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Google Photos Turns Off Automatic Back Up From Messaging Apps to Save Bandwidth Amid Coronavirus

Google Photos app still allows users to manually backup whatever folder they want to.

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Google Photos Turns Off Automatic Back Up From Messaging Apps to Save Bandwidth Amid Coronavirus

Google Photos app backup data on Wi-Fi and mobile data

  • Google Photos app turns off automatic back up for messaging apps
  • By default, the images and videos will not be backed up in Photos app
  • The messaging apps include Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and more

Google has turned off automatic back up for photos and videos from messaging apps. The development was shared by the search giant on its support blog. The reason for this change is to “save internet resources” due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While Google has not detailed the list of apps that will experience this change, it does mention apps like WhatsApp, Messages, and Kik. This means that the millions of Good Morning messages will only fill up your phone, and not the rest of the Internet. This change is already in effect and Google says the Photos app will give users a message describing the same as well.

As per the post on the Google support page, the Photos app will no longer automatically back up photos and videos that are shared via messaging apps like WhatsApp and Kik. It mentions that due to COVID-19, people are sharing more photos and videos, so to save Internet resources, these changes in Google Photos app have been implemented. However, the post adds that users can change this setting at any time. Additionally, users can also go into the app and manually select the folders they want backed up.

While the post does not mention all the apps this change affects, a report by XDA Developers noticed a complete list in the teardown of the Google Photos app. The affected apps include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Helo, LINE, Messages, Snapchat, Twitter, Viber, and WhatsApp.

Google also says that previously backed up photos and videos from messaging apps will not be affected. You can also find your various photos and videos in the Photos app by tapping on Library tab at the bottom where you should see the various folders. To manually turn on or off the back up and sync setting, tap on the profile icon on the top right and you should see an option to Turn on backup if its turned off. Additionally, you can go into the Photos settings and tap on Back up & sync to turn on automatic back up.

This is another step by Google in the direction of conserving internet bandwidth as back in March, it set the default quality of videos to Standard Definition (SD) on YouTube. In India, YouTube mobile app users are stuck with 480p videos. Additionally, other streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar have also switched to SD resolution as default.


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Vineet Washington Vineet Washington writes about gaming, smartphones, audio devices, and new technologies for Gadgets 360, out of Delhi. Vineet is a Senior Sub-editor for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about gaming on all platforms and new developments in the world of smartphones. In his free time, Vineet likes to play video games, make clay models, play the guitar, watch sketch-comedy, and anime. Vineet is available on vineetw@ndtv.com, so please send in your leads and tips. More
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