What you need to know
- New evidence has been uncovered that suggests Google will no longer offer unlimited backups for WhatsApp chats in Google Drive.
- The site WABetaInfo discovered code purportedly showing the upcoming limits and warnings for WhatsApp users.
- It is not clear at this time if, or when, these changes might take effect.
For quite some time now, WhatsApp users have had the ability to back up their chat history seamlessly and media to Google Drive for free directly from their Android phones — meaning, that data didn't count against a user's Google Drive (or later, Google One) storage quota. However, according to findings from WABetaInfo, this gravy train may soon be leaving the station.
Based on the source code the site was able to dig up, it appears that the free unlimited storage option is coming to an end sooner rather than later.
Initially, WABetaInfo said that it considered this news little more than a rumor after it previously reported that WhatsApp had been working on its own backup management options late in 2021, but with the uncovering of several key source code strings (below), it appears that the possibility of limited Google Drive backups for WhatsApp chats is moving towards reality.
To be clear, this news doesn't mean that WhatsApp users will no longer be able to backup their entire chat history to Google Drive; instead, it just means they might have to pay for backups beyond a specific limit. WABetaInfo found evidence that WhatsApp will let users know when their backups are nearly full, when they've reached their free limits, and when these new policy changes will take effect.
Of course, Google Drive and Google One are still some of the most reliable and affordable cloud storage options, but there are ways to manage and free up even more space should you need to.
WhatsApp has long been considered one of the best messaging apps worldwide. However, over the past year, some of its competitors like Telegram and Signal have gained ground, thanks to a series of policy missteps and service outages at WhatsApp's parent company, Meta. Even still, the full suite of features and ubiquity of the app, particularly in places outside the U.S., should ensure its dominance for the foreseeable future.
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Jeramy was the Editor-in-Chief of Android Central. He is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand.