This WhatsApp update is going to wipe out all of your old messages

Earlier this year, WhatsApp and Google announced a partnership that means your WhatsApp backups no longer eat into your precious Google Drive storage quota. However, unless to avoid losing your old messages, you need to back up WhatsApp.

As well as preserving some old memories, backing up your messages and media to Google Drive means you’ll be able to easily restore them when you switch to a different phone. Google sent a message to Gmail users in August, highlighting November 12 as the key date to remember.

Read more: Best smartphone

“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,” the message reads.

“This policy will go into effect for all users on November 12, 2018 though some users may see the quota benefits earlier. To avoid the loss of any backups, we recommend that people manually back up WhatsApp before November 12, 2018.”

Similarly, WhatsApp published a blog post, saying: “To avoid the loss of any backups, we recommend you manually back up your WhatsApp data before November 12, 2018.”

That date has now been and gone, but if you act immediately, there’s a chance you can still save your old chats.

Free storage vs end-to-end encryption

While the agreement is great news for anyone who’s running low on Google Drive storage (and reluctant to pay for more than the 15GB free allowance), it’s less useful for anyone who values privacy above everything else.

As WhatsApp explains: “Media and messages you back up are not protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption while in Google Drive.”

In the absence of this end-to-end encryption on Google Drive, users should ensure their Google accounts are protected by watertight passwords and two-factor authentication.

Read more: Best VPN

How to backup WhatsApp now

Here’s what you need to do to avoid losing your old WhatsApp messages and media.

  • In WhatsApp, tap the main menu button and select Settings
  • Hit Chats and Chat Backup
  • Tap the green Back Up button

It’s that easy.

Free storage or end-to-end encryption? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @TrustedReviews.