After the confirmation of encrypted chat backups, WhatsApp has now turned attention to the size of device backups according to the latest beta update for Android.

At the moment, WhatsApp chat backup size can really balloon if you’ve been using the service for a long time and have years upon years of content within long-dead chats or images and documents clogging up your on-device space.

Code-digger WABetaInfo has found that work is ongoing to offer more precise controls over just what data is backed up with an estimate of the total size also offered. It seems that you’ll be able to toggle whether certain files or file types are saved locally or uploaded to the cloud.

For Android users, this is likely a big bonus as WABetaInfo speculates that Google could soon place a limit on WhatsApp chat backups saved to your Google Account. They hint that the firm could be set to place a 2GB limit on WhatsApp backups in future. This change would make sense given that unlimited Google Photos storage was similarly removed earlier this year.

A change such as this could see people easily start to encroach upon your Google Account storage space, especially if you send and receive a lot of media files. Local backups become less of an issue but can be similarly cumbersome on devices with limited storage space.

Although the chat backup size management feature is not yet live in v2.21.21.5, with a future WhatsApp update it does appear that you’ll have options to omit “photos,” “audio,” “videos,” “documents,” or “other media” — which we assume includes things like APK files and other such content:

whatsapp chat backup size management
image: WABetaInfo

Alongside chat backup size management, WhatsApp is also working on tweaks to multi-device support, enhancing contact online status visibility, plus much more.

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Damien Wilde

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