WhatsApp chats backed up to Google Drive will soon take up storage space

The change will start rolling out in December to WhatsApp beta users.

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You may want to check your Google account storage situation if you back up your WhatsApp conversations to Drive on Android. In 2018, WhatsApp and Google announced that you could save your WhatsApp chat history to Drive without it counting towards your storage quota. But starting in December 2023, backing up the messaging app to Drive will count towards your Google account cloud storage space if you're WhatsApp beta user. If you don't use the app's beta version, you won't be feeling the change in policy until next year when it "gradually" makes its way to all Android devices.

Personal Google accounts come with 15GB of free cloud storage shared across Gmail, Drive and Photos. In its announcement, Google noted that that's "three times more than most mobile platforms." Apple's iCloud, for instance, only comes with 5GB of free space. Still, it's very much possible (and maybe even easy at this point) to hit or go beyond 15GB, depending on how many pictures and files you've backed up and uploaded.

Google has linked to its storage management tools in its post to make it easier to remove large files or photos you no longer need. You can also delete items from within WhatsApp, so they'll no longer be included in your next backup. Of course, you also have the option to purchase extra storage with Google One, which will set you back at least $2 a month for 100GB. The company promises to provide eligible users with "limited, one-time Google One promotions" soon, though, so it may be best to wait for those before getting a subscription. Take note that this change will only affect you if you back up your chat history using your personal account. If you have a Workspace account through your job or another organization, you don't have to worry about WhatsApp taking up a chunk of your cloud storage space.