WhatsApp is actively working on a feature that will allow Android users to export and import their chat backups offline from Google Drive, a screenshot shared by a WABetaInfo suggests. The backup mentioned here is said to include the full chat history, images, videos, and other media files. This feature was first reported to be under development in June this year but the latest development on this update suggests that WhatsApp is pretty much keen to roll it out for beta testing in near future.
WhatsApp rolled out a new update through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 18.104.22.168. The screenshot shared by WABetaInfo reads, “If you exported a backup from your previous device, you can import it now.” This is a new/additional step that you have to do when you either reinstall WhatsApp on your phone, or when you switch your handset. If you select to import, it will start restoring your data from Google Drive to the local storage of the devices.
The feature will come in handy when you don’t have an internet connection or high-speed Wi-Fi. A local backup will automatically be created by WhatsApp so you can export a backup to import it later. Currently, there is no option to import a local backup. WhatsApp prompts you to import a backup from the Google account linked to the device when you set it up on a new handset.
The feature to export and import backup locally was first spotted earlier this year. WABetaInfo had also reported that WhatsApp backups on Google Drive would get limited storage allocation. This means that users would be allowed to import their chat backups if they reach the particular threshold on Google Drive and store their backed-up data offline on their device. Users would also be able to upload their chat backups back to Google Drive when they have adequate space available.
It is yet to be seen whether WhatsApp will offer a similar-functioning for WhatsApp for iOS after it is released for WhatsApp for Android. The WhatsApp features tracker further notes that the feature is still under development, which means it is still not ready to be released to beta testers. There is no information yet about release date either.