Until now, any WhatsApp data that was backed up onto Google’s Drive counted toward the space you had available in the cloud. But the Facebook-owned company cut a deal with Google to make those backups completely free, even while staying inside your personal account. It’s a handy way to keep tabs on all of your messages if you lose or break a phone that you use for messaging on the regular.
WhatsApp is a little different from other texting apps that store messages on their servers: it requires users to back up their messages to another company’s cloud service to sync chats between phones. Apple users have their messages stored in iCloud, while Android users have always used Google Drive.
It’s important to note, though, that any WhatsApp backups that haven’t been updated for more than a year will be wiped out with the November update. 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.”
WhatsApp users can still set up their account to automatically back up any chats to the cloud or your device’s local storage, or they can do it manually by going into the app’s “settings” tab.