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How to Stop WhatsApp from Auto-Saving Images on Your Phone

Stop WhatsApp from auto saving photos
Khamosh Pathak

WhatsApp automatically saves media to your gallery. That sounds like a good idea, but when you’re part of multiple groups, this can take up a lot of storage space. Here’s how you can stop WhatsApp from auto-saving images.

Stop WhatsApp from Auto-Saving Images on the iPhone

By default, all photos and videos you receive are saved directly to the Camera Roll in the Photos app on your iPhone.

To disable the feature, open the WhatsApp app and go to the “Settings” tab. Here, select the “Chats” option.

Tap on Chats from Settings section

From this screen, tap on the toggle next to “Save to Camera Roll” to turn off the auto-saving feature.

Tap on toggle next to Save to Camera Roll

Photos and videos will still be downloaded automatically on your iPhone, but they’ll stay in the WhatsApp memory.

If you want to manually save media to the Camera Roll, open the photo or video and tap on the “Share” button.

Tap on Share button

Here, tap on the “Save” option.

Tap on Save

As we mentioned above, the WhatsApp app is still downloading photos and videos, it’s just keeping them in its own app storage. But this can quickly add up. If you’d like to stop media downloading right at the source, go to the “Settings” tab and select the “Data and Storage Usage” option.

Tap on Data and Storage Usage on iPhone

Here, select the “Photos” option.

Tap on Photos option

From this screen, switch to “Never.”

Switch to Never

You can now do the same for the Audio, Videos, and Documents sections as well.

Now, when you receive any media, you’ll see a “Download” button. Tap on it to download the media.

Tap to download media

Stop WhatsApp from Auto-Saving Images on Android

The process for Android is slightly different. Open the WhatsApp app and tap on the three-dot menu button from the top toolbar.

Tap on the Menu button from the toolbar

Here, tap on the “Settings” option.

Tap on Settings from the Menu option

From the Settings page, tap on the “Data and Storage Usage” section.

Tap on Data and Storage usage option

In the “Media Auto-Download” section, you’ll see three different options for mobile data, Wi-Fi, and roaming.

Tap on the mobile data or wi-fi options

Go through each section and uncheck the Photos, Audio, Video, and Documents options to disable auto-download.

Uncheck media options to stop auto download

If you want to enable auto-download, but you don’t want the media to show up in your Gallery app, you can do so from the “Chat” section in settings.

Here, tap on the toggle next to the “Media Visibility” option. Now, newly downloaded media won’t show up in your Gallery app.

Tap on toggle next to Media Visibility

Speaking of WhatsApp groups that end up taking a lot of storage space, a new feature lets you stop anyone from adding you to a group without your consent.

RELATED: How to Stop People From Adding You to WhatsApp Groups on iPhone and Android

Harry Guinness Harry Guinness
Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium's OneZero.
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