WhatsApp users on Android will soon be able to backup their messages, images and videos on Google Drive. This feature was in testing for months and was only available on certain WhatsApp versions. Just yesterday, Google announced the integration of WhatsApp with its cloud storage service on Google Drive Blog. Also Read - How to send disappearing photos and videos on WhatsApp in a few simple steps
The new backup feature will allow WhatsApp users to keep their memories safe on cloud. For this feature to work, users will have to connect their Google account with WhatsApp. They can choose to backup the data on daily, weekly or monthly basis, or only when they ‘tap on backup’. In case, the users have too many videos, they can also choose to exclude them. Backup can be done using a Wi-Fi network or Wi-Fi + Cellular, whichever is available. Also Read - WhatsApp multi-device feature beta starts rolling out for all iOS users: Report
The WhatsApp data backup feature will be especially beneficial for those who switch their phones too often. Once the backup is saved on the cloud, users can restore it onto a new Android phone in just a few clicks. Also Read - WhatsApp voice transcription feature could launch soon: How it will work
The backup feature also brings WhatsApp for Android a step closer to WhatsApp for iOS app, which uses similar functionality to backup the chats and other content on Apple’s iCloud storage. The new WhatsApp for Android version with backup capabilities will begin rolling out in the next few months and the option will appear in WhatsApp settings.
As of now, WhatsApp version (2.12.304) on Play Store doesn’t support Google Drive integration, but if you want to test drive the feature, you can download the version (2.12.303), which is hosted on the WhatsApp website. It is a signed APK, which upgrades your existing app. However, make sure that you have Auto Update settings in Play Store disabled, as you’ll lose the functionality with the new version.
How to backup and restore WhatsApp chat backups from Google Drive
After downloading and installing the WhatsApp version (2.12.303) from the company’s website, open WhatsApp > tap on three-dots on the top right corner > Settings. Under settings, Tap on Chats and Calls > Chat Backup.
Here you’ll see Last backup & Google Drive Settings. Under Google Drive Settings, choose the type of backup, Daily / Weekly / Monthly / Only When I Tap ‘Backup’ or Never. Next, select the Google Account (either from the ones already added, or you can add one too).
You can choose to backup content over Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Cellular. There is also an option to include videos, if you wish to. Once you’re done configuring these settings, just tap on Backup.
Restoring backup is fairly simple. On your new phone, sign-in with your Google Account, download WhatsApp from PlayStore and open the app. During the setup, it will ask you for your Phone Number and check for backup on Google Drive. If it finds the backup, it will download all the contents and restore data from there.
Do note – Restoring the backup might take a while; depend on the size of content stored on cloud and your internet speed.