WhatsApp is free, but WhatsApp chat backup soon won't be

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WhatsApp backups on Android will soon start counting toward the user’s Google Account cloud storage limit. This change will first start rolling out to WhatsApp Beta users starting in December 2023, then gradually to all WhatsApp users on Android starting early next year.

As announced, personal Google Accounts come with 15GB of storage at no charge, shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. If you hit your storage limit, you’ll need to free up space to resume backups by removing items you do not need. It’s the same thing we do for our backed-up Google Photos. 

If you have a large backup, there are three options to consider:

  1. Stop using cloud backups altogether.

  2. Reduce the amount of data in your backup.

  3. Upgrade your cloud storage plan.

Each point has a conclusion:

  1. But we request our readers to keep in mind that if they opt out of cloud backups, they will lose all their data if they lose or break their current phone.
  2. Reducing your backup is simple, but it can be time-consuming. You must delete chats and media that take up much storage space. This may require some difficult decisions if there are media files you would prefer to keep.
  3. We recommend Android users switch to Google One’s 100GB data storage plan for less than $2 a month.

Even though this is going to be implemented soon, some users found it to be unfair. It’s been a notion that WhatsApp should add support for more cloud storage providers.