Until now, the most convenient way to back up WhatsApp was to use the cloud. From the application itself, we can upload it to Google Drive, and the really good thing about this method is that it did not take up space of the 15 GB free provided by the search giant.

However, times have changed, and now they will occupy a part of this ‘virtual hard drive’. What solutions do we have left to pay nothing? We’ll tell you how I’ve set up the messaging app so that you can continue to use the backup as normal.

Not exceeding 15 GB is not that difficult…

As we said, starting in December, WhatsApp backup will take up space on our Google Drive drive. It’s a delay, and it will complicate data backup, but fear not, there’s always a solution.

The first and ideal thing to do is to check how much space you have left in your Google account. To do this, you can go to any of its apps, such as Google Drive or Photos. For example, in this first one, by displaying the side menu we will see a summary of the space used.

As it occupies the same space as any other file, we will only have the remaining ‘gigabytes’ available for WhatsApp backup. However, taking up more than 15 GB of this copy is quite complicated, unless you store videos uncontrollably.

But as it surely happens to you, you won’t have 15 full gigabytes for WhatsApp, because our Drive files, images in Google Photos, and other elements, will be taking up a large part. In short, we have to make do with what we have, or upload that copy to a new Google account that is empty.

Now, getting to the point, I’ll tell you what you can do to avoid spending that 15 GB, which at most will be the maximum space we have without leaving us a single euro. First of all, it is best to disable the auto-download of files, especially when it comes to videos.

These are the files that take up the most space in your phone’s memory (and therefore in the backup you make), so you’ll act as follows:

  • Go to WhatsApp and then tap on the three dots that appear in the upper right corner.
  • From the options displayed, we will tap on Settings.
  • Then in Data & Storage and in the Automatic Download section, we will disable all file types in both sections (mobile data and WiFi).

This way, when a contact shares some kind of file, your phone won’t download it automatically. Of course, if we want to have it, we must tap on the chat for the download to begin. But the good thing is that in the long run we will be saving a lot of space.

However, it may be the case that the backup we have of WhatsApp exceeds the limit of 15 GB (even if it does not take up its entirety) of Drive. Let’s see how we can reduce it.

My backup is more than 15 GB. How can I reduce it?

Accumulating conversations, images such as memes, videos with jokes, personal documents… It is not advisable to welcome the new change that is coming. But if this has irretrievably happened to us, we have the power of solution.

How can we reduce what our WhatsApp backup takes up? Very simple, to begin with, by going to WhatsApp. If we follow the Settings > Chats > Backup path, we will find an option that is recommended to be disabled: “Include videos”. This way, they won’t be added to the copy and we’ll save space significantly.

Likewise, the current copy will still occupy the same space (the change will be applied the next time we update the backup) so we must act accordingly to make it lighter. To do this, we’ll go to Settings > Storage & Data > Manage Storage.

On the next screen, you can see how much each chat takes up, and by tapping on each of them, you’ll see a list of all the multimedia files. By checking the ‘Select all’ option, you can quickly delete them. Then, all you have to do is go back to the ‘Backup’ option to update it, and we’ll see how it lowers the size.

In the same way, it’s advisable to delete conversations that aren’t important to us, and let’s not forget about APK files, those that are used to share applications with our contacts. Because yes, depending on the app in question, they can take up hundreds of megabytes.

These are just a few tricks to continue to keep WhatsApp backup on Google Drive, without making the mistake of exceeding the limit that will soon affect us all. Do you have more tips or tricks? We’ll read you in the comments section.



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