If you want to keep hold of your treasured files, pictures and messages, then you should always make sure that your data is backed up to a secure, secondary location. Though you might be creating backups of your phone's photographs, you may not have thought about backing up your messenger app chats.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular means of sharing pictures with other people, so if you're using the application, you should be sure that you aren't at risk of losing any important files that have been sent to you via a direct or group chat window.

Impending change to WhatsApp backups

WhatsApp have announced a change to the way that your messages will be backed up, which could result in lost files and photos if you take no action before the change is implemented. Currently, the application backs up all data from messages into Google Drive, one of the most popular cloud storage spaces available.

In the upcoming change, WhatsApp will be deleting any old content where your backup hasn’t been updated for more than a year. Though your messages won’t be deleted from your phone automatically, they’ll be removed from the Google Drive backup used by WhatsApp after a specified date.

If you’ve not already stored these files elsewhere and you remove them from your phone, for example to create additional storage space, then you could lose them forever. So, you'll need to be ready for the change, which is coming on November 12th, 2018. At this point, if you have any chats that are older than a year backed up into Google Drive, they'll be automatically deleted to free up space.

How to ensure your data is backed up

If you want to start making sure that you have secure backups of your important files, then you'll need a Google account. You'll also need to ensure that you have the Google Drive application installed on the same mobile device that you're using WhatsApp on. Then, it’s as simple as following the below steps:

  1. Open the WhatsApp application and go into the Menu;
  2. Open the Settings option;
  3. Go to ‘Chats’;
  4. Select the Chat Back Up option.

Once you’ve enabled this setting, any media and chat history sent via your mobile phone’s WhatsApp application should be automatically copied to a backup on Google Drive, protecting it from being deleted by mistake. You can access this backup at any time.

Although Google Drive is structured in tiers, with the lesser storage plans being the free options, there is some good news. WhatsApp storage will not count towards your total storage allowance within Drive. The company had the following to say on this:

"Due to a new agreement between WhatsApp and Google, WhatsApp backups will no longer count against Google Drive storage quota (…) However, any WhatsApp backups that have not been updated in more than a year will automatically be removed from storage."

Gotten stuck?

If you can’t work out how to set up the backup, then WiseGuys are here to help. If you need any help getting your backups in order, then you can reach us on 0808 123 2820. We can also provide advice on staying safe and keeping your data protected whilst using this messaging application.