Let’s see how to stop automatic media downloads on the WhatsApp app (Android and iPhone). I use Google Pixel 4a (Android 12) and iPhone (iOS 15.2).
How to Stop Auto-Download on WhatsApp (Android)
Here are the steps:
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.
Check out the “How to Reset Auto-Download Settings” section if you’d like to reset these.
How to Stop Media Auto-Download on WhatsApp (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:
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.
You can do the above steps for other options in the “Media Auto-Download” section if you wish.
How to Reset Auto-Download Settings
You can reset it whenever you want, and here’s how on Android and 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.
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.
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.
Also, note these things before you proceed with the steps:
- There is no option to stop voice messages from auto-download on WhatsApp.
- You can’t stop media auto-download on WhatsApp Web.
Thanks for reading.