WhatsApp Backups to Google Drive may have limited storage allocation in the future

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta February 22, 2022
Updated 2022/02/22 at 1:22 AM

WhatsApp backups to Google Drive may no longer have unlimited storage space in the future as some references have surfaced online to suggest that a limit on backups for Android devices is in the works. WhatsApp users on iPhone already have limited space to store backups on iCloud. However, this is not the case for Android users as until now they have been given unlimited Google Drive storage to keep their chat backups. WhatsApp may introduce some changes to help users manage backup size on Android.

According to a report by the WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo, some strings appeared in the instant messaging app code that suggests the update in effect.

A screenshot shared by WABetaInfo shows the strings that indicate notifications to let users know when Google Drive is almost full and reaching the specified quota. These alerts can be given when users backup their WhatsApp chats. Additionally, users can be given the options to exclude certain file types from backup to avoid filling the given limit.

The reported code suggests that Google would offer a certain quota for storing WhatsApp backups. It might be in addition to the free 15GB storage available on Google Drive. The change is different from the current case where Google Drive has unlimited storage to keep WhatsApp backups.

WhatsApp backups seem to have limited storage space on Google Drive
Photo credit: WABetaInfo

AN support page shows that WhatsApp backups currently do not use the Google Drive storage limit available to users. However, iPhone users do not have this privilege as Apple considers WhatsApp backups to be part of its iCloud storage allocation.

Gadgets 360 has reached out to WhatsApp and Google for comments on the update. This article will be updated when the companies in question respond.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Google ending the unlimited storage allocation for WhatsApp backups, as the company last year ended the unlimited free storage benefit given to Google Photos users. The change can be seen as a move to convince users to get paid Google One plans starting at Rs. 130 per month in India ($1.99 US) for basic 100GB cloud storage access.

In September, WhatsApp introduced end-to-end encrypted cloud backups for Android and iOS devices to protect chats. The feature launched to users worldwide in October.

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