So far, the space that WhatsApp backups take up on Google Drive does not count towards the storage quota. Now there are increasing signs that something is about to change here. The consequence: only very few should be able to manage without additional storage that is subject to a fee
Google and the promise of “unlimited free storage”
Google has a rather inglorious history of touting “unlimited free storage” but then later not wanting to keep that promise. Most recently, among other things, the unlimited storage for photos had been abolished. For many, this means that after the 15 GB that every Google Drive account can use free of charge, additional storage has to be purchased. A similar trend is now emerging with WhatsApp backups.
As Android Police reports, there have been indications of an adjustment through updates from WhatsApp for months. First of all, new options were discovered in the code that makes it possible to specify much more precisely which content from chats should be transferred to the backup on Google Drive – so far only videos can be excluded here. Even then, there was a suspicion that the new options would be introduced in preparation for Google’s phasing out of free storage. Exactly that seems to be true.
Future with less free memory
As the experts from WaBetaInfo recently announced, the current test version of WhatsApp contains a few lines of code that probably mean bad news for all users who need a lot of backups. The app has the option of indicating when the Drive storage is almost or completely full – a function that would of course not be necessary with unlimited storage space for backups.
There are currently indications that the free storage limit of the WhatsApp storage could be in the range of 2 GB, but the lines of code do not allow a final interpretation here. However, one thing is certain: backups of the entire content of the messenger can quickly reach a multiple of this size for most users – with an editorial device, the backup size with media was almost 8 GB.