WhatsApp backups on Android will soon start counting toward your Google Account storage limit. The update will start rolling out for WhatsApp Beta users starting December 2023 and will then be gradually rolled out to all WhatsApp users on Android starting early next year.
This means your free 15GB storage that includes Gmail, Drive and Photos (if you opt-in for backup) will now also include WhatsApp chat backups. As a result, you might be required to purchase Google’s cloud storage solution because 15GB is likely to be not enough.
Google says, “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 15 GB of storage available at no charge.”
WhatsApp backups on Android will only work if you have available storage within your Google Account. In case you hit the storage limit, you’ll need to free up space to resume backups by removing items you do not need. WhatsApp won’t backup your chats if there’s no storage available in your Google Account.
This will surely cause inconvenience to WhatsApp users. But Google has storage management tools that can help you in removing large files or photos. The two companies are working together on this and Google says that it will soon provide eligible users limited, one-time Google One promotions to make the transition easier.
But if you opt for it, you must note that it’ll be a monthly/yearly (depending on the plan) spend in the long term that you can’t opt out of easily.
WhatsApp will let you know 30 days before this change happens with a banner in the chat app when you go to Settings > Chats > Chat backup. Those who have Google Workspace subscription through work or school will not be impacted by this change, for now.