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Important Update: WhatsApp Backups to Use Google Drive Storage

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If you back up your WhatsApp conversations to Drive on Android, it’s advisable to review your Google account storage status. In 2018, WhatsApp and Google introduced a feature allowing users to save their chat history to Drive without it impacting their storage quota. However, starting in December 2023, for WhatsApp beta users, backing up the messaging app to Drive will count towards the Google account cloud storage space. Non-beta users will experience this change gradually, reaching all Android devices next year.

Personal Google accounts provide 15GB of free cloud storage shared across Gmail, Drive, and Photos, which Google emphasizes is three times more than most mobile platforms. For context, Apple’s iCloud offers only 5GB of free space. While 15GB may seem sufficient, it’s possible to exceed this limit, especially with numerous backed-up pictures and files.

Google provides storage management tools to simplify the removal of large files or unnecessary photos. Additionally, users can delete items directly within WhatsApp to exclude them from the next backup. Those needing additional storage options can explore Google One, starting at $2 per month for 100GB. Google promises “limited, one-time Google One promotions” for eligible users, suggesting waiting for these before subscribing.

It’s crucial to note that this change applies solely to users backing up chat history using personal accounts. Those with Workspace accounts through their job or another organization need not worry about WhatsApp consuming a portion of their cloud storage space.

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