Starting from 2018, Android users have enjoyed the convenience of storing their WhatsApp data on Google Drive without any associated costs. However, this arrangement is undergoing a significant shift, as announced jointly by Google and WhatsApp.
The conclusion of unlimited backups on Google Drive is imminent, with the data backed up now contributing to the overall storage capacity of your Google account. The countdown to this change begins in December 2023, starting with WhatsApp beta users and gradually extending to all users by the first half of 2024.
For users on the stable version of WhatsApp, the impact will be felt in the first half of 2024. Going forward, users are advised to be mindful of the amount of information uploaded to Google Drive. WhatsApp will issue notifications to all users in advance, with a warning appearing in the backup settings 30 days before the implementation of this change.
For standard Drive users, the storage allocation is 15 GB, shared across all Google services. Despite this limitation, Google emphasizes that it is “three times more than most platforms.” To manage limited space, Google suggests removing unnecessary files or deleting WhatsApp media to reduce backup sizes. Alternatively, users can consider a Google One plan to expand their cloud storage, with options such as 100 GB for $1.99 per month or a premium 2 TB plan for $9.99 per month. Notably, the end of unlimited backups only applies to personal Google accounts; Google Workspace or school accounts remain unaffected.
As the implementation date approaches, users are urged to stay vigilant, make prudent data management choices, and explore available options to ensure a smooth transition to the new backup system.