WhatsApp is a great alternative to the built-in voice and messaging apps on your phone, and it's especially handy for international travel or anytime you want to stay in touch while avoiding cellular charges. If you're a regular WhatsApp user, you probably want to ensure you have a dependable backup of all your texts and photos. It's easy to configure Google Drive to automatically back up your text messages, and sync incoming pictures with Google Photos.

Backing up text messages

When you installed and set up WhatsApp, you were probably given the option to opt into automatic backups of your texts and photos. Regardless of what choices you made, here's how to ensure you are backing up all of your text messages so they can be restored easily. We'll cover backing up pictures to Google Photos in the next section.

  1. Start the WhatsApp app. Tap the three-dot menu at the top right of the screen, and then tap "Settings."

Opening Settings in the Android WhatsApp app.

  1. On the Settings page, tap "Chats." Then, on the Chats page, tap "Chat Backup."
  2. Make sure you choose the right Google account (if you have more than one) and choose whether you want to backup over Wi-Fi or both Wi-Fi and cellular. Tap "Back up to Google Drive" and choose how often you want the automatic backup to occur — anything from daily to monthly, or manual-only. You can trigger a backup manually by tapping the Backup button at the top of the screen.

Chat backup settings in WhatsApp

  1. After you set up backups, you can find the WhatsApp backup file in Google Drive, in the Backups folder. You don't need to manually do anything with this file; if you ever reinstall WhatsApp, the app can find this backup automatically during setup.

How to back up your WhatsApp pictures in Google Photos

By default, your photos from WhatsApp are copied to Google Photos, but not copied to the cloud. To back up the photos, you need to turn on sync.

  1. Start the Google Photos app and tap the menu button on the top left of the screen. Then tap Device folders. Find the WhatsApp Images folder among the collection of folders. If you haven't turned on sync, you should see an icon of a cloud with a line through it.

Google Photos showing the WhatsApp folder

  1. Tap the WhatsApp Images folder. Then turn on "Back up & sync" by swiping the button to the right.

The Backup & Sync button for WhatsApp in Google Photos

After you turn on sync, you should see all your WhatsApp images appear in your Google Photos photo roll.