Despite not being the most secure method of backup for your WhatsApp chats and messages, the ability to store on your linked Google Drive account definitely makes it much easier to switch between Android devices.
[Update 03/09]: Over a year after first evidence appeared, digging by WABetaInfo has unearthed some more information on password-protected WhatsApp cloud backups, even showcasing what could be the UI. When enabled, you’ll be able to set a passcode with an eight-character minimum length, and attempting to restore your account on a new device will require this passcode to proceed.
This is slightly different from the current two-factor authentication method that exists already on WhatsApp, with password-protected backups providing an added layer of protection to your account. You are required to add your telephone number too, which seems odd given that your WhatsApp account is already linked to a phone number to begin with.
We’re still none the wiser on when password-protected backups will arrive on the WhatsApp for Android or iOS. We’ll just have to hope it comes before multi-devices support arrives.
However, according to WABetaInfo, the Facebook-owned messaging platform is working on password-protected Google Drive backups for your WhatsApp chats, messages, and media. That is a heck of a lot of data, even if only a portion of the reported 2 billion monthly users of WhatsApp use Google Drive storage for their backups.
At the moment, you have a number of options for your WhatsApp backups when using the app, with local storage being used by default if you don’t upload your personal content to your Google cloud account. As we mentioned, currently this method isn’t the most secure but adding password protection will definitely make a huge difference for peace of mind.
In the latest beta build, WABetaInfo has unearthed the new interface that will allow you to set passwords for access to any of your backed-up content. When implemented, the new feature will be available within Settings > Chat > Chat backups. From here you’ll be able to simply enable or disable this extra password protection for your WhatsApp messages when uploading a Google Drive backup.
Unfortunately, while it’s good to see further security being added to the Google Drive backup method, it’s unclear just how long you’ll have to wait to see it implemented in a stable WhatsApp build. Given how long it took for us to even see a dedicated dark theme, we’re not all that confident the feature will be with us any time soon — but we remain hopeful.
More on WhatsApp:
- WhatsApp messenger reaches the 2 billion active user milestone
- Updated dark mode tweaks come to the latest WhatsApp beta build
- WhatsApp finally gains a dedicated dark mode in the latest app beta update
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