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This article was published on February 18, 2019

How to stop WhatsApp from downloading photos automatically

How to stop WhatsApp from downloading photos automatically
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and connected services.

It’s quite annoying when your phone’s running out of the storage, and the reason is usually the random photos and memes that your friends sent you on WhatsApp. By default, WhatsApp downloads photos to your phone automatically. We’ll show you how to stop this monstrosity.

On iOS

  • Head to Settings>Data and Storage Usage
  • Click on Photos
  • Select Never option to stop downloading photos automatically.
Stopping automatic download on WhatsApp

You can repeat the process for any type of media like videos and audio.

On Android

  • Head to Settings>Data and storage usage.
  • Scroll down to Media auto-download.
WhatsApp for Android Data storage and usage section
  • Choose When using mobile data.
  • Uncheck Photos option from the dialog box.
Unchecking Photos option from auto downloading
  • Repeat this for When connected on Wi-Fi and When Roaming options.

And that’s it! Now you can safely open WhatsApp without it highjacking your storage.

Check out all our Basics articles here.

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