Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

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.

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

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.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.