Google stops automatically backing up WhatsApp media to Photos app

Google will stop automatically backing up WhatsApp images to the Photos app. The company has seen a large increase in uploads since the outbreak of the corona pandemic and now opts in to backing up stored images.

It will still be possible to save such images to Google Photos, but users will have to enable it manually. It concerns images and videos from chat services and social media such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter and Instagram that a user saves on his phone. For Google Photos users, that media was backed up by default.

Google says it will no longer do that by default with new photos. “People are sharing more photos and videos because of Covid-19,” the company said. Google changes the settings ‘to save internet access’.

Google itself does not say which apps it concerns, outside of WhatsApp and Kik, and MMS messages. However, XDA Developers discovered a list of all affected apps in the Photos apk. That includes Facebook and Facebook Messenger, Helo, Instagram, Line, Snapchat, Twitter, and Viber.

Users can still determine themselves in the settings which media they want to back up automatically. Existing photos and videos simply remain in Photos.

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