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WhatsApp to Discontinue Unlimited Chat Backup on Google Drive in 2024

WhatsApp is reportedly discontinuing support for unlimited chat backups on Google Drive for users enrolled in the app’s beta testing program. This move comes as part of a broader update affecting Android users and follows the November 2023 announcement that WhatsApp and Google would end the provision of unlimited chat backups for Android users. While the change is currently impacting beta testers, it is expected to extend to all Android users in the coming weeks or months.

The change is being rolled out to beta testers gradually, with affected users receiving a notification within the app’s settings, specifically under Chats > Chat backup. The notification informs users that within 30 days, chat backups will start counting towards their Google Drive storage quota. However, as of the latest beta version from the Play Store, some users have not yet seen the message.



WhatsApp to Discontinue Unlimited Google Drive Backup for Android Users
WhatsApp to Discontinue Unlimited Google Drive Backup for Android Users

The decision to discontinue unlimited chat backups on Google Drive for Android users marks a shift in the storage policy that has been in place for five years. WhatsApp initially partnered with Google to provide users with the convenience of unlimited chat backups on Google Drive without affecting their storage quota. Currently, Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage to all users, a more generous allocation compared to Apple and Microsoft, which provide 5GB of free cloud storage.

The move by WhatsApp aligns with a broader trend observed at Google, where the company has been revising its approach to free storage on its cloud services. In February 2022, Google terminated support for unlimited “original” photo backups for owners of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, three years after the phones were launched. The company had previously ended support for unlimited and free photo backups for all users in 2020, citing the overwhelming volume of uploads, with over a billion users and trillions of uploads.

For WhatsApp beta testers affected by the policy change, the notification serves as a heads-up, allowing them a month’s notice before the new storage policy takes effect. The discontinuation of unlimited chat backups is part of a broader industry trend where tech companies are reevaluating their free storage offerings and transitioning towards more sustainable models amid the increasing volume of user-generated content. Users may need to consider alternative storage options or subscription plans if they wish to continue backing up their chat history without impacting their Google Drive storage quota.

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