Google has dropped a bit of news that might not sit well with many Android users. Mostly those who rely on WhatsApp for their messaging needs. Starting in December, the free ride for WhatsApp chat backups on Android devices is coming to an end, and here’s the catch—it will now count towards your Google account storage quota.
How Google Intends to Charge for WhatsApp Backup
This development brings Android users in line with their Apple counterparts. This is because iOS users have never enjoyed free WhatsApp chat backups. The shift implies that the standard 15GB of free data offered by Google, covering storage for Gmail, Google Photos, and various other applications, will now also be allocated for WhatsApp chat backups. Depending on the duration of your WhatsApp usage and the number of media shared within the platform, these backups could become quite substantial and, consequently, consume a significant chunk of your storage.
For those who haven’t subscribed to Google’s subscription service, ‘Google One,’ the implications are quite clear. WhatsApp data will now eat into the free 15GB storage. This will leave less room for other Google services. It’s a move that might prompt users to reconsider their backup strategies and evaluate options to manage their storage effectively.
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Options to Consider in Order not to Pay too Much for WhatsApp Backup
Users with extensive chat histories and numerous shared media files now find themselves with a few key options. First, they can opt-out entirely from cloud backups. This process is accessible through the WhatsApp settings menu. They can navigate to the chat backup option and selecting ‘Never’ for the ‘Backup to Google Drive’ setting. However, this choice comes with a significant trade-off. There is the risk of losing all chat data in case the current phone is lost or damaged.
The second option involves reducing the size of the backup by manually deleting chats and media that take up considerable space. While this is a practical solution to avoid incurring additional costs, it may require users to make tough decisions about parting with media content that they would otherwise prefer to keep.
A third option could be saving all photos and videos from WhatsApp off the phone to external storage, such as a USB stick or portable hard drive. This solution could not only help to free up space on Google Photos but also allow users to continue using the free storage that Google provides.
The final option involves subscribing to additional Google storage by opting for a paid plan. For many users, the AUD $2.49 ‘Basic’ monthly plan offering 100GB of data should be sufficient to accommodate WhatsApp chat backups without affecting the existing free storage limit. This decision by Google puts more emphasis on managing digital storage wisely, pushing users to consider the value of their data and the importance of a reliable backup strategy.