To qualify for the new WhatsApp backup plan, you will need to update your backups at least once a year. Photo: Chris Ratcliffe

CAPE TOWN - WhatsApp announced that starting from November 12, users of the social platform will not need to sacrifice valuable Google Drive storage space to back up their messages.

To qualify for the new WhatsApp backup plan, you will need to update your backups at least once a year.

Until now, any WhatsApp data that was backed up onto Google’s Drive counted toward the space you had available in the cloud. 

The Facebook-owned company made a deal with Google to make those backups completely free, even while staying inside your personal account.

WhatsApp requires users to back up their messages to other company's cloud service to sync chats between phones.

For example, Apple users have their messages stored in iCloud and Android users use Google Drive.

In a statement, WhatsApp said that backups that haven’t been updated for more than a year will be removed when the November update is available. 

The company recommends connecting your phone to Wi-Fi when doing any backups, as “backup files can vary in size and consume mobile data, causing additional charges.”

How to back up your chats on WhatsApp:

  • Open WhatsApp.
  • Tap Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat backup.
  • Tap BACK UP to begin your Google Drive backup. This process might take a few minutes.
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