WhatsApp to get Google Drive backup on Android

Google Drive backup is on its way. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Google Drive backup is on its way. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

WhatsApp for Android is getting the ability to backup conversations to Google Drive, ensuring you don’t lose important or sentimental messages when you switch devices.

WhatsApp has been working on Google Drive backup for a while — evidence of this was found way back in March — and it seems the company is finally ready to make it available soon.

Once activated, you’ll be able to backup all of your conversations to Drive on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis (if you want to). Backups include photos by default, and you have the option to include videos as well.

You can also specify which Drive account to use if you have more than one linked to your Android device.

With your WhatsApp conversations backed up in Drive, it’s easy to restore them should you lose your Android smartphone or upgrade to a new one. Simply link WhatsApp on your new device with the same Drive account, wait for it to locate your backup, then tap “Restore.”

The only downside to Drive backup is that it’s only available on Android. WhatsApp on iOS backs up to iCloud instead, so if you device to switch platforms when you get a new device, then your WhatsApp history has to be left behind.

Drive backup was enabled in WhatsApp version 2.12.303, which surfaced yesterday, but the latest release in the Play Store — version 2.12.304 — does not have it. It’s unclear why that is, but we expect the feature to return in another update very soon.

If you’re still using an older release, you can download the version 2.12.303 package¬†from APK Mirror and flash it manually, giving you Drive backup. But if you’ve already updated to 2.12.304, you cannot downgrade without removing WhatsApp and losing your conversations.