How to Stop Automatically Downloading Images on WhatsApp


Cast your mind back to the early 2000s. MMS messages were the only way to send photos from your (grainy) phone camera to your friends and family.

Then Facebook came along. Suddenly, it became easier than ever for us to share content with other people—but the Facebook revolution was only the beginning. Less than two years after Apple launched the first iPhone, WhatsApp hit app stores around the world.

At first, it was great. You could share high-quality images with several other users in seconds. But things quickly got worse. Today, most people are sick of their WhatsApp image feeds full of terrible memes and unfunny GIFs.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t lay waste to your gallery or storage space. It doesn’t take many junk images to drown out the images you actually want to look at again in the future.

Did you know it’s possible to prevent WhatsApp from automatically downloading images? Keep reading to find out how to enable it for yourself.

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How to Stop Auto-Downloading Images on WhatsApp

It’s easy to prevent WhatsApp from automatically downloading images you receive onto your phone’s memory. Just follow the simple step-by-step guide below.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Data and storage usage.
  3. In the Media auto-download section, tap on When using mobile data.
  4. Unmark the checkbox next to Photos.
  5. Next, tap on When connected on Wi-Fi.
  6. Again, unmark the checkbox next to Photos.
  7. Lastly, tap on When roaming and unmark the Photos checkbox.

Note: You can also unmark the checkboxes next to Video, Audio, and Documents in each respective section to prevent any media being downloaded onto your phone.

Once you’ve changed the settings, no photos will download automatically. To save a photo onto your device, tap on the download icon in the middle of the image when you receive it.


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