WhatsApp backups will start eating into your Google Storage soon

  • Since 2018 WhatsApp backups haven’t used Google storage space.
  • That will change starting in December for WhatsApp Beta users when WhatsApp backups begin using your Google storage space.
  • WhatsApp says users will be alerted to the update 30 days before it takes effect via a banner in the chat backup menu.

For those skirting the limits of their free 15GBs of Google cloud storage, you may want to take note of an announcement from Big G and Meta’s WhatsApp.

Since 2018, WhatsApp backups of chats and media saved to Google cloud storage haven’t eaten into the overall Google storage limit. Starting in December, these backups will eat into that storage limit.

WhatsApp Beta users will be the first to experience this change with other users being handed the change “early next year”.

“Going forward, WhatsApp backup experience on Android will be in line with how it works on other platforms, with the added benefit of Google’s 15GB of storage available at no charge. We’ll continue to work with WhatsApp to provide you with reliable and secure backup support,” Google wrote in an update.

Neither Google nor WhatsApp has explained why this change is happening but we suspect that Meta’s growing user base and folks collecting more and more videos, audio files and photos via chats, is starting to cost both firms.

As WhatsApp details, users will need to start managing their storage more actively. Users will need to either delete content they’re backing up, delete items from Google storage or purchase more storage capacity. The chat platform has said that users will be warned of the change 30 days before it happens with a banner located in the Chat backup setting menu in the app.

Should you want to manage your WhatsApp backups ahead of this change, you can head here for instructions for both Android and iOS. You can also head to this URL to get an overview of your Google storage ecosystem.

We suspect that many users are going to get a bit of shock if their Google storage is full and WhatsApp can’t back up their conversations and media files. In the Hypertext office, our backups range from as low as 831MB to as much as 3.7GB.

The more videos you have backed up the larger the backup file is going to be. You can manage your WhatsApp backup by following the instructions at this link. You can manage files on a per-chat basis or you can remove files of a certain size in a bulk action.

As mentioned this change starts rolling out for WhatsApp Beta users next month and other users in early 2024.


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