WhatsApp photos: How to stop WhatsApp photos being saved on your phone

Sharing photos is a novel way of keeping up to date with friends and family during the coronavirus lockdown. However, some people prefer to save space on their phone by preventing WhatsApp automatically downloading images – fortunately, Express.so.uk is here to help.

With more than a billion users, WhatsApp has become the preferred contact app of choice.

One of WhatsApp’s main attractions is how users can send as many media-rich messages as they want for free.

However, one of WhatsApp’s annoyances is how the app automatically downloads and stores every media file received.

For those of us that already struggle with phone storage space, this can be quite frustrating.

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This can particularly be the case when you frequently receive huge quantities of pictures.

Fortunately, switching off the setting that controls automatic media downloads from WhatsApp is relatively easy on both an Android and Apple phones.

Express.co.uk has outlined how to stop WhatsApp automatically downloading all media files.

How to stop to photos and video downloading on iPhone:

Begin by launching WhatsApp on your Apple iPhone.

Next tap the Settings icon at the bottom right of the screen.

Now tap Chat Settings, then swipe the toggle off the Save Incoming Media option, meaning it is no longer green.

If committing to this is too extreme, it is also possible to switch off media downloads from one chat at a time.

This offers users more flexibility if they do want only some pictures or videos to be saved.

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To prevent media files from one chat saving to iPhone:

Begin by launching WhatsApp on your Apple iPhone.

Next click on the chat you wish to stop downloading media files from.

Now click on the name of person or group from this chat, then scroll to the option Save to Camera Roll and then click Never.

This process needs to be repeated for each contact or group you wish to deactivate the automatic downloads for.

How stop to photos and video downloading on Android:

Preventing WhatsApp automatically downloading ALL media files is slightly different on Android devices.

This is because Android relies on settings involving Wi-Fi and Data, instead of a specific button in the app.

Begin by opening WhatsApp and go to the window where chats are shown.

Then select Settings then click on Data and storage usage.

Next head to Media Auto-Download, where you will encounter three options: When Using Cellular Data, When Connected on Wi-Fi and When Roaming.

Disable auto-downloads by unchecking all three options, Images, Audio and Video.

To prevent media files from one chat saving to Android:

If committing to this is too much, it is also possible to switch off media downloads from one chat at a time on Android.

Begin by opening a chat on WhatsApp.

Next tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner, followed by tapping View Contact.

At the bottom, there should be a section called Media visibility and select No.

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