How to Stop Media Auto-Download on WhatsApp (Android and iPhone)

By default, WhatsApp automatically downloads:

  • Photos when you are on a mobile data connection.
  • All media (photos, audio, videos and documents) if you have a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Nothing when you’re roaming.

The latter only applies to WhatsApp for Android.

If you want to stop the automatic media download from WhatsApp, follow the steps below on Android and iPhone.

How to stop the automatic media download on WhatsApp


Open WhatsApp.

Hit the three vertical points in the upper right corner.

Tap Settings > Storage and Data.

In the “Media auto-download” section, you can see three options.

If you want to stop automatically downloading media when using mobile data, click the “When using mobile data” option.

Now deactivate the one you prefer, which you do not want to download automatically, and then click “OK.”

If you want to stop auto-downloading when you are using Wi-Fi, click on the option “When connected on Wi-Fi.” Now uncheck the checkbox on your preferred one and click “OK.”

If you want to stop the automatic download when roaming, click on the option “When roaming.” Now, remove the desired options and click on “OK.”

That’s it.

From now on, when you receive media files, you must download them manually by clicking on the “Download” icon in the media file.

Read here: How to Create a Fake WhatsApp Chat


Open the WhatsApp app.

Click on “Settings” below.

Tap “Storage and Data.”

In the “Media Auto-download” section, you will see these options:

  • Photos
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Documents

Options are self-explanatory, aren’t they? If you choose one of these options, you will see these three options:

  • Never – This option disables the automatic download of selected media. For example, if I choose “Never” for “Video,” WhatsApp will not automatically download video.
  • Wi-Fi – This option only downloads selected media from a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Wi-Fi and Cellular – This option downloads the selected media in both Wi-Fi and mobile.

Choose the one you prefer.

That’s all.

Think also of the following two important things:

  • Voice messages are always downloaded automatically from WhatsApp (Android and iPhone), and there is no way to stop that.
  • You can’t stop the automatic media download on WhatsApp Web.