• WhatsApp did a deal with Google Drive to have separate cloud backup storage for chats, photos, and other media – including video.
  • In terms of the agreement, WhatsApp backups will no longer count towards the 15GB free limit on Google Drive.
  • The catch is that WhatsApp data that hasn't been backed up in 12 months will be erased from Google Drive – so you have to update it, or lose it.

WhatsApp and Google have concluded a sweet deal that means Google Drive will now offer WhatsApp users effectively unlimited storage to back up chats, photos and other media – including video.

"WhatsApp backups will no longer count against Google Drive storage quota," said the Google Drive team in an email to some users of the cloud service this week.

The policy is effective from 12 November, although Google said some users may see the change sooner than that.

Google previously offered free cloud storage of up to 15GB, and any WhatsApp backups counted towards that limit.

But there's a minor catch.

Google will chuck out all WhatsApp data that has not been updated for more than 12 months from storage, as part of the same change in policy. 

"Any WhatsApp backups that have not been updated in more than a year will automatically be removed from storage," warns Google.

Remotely backing up WhatsApp data in a free cloud storage solution, like the Google Drive, means the data will stay safe and intact should the device be stolen, lost or damage.

But the greatest perk of it all is that changing or using WhatsApp across multiple devices becomes seamless as the data can easily be downloaded onto the new device by syncing it with the Google Drive account when, say, you change phones.

Here's how backup WhatsApp chats, photos and other media.

Open WhatsApp, head over to Settings, tap on "Chats" and then select "Chat backup".


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WhatsApp will ask you to select how often to back up messages and media: daily, weekly, monthly, or never. (You can also do it manually, but that is not a great idea.)

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To make use of Google Drive's effectively unlimited backups, select any Gmail account linked to the phone in the case of Android devices or register or add one if on another device.

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For those who are conscious about the amount of mobile data they use, WhatsApp provides the option to only back up when connected to wifi.

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Just remember that if you use a separate mobile hotspot device, your phone will read that as a wifi connection.

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