Everyone’s third-favourite¹ information-harvesting app, WhatsApp, is getting yet another update in the coming weeks. This time around, there are changes afoot for how the app’s backups work. Specifically, it’ll let you export them from Google Drive. About bloody time, too.
Late last year, the app rolled out encryption for backups. This one’s a little different. See, your WhatsApp backups are stored on Google Drive. And, presently, they don’t count towards your backup total. So if you’ve got 15GB of storage (the standard for a free account) and have 3GB of data belonging to Meta’s app on the service, you’ve still got 15GB of storage available. Well, that’s about to change.
Back up, WhatsApp
Google will soon start counting WhatsApp backups towards your used data. Not all of it, you understand. Users can still backup a certain amount of info. After that, it’ll start chipping away at Google Drive storage. Since that could cause problems, what with several years’ worth of images you haven’t thought about in… several years… going missing, Meta’s new backup export feature should let you save whatever is worth saving.
Using it, when the feature is out of beta, should be simple. It’s just a new Export Backup button, which allows for a total download of everything you might have stashed away on Google’s servers. It’ll download all of the messages, images, videos, and other media that might have been tucked away over the years.
The feature doesn’t end there. WhatsApp is apparently also working on an Import Backup option, which will load an offline backup back to Google Drive. Why the service is doing this isn’t exactly clear, but it seems like a nice enough feature to have. Improved access to the data Google stores, perhaps, or maybe it’ll allow for the rapid upload of data between physical devices. We’ll have to wait and see, right about the time the Import feature actually rocks up.