How to stop WhatsApp from Auto Downloading on Android, iPhone?

WhatsApp has close to 1.5 billion users globally, with India being among its top markets. WhatsApp has over 200 million users in India alone. In fact, it is probably one of the first apps anyone in India downloads when they get a new smartphone as it has become the default means of texting in the country. Due to the increasing popularity of the chat app has made it compatible with the messaging. SMS sounds old and outdated now.


Besides text conversations, WhatsApp is also a place where people share a ton of photos and videos. Both photos and videos get auto-downloaded on iOS. However, it can become an annoyance too when the chat app automatically downloads all those stupid memes, audio files, videos, and photos. These not only clutter your phone’s gallery and music player but also eat up a lot of storage and data. Here’s how you can stop WhatsApp from automatically saving photos and audio on your phone.

How to Stop Auto Downloading and Saving Pictures, Videos and Other Media on Whatsapp for Android phones:

If you are an Android user, open your WhatsApp, go to Settings>Data and storage usage>Media auto download. Now uncheck all the three boxes under the Media auto download- when using mobile data, when connected to Wifi and when roaming.

Step by step guidance:

  1. Open WhatsApp, make sure you are seeing the main window – where all your chats are displayed. Tap the three vertical dots on the top right > Settings.
  2. Now tap Chat settings > Media auto-download. You’ll see three options: When using cellular data When connected to Wi-Fi and When roaming. Tap each one and disable auto-downloads by unchecking all three options – Images, Audio and Video.

To view photos, you will have to download them. When you do, WhatsApp saves them in a folder, and you can get inundated with stupid memes and other unwanted content, which is visible to anyone who open’s your phone’s Gallery App. However, it is possible to stop these photos from appearing in the Gallery app. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Download Quickpic and open the app.
  2. Navigate to the WhatsApp media folders. The location of the WhatsApp folder varies across devices but it should typically be the following: Internal Storage (sometimes labelled sdcard0) > WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Images, > WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Audio, and WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Videos.
  3. Long-press the WhatsApp Images folder and make sure that it is selected. Do the same with the WhatsApp Video and WhatsApp Audio folders.
  4. After selecting the three folders, tap the three dots icon on the top-right > Hide. This will ensure that the Gallery app doesn’t show them. You can still view these images and videos within WhatsApp and through any apps that let you view hidden folders. But if you pass your phone to someone, you no longer need to worry about them seeing the WhatsApp photos and videos through the Gallery app.


How to Stop Auto Downloading and Saving Pictures, Videos and Other Media on WhatsApp for iPhone:

iPhone users can also de-clutter their phone from annoying audio file, videos, and photos. Open WhatsApp>Settings>Data and storage usage. Now check the Never box for photos, videos, audio, and documents.

Step by step guidance:

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap the Settings button at the bottom-right, and tap on Data and Storage Usage
  2. In this menu, you will see the Media Auto-Download option on top
  3. For Photos, Audio, Videos, and Documents, select the Never option.

Now only the files you choose to download manually will appear on your phone, and you can even choose to stop the photos and videos from appearing the phone’s Camera Roll. All you need to do is to go to Chats in the Settings menu, open the Save to Camera Roll menu, and turn it to off. This stops the pictures people are sending from showing up in the camera roll and taking over your synced Photo Stream.

Few quick points to save mobile data and phone storage when using the WhatsApp:

  • Stop auto-download of heavy files. Videos are entertaining but hog a lot of space on your phone. You can always set the auto-download for such videos when on WiFi.
  • Allow chat back up but only on WiFi. WhatsApp stores all your text chats and images. While this is an important feature as it allows you to retrieve your photos later from Cloud, backing up on mobile data can eat up your mobile data. So try doing it only on WiFi.
  • WhatsApp has an option where you can view your contacts and how much space each is taking. Go to WhatsApp> Storage and data usage>Storage usage.
  • Now you will see all your recent chats along with the space each is consuming on your phone. Select the chat>Manage messages>Clear messages.

Low data usage for WhatsApp calls:

WhatsApp also has an option to lower the amount of data it uses during WhatsApp voice calls. Open WhatsApp>Settings>Data and storage usage> Low data usage.

Hope the above sharing will definitely help you to save your Smartphone’s storage from mess up by unwanted WhatsApp auto-downloading of videos, images.



  1. T Sekhar says:

    After stopping auto download in WhatsApp, how to download selected audio or video?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *