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

In this post, you’ll see:

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 the Wi-Fi connection.
  • Nothing on roaming. This one only applies to WhatsApp for Android.

Below, you’ll find steps to stop automatic media downloads 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 the WhatsApp app.

Tap the 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 see them below.

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

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

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

To cancel automatic downloads while roaming, select “When roaming.” Uncheck the desired ones and tap “OK.”

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

If you’d like to reset these, check out the bottom of this section.

See: How to Create a Fake WhatsApp Chat

iPhone

Open the 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 Reset Auto-Download Settings

You can reset it whenever you want, and here’s how on Android and iPhone:

iPhone

Tap the Settings tab at the bottom and select Storage and Data.

Tap the Reset Auto-Download Settings option. 

That’s all. Note that if you can’t tap on the option above, then it means that you already have the default settings.

Android

Unlike the iPhone, there is no reset option for Android.

However, you can reset it by applying the default settings manually. You can find them at the top of this section.

How to Turn Off Media Visibility in WhatsApp

WhatsApp 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 the conversation (contact or group) and tap its name at the top.

Select “Media visibility” between “Custom notifications” and “Disappearing messages.”

You can see these options in the popup:

  • Default – This applies WhatsApp media visibility state (which you’ll see below) to the 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 the 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. Create a .nomedia file.

That’s all.

How to Stop WhatsApp Saving Images and Videos to the Camera Roll

By default, WhatsApp for iPhone automatically saves the images and videos you receive to the Camera Roll.

You can stop this for individuals and all chats. Let’s see both.

Follow these steps for individual chats:

Open the chat. Tap the name at the top.

Between Wallpaper & Sound and Disappearing Messages, you can see Save to Camera Roll. Select it.

On the popup, you’ll see these options:

  • Default (On or Off) – This option will apply the WhatsApp “Save to Camera Roll” setting to this chat (which you’ll see below). The On or Off you see in the parenthesis is the current state of that setting.
  • Always – Always save photos and videos from this chat.
  • Never – Never save photos and videos from this chat. 

Choose the one you prefer.

That’s all.

Follow these steps for all chats:

Remember that this can’t override the “Save to Camera Roll” setting of the individual chat.

Steps

Open WhatsApp. Tap Settings at the bottom.

Select Chats between Account and Notifications.

Between Chat Wallpaper and Chat Backup, you’ll see Save to Camera Roll.

Please turn it off to stop the automatic saving of videos and photos to the Camera Roll. 

That’s it.

Note: You can revert it by turning it on.

Here’s how you can save photos and videos manually on WhatsApp for iPhone:

Make sure that WhatsApp has access to the Photos app. Here’s how:

Open Settings and then select WhatsApp. Tap Photos and make sure that “All Photos” is selected. If that isn’t the case, choose it.

In the WhatsApp app, open the chat which contains the image or video to save.

Tap the photo or video and then select the Share icon at the bottom left. Select Save.

That’s all.

Here’s an alternative method: long-press the item, and you’ll see the Save option. Select it.

How to Change Photo Upload Quality in WhatsApp

By default, WhatsApp determines the photo upload quality.

But you can change that, and here’s how on Android and iPhone:

Open WhatsApp app.

If you’re on Android, tap the three vertical dots at the top right and select Settings. Hit Storage and data, which you can find between Notifications and Help.

If you’re on iPhone, select Settings on the bottom and then select “Storage and Data” beneath “Payments.”

Tap the “Media Upload Quality” option (if you’re using iPhone) or Photo upload quality (if you’re using Android) at the bottom.

And you can now see these three options:

  • Auto (recommended): This one is the default. Choosing this one means letting WhatsApp determine the upload quality of the photo.
  • Best quality: Self-explanatory, right? But remember that it’ll take a long time to send.
  • Data saver: This one will save your data by reducing the upload quality.

Choose the one you prefer. If you’re on Android, tap OK. That’s all.

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