drive. Additionally, users are directed to consider Google One subscriptions for increased storage, with Google mentioning the provision of “limited, one-time Google One promotions” for eligible users.
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Importantly, the way WhatsApp operates on iOS is virtually the same, with the exception being that Apple continues to provide only 5GB of cloud storage for users who do not subscribe to a paid plan.