Google stops storing photos from WhatsApp and Instagram

Google Photos app on a phone

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Google Photos app on a phone

Google will no longer automatically backup images and videos from social media platforms in its photo app.

Previously, the Google Photos app had created a folder to store any media received via apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

Google said the changes were to save Internet resources as “people share more photos and videos” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The feature used bandwidth and took up memory on devices.

Earlier this year, YouTube and Netflix made similar moves to reduce Internet traffic, as more people were using broadband at home because of the coronavirus blockade.

An XDA developer told the Android Police news site that the following apps were affected:

  • Facebook
  • Helo
  • Instagram
  • LINE
  • messages
  • Messenger
  • Snapchat
  • chirping
  • Viber
  • Whatsapp

Photos and videos that have already been backed up from messaging apps are not affected and you can turn the feature back on if you want to use it.

How to backup specific photos and videos:

  • Open the Google Photos app
  • Click Library, then “Photos on device”, tap View All
  • Touch the folder with the content you want to back up
  • Select the photo or video you want to back up, then the “Back up now” option

How to change backup settings for device folders:

  • Open the Google Photos app
  • Click Library, then “Photos on device”, tap View All
  • Touch the folder you want to back up
  • At the top, enable backup and synchronization.

Different apps like WhatsApp have their own in-app option to disable automatic media saving.

To disable saving photos and videos of WhatsApp on iPhone:

  • Open the WhatsApp app
  • Click “Settings”, then “Chat”
  • Disable the button that says “Save to Camera Roll”.

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