WhatsApp is set to undergo a big change. A few days ago we saw reports that the Facebook-owned chat company has partnered with Google and starting November 12 all our chat backups will no longer be counted against our Google data storage. WhatsApp has also notified about this on its website and has also stated that all chat backups that haven’t been updated in more than a year will be removed from Google Drive storage. These users are urged to manually backup their chats before November 12. It is also important to note that this will be applicable only for Android users since iOS users use iCloud as the default for chat backup.
In the same blog post, WhatsApp has also highlighted that media and messages stored as a backup on Google Drive will not be encrypted. WhatsApp claims that chats and media exchanged on its app are fully (end-to-end) encrypted. However, chat backups on Google Drive would no longer be encrypted once the free storage feature rolls out on November 12. This means that your data stored on Google Drive could be breached or hacked.
“Media and messages you back up aren’t protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption while in Google Drive,” WhatsApp mentions in the blog post.
WhatsApp’s new partnership with Google removes the backup limit of 15GB storage space on Google Drive. Starting November 12, all the data will be stored on Google Drive but will not be counted against the 15GB quota.
WhatsApp has also said that all the media and messages that have not been backed up for more than a year will be removed. The company will delete these chats after November 12 unless you connect your WhatsApp to Google Drive backup your data.
Your WhatsApp photos and videos are by default automatically stored in your phone’s photo app. Your chats are automatically backed up and saved daily to your phone’s memory. This will continue to be available on your phone, even if you connect your WhatsApp to Google Drive.
To back up your WhatsApp data on Google Drive, open WhatsApp and go the three dots on the top right side. Now click on Settings > Chats > Chat backup. You can see your last backup date here and can also choose to manually back up your data as well as set the frequency with which you would like your chats to be backed up automatically.