WhatsApp is rolling out a new update through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 188.8.131.52.
What’s new in this update? We discovered that WhatsApp and Google will stop offering unlimited storage quota for WhatsApp backups in the future!
|Name of the feature?||Limited Storage Quota|
|Availability?||WhatsApp and Google have plans to stop offering unlimited storage quota for beta testers soon, followed by everyone else next year.|
|I’ve installed this update but I can still back up my large chat history on Google Drive. Why?||You can still back up your chat history by taking advantage of their unlimited storage quota. However, this is planned to change soon.|
|Previous news?||WhatsApp is rolling out voice chats for large groups on Android and iOS!|
LIMITED STORAGE QUOTA
Two years ago, we shared some important information regarding the WhatsApp beta for Android 184.108.40.206 update that revealed a new feature to manage which messages should have been backed up on Google Drive. This hinted that WhatsApp and Google might stop offering unlimited storage for WhatsApp backups, marking a significant shift in providing unrestricted cloud backups. With the latest WhatsApp Business beta for Android 220.127.116.11 update, which is available on the Google Play Store, we discovered that WhatsApp and Google have really plans to stop offering unlimited storage quota for WhatsApp backups in the near future. This means that the WhatsApp backup experience on Android will soon align with iOS, and users will also benefit from the additional feature of taking advantage of the 15GB free storage at no cost.
According to a recent official article from Google, WhatsApp and Google will be removing the unlimited storage quota for WhatsApp backups, and WhatsApp has developed in-app alerts to notify users in advance. It’s worth noting that a similar announcement was also posted in the official WhatsApp Help Center, clarifying the imminent change and its impact on Android users. However, it’s important to mention that users will be able to keep backing up their data at no extra cost as long as they have available storage within the 15GB of the free cloud storage included with their Google Account or any additional storage they may have purchased, such as through Google One. In case users hit their storage limit, they will have to free up space to resume backups by removing chats or media they do not need or they can purchase additional storage by subscribing to a Google One plan. Currently, the most cost-effective plan is the Basic one, providing 100GB for $1.99 per month. Additionally, Google clarified that users with a Workspace subscription through work or school will not have their storage quota impacted at this time.
The termination of unlimited storage for WhatsApp backups on Android will undoubtedly impact users who have enjoyed the convenience of automatic and unrestricted data backups in these years. The change is expected to be particularly felt by those who heavily rely on multimedia messaging, leading to larger backup file sizes. However, their efforts in limiting the impact of this situation seems crucial:
- Reduced backup size: in the past few months, WhatsApp has silently implemented important improvements to backups by reducing their sizes. We believe that this will further limit the impact of these changes as a reduced backup size will allow a lot of users to continue backing up their chat history within the confines of the free 15GB storage offered with their Google Account.
- Transfer chat history cloudless: as announced in the article about the WhatsApp beta for Android 18.104.22.168 update, users can now migrate their chat history on a different device without relying on Google Drive. This is particularly beneficial when dealing with a full storage quota, allowing users to migrate their chat data without being constrained by the limitations of their Google Drive storage quota.
While the changes are still not available yet, users can take proactive steps to navigate this shift effectively, as optimizing their data storage practices will be helpful in avoiding complications once the transition starts. After following these suggestions, you can back up your chat history on Google Drive and ensure you’re only maintaining essential, important, and recent conversations:
- Review and clean up: review your future backups on Google Drive by identifying any redundant or obsolete data in your current chat history. Cleaning up unnecessary media and files can help free up space and ensure that only essential data is stored in your backup. Open WhatsApp Settings > Storage and Data > Manage Storage to delete unnecessary large videos and documents before backing up your chat history next time.
- Review media auto-download settings: users should review their auto-download media settings to control which types of media are automatically downloaded. This can help reduce the size of backups to avoid automatically downloading images and videos, especially from muted group chats or archived conversations, and mitigate the impact of storage limitations.
- Delete old archived conversations: deleting old and non-essential archived conversations immediately reduces the volume of data that needs storage. This action directly minimizes the space required for backups, ensuring more efficient and effective use of the available storage quota.
- Enable disappearing messages: you can choose to automatically delete messages after a specified period by enabling disappearing messages in those conversations where losing messages and media isn’t a concern. This feature can significantly reduce the backup size and limit the impact of the changes as it eliminates the need to store useless conversations, in order to optimize the storage space allocated for WhatsApp backups.
WhatsApp and Google plan to roll out this change to beta testers soon, followed by everyone else next year. However, we already encourage WhatsApp users to begin proactively addressing their data storage strategies. The shift from unlimited to limited storage for backups highlights the evolving landscape of cloud services caused by large backups and the need for users to adapt to these changes. By taking a proactive approach to data management, we think that users can navigate this transition with minimal disruption to their messaging experience.
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