WhatsApp is changing the way it backs up your data. In an attempt to make it more accessible and seamless, the instant messaging application uses Google Drive to save backups. Moreover, the backups won't eat into your precious Google Drive storage limit. The official statement reads, "starting November 12, 2018, WhatsApp backups will no longer count towards the Google Drive storage quota."
Another important thing to note is that WhatsApp will delete data from Google Drive that hasn't been updated in more than a year. The users will have time till November 12 to update their back up, after which any back up that hasn't been updated since a year will be deleted.
Despite the one-year ultimatum, this new development will help free up storage space from the phone, at the same time not occupy any space in the Google Drive. With a barrage of media being exchanged via WhatsApp groups, this will be a welcome move. However, there are a few pre-requisites to use Google Drive as your preferred location for back-up.
- The phone needs to have an active Google account
- Google Play services on your phone (available for Android 2.3.4 and higher)
- Enough free space on the phone to create a back-up.
To ensure that your current backups are up to date with Google Drive, go to WhatsApp Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat back-up. Click on 'Back up to Google Drive' and then you will be asked for the frequency of backups. Select any one of the options ranging from daily to monthly. One can also back up manually at any given instant.
To gain access to the new backup ecosystem, the user will need to have the same Google account that was used during the back-up. While installing or re-installing WhatsApp on a smartphone, the app will prompt the user to restore the back-up.
The messages and media will take a substantial time to restore, depending on the amount of data the user had backed up. It is advised that the backup is completed using a Wi-Fi connection as the file downloads could incur heavy data charges if done over a cellular network.Disclaimer: The media and messages backed up on Google Drive won't be encrypted the way they are on WhatsApp.