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WhatsApp Drops Support for Unlimited Chat Backups on Google Drive With Latest Beta Update: Report

The cloud storage policy update for beta testers comes five years after Google and WhatsApp partnered to offer unlimited chat backups on Google Drive.

WhatsApp Drops Support for Unlimited Chat Backups on Google Drive With Latest Beta Update: Report

WhatsApp users have enjoyed access to unlimited chat backups on Android since 2018

  • WhatsApp will inform users affected by the updated storage policy
  • Beta testers on Android won't have access to unlimited chat backups
  • WhatsApp users on Android might have to purchase additional storage

WhatsApp has reportedly begun dropping support for unlimited chat backups on Google Drive for users who have signed up to receive beta updates of the popular messaging app. The platform will no longer offer free cloud storage for users on Android smartphones — similar to users who access WhatsApp on iOS. While the change currently affects beta testers, the Meta-owned messaging platform is also expected to discontinue free storage on Google Drive for all users on Android smartphones in the coming weeks or months.

MySmartPrice reports that WhatsApp has started to drop support for unlimited chat backups on Google Drive for beta testers on Android. The app will display a banner in the app's settings under ChatsChat backup informing users that the changes will go into effect within 30 days. The change could be rolling out to testers in batches — Gadgets 360 was unable to reproduce the message on WhatsApp for Android after updating to the latest beta version from the Play Store.

Last November, WhatsApp and Google announced that the firms were discontinuing unlimited chat backups via Google Drive for users on Android. The change was supposed to roll out to beta testers in December and to all users in the first half of 2024, according to the timeline provided by the messaging platform. 

Beta testers who are affected by the change will see a banner informing them that they have a month before chat backups start to count towards their Google Drive storage quota. The updated storage policy comes five years after WhatsApp and Google started to offer unlimited chat backups that wouldn't take up space on Google Drive — the company offers 15GB of free storage for all accounts, which is higher than Apple and Microsoft that both offer 5GB of free cloud storage.

This isn't the first move from Google to limit access to free storage on its cloud services. In February 2022, the company ended support for unlimited "original" photo backups for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners, three years after the phones were launched. The company dropped support for unlimited and free photo backups for all users back in 2020, stating that it had over a billion users at the time with over 4 trillion uploads and 28 billion weekly uploads from users.

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David Delima
As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, on Twitter at @DxDavey, and Mastodon at mstdn.social/@delima. More
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