By default, WhatsApp will automatically download:
- Photos when you’re in mobile data connection.
- All media (Photos, Audio, Videos and Documents) when you’re on a Wi-Fi connection.
- Nothing when you’re in roaming.
The latter is for WhatsApp for Android only.
If you want to stop the media auto-download of WhatsApp, then follow the below steps on Android and iPhone.
How to Stop Media Auto-download on WhatsApp
Hit the three vertical dots at the top right.
Tap Settings > Storage and Data.
In the “Media auto-download” section, you can see three options.
If you want to stop media auto-download when you’re using mobile data, then hit the “When using mobile data” option.
Now, uncheck the ones you prefer that you don’t want to automatically download, and then hit “OK.”
If you want to stop auto-download when you’re using Wi-Fi, then hit the “When connected on Wi-Fi” option. Now, uncheck the ones you prefer and then hit “OK.”
If you want to stop auto-download when roaming, then hit the “When roaming” option. Now, uncheck the ones you prefer and then hit “OK.”
From now on, whenever you’re receiving media files, you need to download them manually (Hit the “Download” icon in the media file to do this).
Open the WhatsApp app.
Hit “Settings” at the bottom.
Tap “Storage and Data.”
In the “Media Auto-download” section, you will see these options:
Options are self-explanatory, right? Hitting any of these options shows you these three options:
- Never – This option disables the auto-download of selected media. For instance, if I chose “Never” for “Video,” then WhatsApp for iPhone will not auto-download video.
- Wi-Fi – This option downloads selected media from a Wi-Fi connection only.
- Wi-Fi and Cellular – This option downloads the selected media in both Wi-Fi and cellular connection.
Choose the one you prefer.
Also, keep in mind the following two important things:
- Voice messages will always get automatically downloaded by WhatsApp (Android and iPhone), and there isn’t an option to stop that.
- You can’t stop media auto-download on WhatsApp Web.