By default, WhatsApp will automatically download:
If you want to stop media auto-download of WhatsApp, then follow the below steps:
That’s it. All done.
Moreover, from now on, whenever you’re receiving media files, you need to download manually (Hit the “Download” icon in the media file to do this).
Also, keep in mind the following two important things:
Note: WhatsApp, by default, shows downloaded images and videos in the phone gallery. Want to hide photos and videos from the gallery? Check out this guide.
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How to Stop Media Auto-Download on WhatsApp for Android