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WhatsApp for Android to Resume Using Google Drive Storage for Backups

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  • Post last modified:8 January 2024
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Key Points:

  • Android users will no longer receive unlimited Google Drive storage for WhatsApp backups.
  • The change will take effect in December for beta users and roll out to all Android users in the first half of 2024.
  • Users who don’t want to use Google Drive can utilize the WhatsApp Chat Transfer feature for device migration.
  • Google will offer limited-time storage promotions for eligible users.

Details of the Change

WhatsApp has announced that Android users will once again be required to utilize their Google Drive storage for backups, ending a five-year period where these backups were exempt from storage limits. This change will align Android users with iOS users, who have always had to factor in WhatsApp backups when managing their Google Drive storage.

Implementation Timeline and User Notifications

The change will initially be implemented for WhatsApp beta users in December 2023 and gradually expand to all Android users throughout the first half of 2024. To ensure users are informed, WhatsApp will send out notifications 30 days prior to the change taking effect in their region. These notifications will appear as banners within the Settings > Chat > Chat backup section of the app.

Alternative Backup Option

For users who prefer not to utilize their Google account for backups, WhatsApp offers the WhatsApp Chat Transfer feature. This feature enables wireless device-to-device backup transfers, requiring only Wi-Fi connectivity on both devices.

Google One Promotions

Google acknowledges that the change in backup policy may impact storage usage for some users. To address this, Google will offer “eligible users limited, one-time Google One promotions” that provide additional storage.

Alignment with iOS and Storage Management

The decision to bring Android users in line with iOS users regarding Google Drive storage for WhatsApp backups aims to streamline the user experience across platforms. Additionally, Google emphasizes that deleting items from WhatsApp will also remove them from the cloud backup, helping users manage their storage effectively.

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