WhatsApp just announced that it will stop providing free unlimited backup for its Android users! Find out what this means for you!
Previously : Free Unlimited WhatsApp Backup On Android!
From the beginning, WhatsApp has been providing its users with unlimited backup of chats and files on Android for free.
In fact, none of us ever thought about just how much storage we have been using to backup our WhatsApp chats and files. It was just something that we took for granted.
Well, that is going to change starting in December 2023… and here is what you need to know!
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WhatsApp : No More Free Unlimited Backup On Android!
On Tuesday, 14 November 2023, Google Community Manager Jamie dropped a bombshell, announcing that WhatsApp will stop providing free unlimited backup on Android!
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.
WhatsApp Is Not Charging Any Backup Fee
This does not mean WhatsApp will start charging a fee for backup storage. No, what will happen is that the storage used for your WhatsApp backup will count towards your Google Account’s cloud storage limit.
If you have a personal Google Account, you have 15 GB of free cloud storage space. Now, you will need to reserve some of that space for your WhatsApp backup.
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.
The 15GB of free cloud storage is not a lot of space, because it is shared by Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. Most users will quickly run out of space, unless they disable uploading photos to Google Photos, for example. Or regularly prune WhatsApp chats to reduce backup space.
To be clear – WhatsApp is not charging any fee to backup your old messages!
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You May Have To Pay For More Google Storage
If you run out of storage, WhatsApp backup will stop working. The last backup will still be there, but you won’t be able to update that backup.
WhatsApp backups on Android will continue to work, as long as you have available space within your Google Account storage. If you hit your storage limit, you’ll need to free up space to resume backups by removing items you do not need.
What Google does not point out is that the other services relying on the same Google Account storage – Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos – will also stop working when you run out of storage!
In other words, you are being indirectly “encouraged” to pay for more Google storage. Unless you diligently restrict the amount of storage used by WhatsApp, Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.
Change Only Affects “Free” Personal Accounts
Currently, this change only affects users of personal Google Accounts. Those who have a Google Workspace subscription through work or school are not affected.
In other words, Google will only stop providing free unlimited backup to people who are using free personal Google Accounts.
Those who are using paid Google Workspace accounts will continue to enjoy free and unlimited storage space for their WhatsApp backup files.
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Change To Roll Out In December 2023
This change will start rolling out for WhatsApp Beta users in December 2023, but everyone else can expect to lose the free unlimited backup in the first half of 2024.
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.
WhatsApp said that it will let users know 30 days before the change happens through a banner in the app.
You Can Backup Onto Your Phone
WhatsApp will still offer a local backup option that won’t count towards the storage limit. However, it is a poor alternative to cloud backup.
- Click on the hamburger icon and go to Settings > Chats > Chat backup.
- Tap on the “Back up to Google Drive” option, and select “Never“.
- Tap on the green Back up button, and WhatsApp will create a local backup.
The local backup file is saved on your phone’s internal storage. You will need to periodically copy it to a micro SD card, or an external storage device. Otherwise, you will not have access to the backup, if you accidentally destroy your phone.
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