WhatsApp allows its users to backup their chat history and multi-media to Google Drive, allowing them to access their chat history when switching from an old device to a new device. This way, they don’t lose important messages or media.
Google Drive is currently the most convenient way for WhatsApp users to freely backup their chats and multimedia without worrying about storage limits.
At the moment of writing this, WhatsApp backups are not affected by the user’s Google Drive storage quota.
However, new reports indicate that this will change soon.
WhatsApp may soon discontinue the unlimited chat backup feature in Google Drive and instead allow you to organize chat backups within a limited storage quota.
WaBetaInfo, a WhatsApp feature tracker, has reported that Google may discontinue offering unlimited storage for WhatsApp backups. Instead, WhatsApp users would be asked to upgrade to a more limited plan, which would most likely limit free chat backup to 2000 MB per user. If your backups exceed the limit, they will be deducted from your drive quota.
If this occurs, WhatsApp will become the second platform, following Google Photos, to discontinue offering unlimited storage space to its users.
To counter this, WhatsApp recently submitted a new beta (22.214.171.124) version to the Google Play Beta program. The company has added a new option in this version that allows users to manage the backup size. It allows you to exclude specific types of media that do not need to be backed up.
This feature is available in the WhatsApp beta for Android 126.96.36.199, but it may not be available for beta testers yet. When the company completes the app development, it will most likely be available in the company’s main app.
Initially, WhatsApp backups had a limited storage quota on Google Drive. However, WhatsApp changed its policy in 2018 when it linked up with Google to provide WhatsApp backups on Google Drive regardless of storage quota.
It’s good to note that users can still access their WhatsApp backups using their phone number and Google account. Also, keep in mind that WhatsApp backups that haven’t been updated in over a year are automatically deleted from Google Drive.
In terms of iCloud, iPhone users do not have such access. They only get 5GB of storage and must pay monthly fees for additional space.
It should be understood that neither WhatsApp nor Google has issued an official statement regarding the discontinuation of unlimited storage for chat history backups. However, given how Google discontinued unlimited photo backups in 2021, the introduction of the new feature by WhatsApp suggests that it is likely to happen eventually.
Many people believe that this forthcoming WhatsApp feature will allow them to delete unnecessary chats and media and only save the important stuff.