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

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Tap or click on the above link to navigate to the corresponding section. Let’s get started.

How to Stop Media Auto-Download on WhatsApp

By default, WhatsApp automatically downloads:

  • Photos on the mobile data connection.
  • All media (Photos, audio, videos, and documents) on Wi-Fi connection.
  • Nothing on roaming. This one applies only to WhatsApp for Android.

Beneath, you’ll find steps to stop automatic media download on WhatsApp for Android and iPhone.

Note these things before you proceed:

  • There is no option to stop voice messages from auto download on WhatsApp.
  • You can’t stop media auto-download on WhatsApp Web.

Let’s see the steps.

Android

Open WhatsApp app.

Tap three vertical dots in the upper right corner.

Select Settings > Storage and data.

You’ll see these three options in the “Media auto-download” section. Let’s view them below.

To stop auto download of media on mobile data, select the “When using mobile data” option.

Deactivate the ones you don’t want to get auto-download and tap “OK.”

To stop auto download on Wi-Fi, select “When connected on Wi-Fi.” Uncheck the checkbox of your preferred ones and tap “OK.”

To stop automatic download on roaming, select “When roaming.” Uncheck desired ones and tap “OK.”

That’s it. From now on, tap the Download icon in the media files you receive to download them.

See: How to Create a Fake WhatsApp Chat

iPhone

Open WhatsApp app. Select “Settings” at the bottom, then “Storage and Data.”

You’ll see these options in the “Media Auto-Download” section:

  • Photos
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Documents

Choose one of them, and you’ll view these three options:

  • Never – This disables auto-download of selected media. For example, if I choose “Never” for “Video,” WhatsApp will not auto-download the video.
  • Wi-Fi – This only downloads selected media on a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Wi-Fi and Cellular – This downloads selected media on Wi-Fi and mobile data.

Choose the one you prefer.

That’s all.

How to Turn Off Media Visibility in WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s media visibility is turned on by default, causing downloaded media to appear in the gallery.

In this section, you’ll see how to turn it off for single and all chats on WhatsApp for Android. Let’s get started.

Follow these steps for a single chat:

Open chat (contact or group) and tap its name on top.

Select the Media visibility between Custom notifications and Disappearing messages.

You can see these in the pop-up:

  • Default – This applies WhatsApp’s media visibility state (which you’ll see below) to chat.
  • Yes – Turn it on for this chat.
  • No – Turn it off for this chat.

Select the one you like and tap OK.

Follow these steps to turn off media visibility for the entire WhatsApp:

Open WhatsApp. Tap three vertical dots on the top right.

Select Settings > Chats.

In the Chat settings section, you can view Media Visibility between “Enter is send” and “Font size.” Turn that off.

That’s all.

Here is an additional hint:

If you only want to hide WhatsApp images in the gallery, try these steps:

Open the File Explorer app on your Android device.

Find and open the WhatsApp folder, then Media > WhatsApp Images. Now create a .nomedia file.

That’s all.

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