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How to Stop Auto Download in WhatsApp

by | Jul 26, 2023

Do you get upset when WhatsApp saves pictures and videos on your phone, making it run slower and taking up space? If so, you’re in the right place. WhatsApp has a feature that saves all media you receive, but not everyone likes it, especially in group chats. The solution is to turn off auto download, so you can choose which media to save. This article will show you how to turn off, turn on, and fix auto download on WhatsApp for Android, iPhone, Windows, and Mac.

Why Would You Need to Turn Off Auto-Download in WhatsApp?

There are a few reasons why you might want to turn off auto-download in WhatsApp:

  • Receiving a lot of media files can slow down your device and make it run less efficiently. 
  • Auto-download can be frustrating if you’re in a group chat and other members share a lot of media you’re not interested in. By turning off auto-download, you can choose which media files you want to download and save and which you don’t. 
  • Auto-download can be a security risk, as some media files can contain viruses or malware that can harm your device. By manually selecting which files to download, you can reduce this risk.

How to Stop Auto Download in WhatsApp on iPhone & Android?

If you are tired of WhatsApp media files using up too much storage space on your device, it’s time to disable the auto-download feature.

Method 1: Turn off Media Auto-Download

For Android Users

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How to Stop Auto Download in WhatsApp on Android?
  • Open WhatsApp on your Android or iPhone phone.
  • Tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner.
  • Select “Settings.”
  • Tap “Storage and data.”
  • Under “Media auto-download,” tap “When using mobile data.”
  • Uncheck all four options (Photos, Videos, Audio, and Documents) to disable auto-downloads. You can customize this by only unchecking the media file types you don’t need.
  • Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the “When connected to Wi-Fi” and “When roaming” options to disable automatic downloads for those connections.

For iPhone Users

How to Stop Auto Download in WhatsApp on iPhone
  1. Follow steps 1 to 4 exactly like what you did for Android (Launch WhatsApp > Tap the three vertical dots> Go to “Settings > Tap Storage and Data.”) 
  2. Under the “Media Auto-Download” section, you will see four types of media files: Photos, audio, video, and documents.
  3. Tap on “Photos” and select “Never.”
  4. Do the same for audio, video, and documents.

Method 2: Turn off Media Visibility

If you want to prevent WhatsApp from saving photos on your iPhone or Android device, there’s a quick and easy way. Simply follow these steps:

Turn off Media Visibility
  1. Go to the Settings menu in WhatsApp.
  2. Choose the “Chats” option.
  3. Turn off the toggle switch for “Media Visibility.”
  4. Once you’ve completed these steps, any media files downloaded from WhatsApp will not be displayed in your device’s gallery.

How to Stop Auto Download for a Specific WhatsApp Group on Android & iPhone?

To prevent media files from a specific WhatsApp group from automatically downloading and showing up in your gallery, follow these steps:

How to Stop Auto Download for a Specific WhatsApp Group on Android & iPhone?
  1. Open the WhatsApp app and select the group you want to modify.
  2. Tap on the three dots in the top right corner and select “Group info.”
  3. Find and select “Media visibility.”
  4. Change the auto-download settings from “Default (Yes)” to “No.”
  5. Tap “OK” to confirm and save the changes.

After completing these steps, media files from the selected group will no longer be automatically downloaded and saved on your Android device.

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How to Stop Auto-Download for a Single Chat Contact?

Here are the steps to disable auto-download for a single chat contact or group on WhatsApp:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app.
  2. Long-press the chat contact you want to modify for a few seconds to select it.
  3. Tap the three vertical dots located in the upper right corner and select “View contact” (for a group chat, tap “Group info”).
  4. Tap the “Media visibility” option.
  5. Select “No” on the prompt window and tap “OK” to confirm.
  6. After completing these steps, media files from the selected chat contact or group will no longer be automatically downloaded and saved to your device’s gallery.

How to Stop Auto Download on WhatsApp Web? [Mac/Windows]

If you’re using WhatsApp on your computer and are wondering how to disable auto-download in WhatsApp Web, you’re in luck because there’s nothing to be done. Unlike mobile WhatsApp, WhatsApp Web cannot turn off auto-download since it doesn’t automatically download media onto your device. Instead, you have to manually click the download button whenever you want to save something.

How to Fix WhatsApp Media Auto-Download Not Working

If you’re experiencing issues with WhatsApp media auto-download not working, you can try a few things to fix the problem. Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take:

  • Enable “Save to Camera Roll”: If you have turned off the option to save media files to your camera roll in WhatsApp settings, you can enable it by following these steps: Open WhatsApp and navigate to “Settings > Chats.” Then, turn on the toggle switch for “Save to Camera Roll.”
Enable “Save to Camera Roll
  • Check your Internet connection: Make sure you have a stable Internet connection. Media files may not download automatically if your connection is weak or unstable.
  • Clear WhatsApp cache: Clearing WhatsApp cache can help resolve issues related to media auto-download. Go to your phone’s settings, select “Apps,” find WhatsApp, and then select “Storage.” From there, select “Clear cache” and “Clear data.”
  • Update WhatsApp: Make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on your phone. If you’re not running the latest version, update your app from the app store.
  • Check WhatsApp media settings: Go to WhatsApp settings and check your media settings. Ensure that media auto-download is enabled and the correct options are selected.
  • Set Date and Time: If you recently modified your time or date settings, it could potentially impact the functioning of WhatsApp’s auto-download feature. To avoid this issue, ensure that the date and time on your device are accurate.
  • Turn off Data Server: If the issue persists, try turning off the data server. Here’s how: Go to “Settings > Wi-Fi & Network > SIM & Network > Data Server.” Now turn off the toggle for “Use Data Server.”
  • Reinstall WhatsApp: If none of the above solutions work, try uninstalling and reinstalling WhatsApp. This will reset all your settings and may help resolve the issue.
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By following these steps, you should be able to fix any issues with WhatsApp media auto-download not working.


In conclusion, it is important to turn off auto-download in WhatsApp to avoid slowing down your device, reduce frustration in group chats, and minimize security risks. This article has provided step-by-step guides on how to stop auto-download on WhatsApp for Android, iPhone, and WhatsApp Web. By following these simple steps, you can control which media files you want to download and save and which you don’t. If you found this article informative, you may also be interested in learning about how to recover deleted WhatsApp messages.

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