A new partnership between Google and WhatsApp will give users with Google Drive accounts access to more space to back up their data. This is because starting November 12, 2018, WhatsApp data backed up on Google Drive will no longer be counted against the 15GB Google Drive quota. Users will now have more space to save their videos, images, chats, etc. However good this news is, there is a catch to it.
In the same email that delivered the good news, Google also communicated that it will go ahead and delete backups that are older than a year in November this year. Users were instructed to manually back up their WhatsApp data before October 30, 2018, to avoid losing any old data.
Below are the steps to manually back up your data to prevent it from getting deleted. You will need a Google Drive account and a good mobile data plan before doing the back-up. Wi-Fi usage is highly recommended for users without good mobile data plans.
Launch your WhatsApp app and click on the three dots in the right upper corner to access WhatsApp’s hidden menu. Click on “Settings” on the menu list provided to get into the WhatsApp Settings page.
On the Settings page, click on “Chats” to open the Chats’ settings section. This is where you will find the ‘Chat backup’ option which should be clicked to open the backup settings. But first, you will need to configure your Google Drive account.
If you click the “backup” button at this point before configuring your Google Drive account, all your data will be saved internally. This data saved internally is kept on your micro SD card. Does saving the data on your memory card keep it safe? No, it doesn’t. If you change your phone or delete WhatsApp, this data might not be able to be restored. If your SD card gets lost or gets corrupted, this back up will be lost.
Aside from that, some smartphones running Android 6.0 and above will not read a newly entered memory card unless it’s first formatted. For such smartphones, the moment you remove your SD card and re-enter it in the same device or another, you will be requested to first format the card before your phone can access it. This is a security issue aimed at protecting your smartphone from dangerous content that might be stored on SD card. This leaves the Google Drive option as the guaranteed safest option for backup.
Adding a Google Drive account to your WhatsApp Account
At the bottom of the “Chat backup settings” page lies the Google Drive settings. To add your account, simply tap on “Back up to Google Drive” and select any frequency that isn’t “Never”. This will open into the “Choose an account section” where you should select your respective Google Drive account. Google Drive accounts are linked to Gmail accounts and any Gmail account registered on your phone will be listed for you there. Google Drive will then authenticate the account selected and request permission to access your WhatsApp data. Tap “Allow” and your Google Drive and WhatsApp account will be linked. If you wish to include your WhatsApp videos, check the small box in the corner that says “Include videos” in your Google Drive Settings page.
After configuring your Google Drive account, click on the green “Back up” button somewhere in the middle of the page. All your data will now get backed up into your Google Drive. This might take a while depending on the side of your data and internet connection.
This manually backed up data will be prevented from getting deleted by Google in November. Google has given a timeline for these manual updates and has fixed October 30, 2018, as a deadline.