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Google Photos no longer automatically backs up images from WhatsApp and Instagram

June 30, 2020, 6:31 PM UTC

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Google Photos no longer automatically backs up and syncs photos and videos from messaging services like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter.

The search giant, which announced the change on Monday, cited the need for the company to “save Internet resources” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of COVID-19, “people are sharing more photos and videos,” which appears to be too much for Google’s data centers. In response, the company is trying to conserve computing resources so that its apps and cloud services don’t stutter.

While Google said that the change affects apps like WhatsApp, Messages, and Kik, a developer who is part of a community of mobile coders told tech publication Android Police that other apps were also impacted. Those apps include Facebook, Helo, Instagram, LINE, Messenger, Snapchat, Twitter, and Viber, the report said.

Although Google Photos no longer automatically backs up content, people can still change their settings to restore the auto backup and sync setting. To do so for specific photos and videos from messaging apps, Google said people should take the following steps:

  1. Open the Google Photos app and then tap the “Library” tab to open the “Photos on device” feature.
  2. Tap “View all” to see a list of all the photos and videos on their smartphone.
  3. Select the photos and videos they want to back up and then tap on “Back up now.”

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