Meta-owned WhatsApp plans to end the unlimited chat backup for its users on Google Drive by the end of June 2024. In other words, WhatsApp data backup on Android will now start counting toward the user’s Google Account cloud storage limit of 15GB (free).
WhatsApp To End Unlimited Data Backup On Google Drive Soon
For those unaware, in November last year, Google announced that it would soon start counting WhatsApp chat backups on Android toward users’ Google Account cloud storage limit of 15GB (free), similar to how WhatsApp backups are handled on other mobile platforms.
It also added that it would start rolling out the change to Beta users beginning in December 2023 and then gradually roll it out to all WhatsApp Android users across the first half of 2024. However, neither Google nor WhatsApp confirmed when the changes would be implemented back then.
“As an important heads up, 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,” Google wrote in a November blog post.
“If you choose to enable WhatsApp backups on Android, personal Google Accounts come with 15GB of storage at no charge – 3X more than most mobile platforms – that’s shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. WhatsApp backups on Android will continue to work, as long as you have available space within your Google Account storage.”
In the latest WhatsApp beta update submitted to the Google Play Store, the instant messaging app has started notifying Android users to manage their data within the free 15GB storage or purchase a Google One subscription for additional storage.
Several Android beta users confirmed that WhatsApp backup, which includes chats, images, and videos, now counts towards Google Drive storage for backup. Users will receive a notification 30 days before the change takes place with a banner in WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Chat backup. The notification will read, “Backups will start using your Google storage in the next few months.”
If you do not wish to back up chats to your Google Account, you can still transfer your chats between Android devices using WhatsApp Chat Transfer. You can click here to learn more.
WhatsApp is likely to release a new update to the messenger app and is expected to implement these changes fully by the end of June 2024. In addition, Google is also expected to release a limited, one-time Google One promotional offer to eligible users.