How to Stop WhatsApp from Automatically Downloading Media Files in Android

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 17 Feb 2019

WhatsApp logo

Over a billion messages are sent daily by users on WhatsApp. Many of them are irrelevant and comprise of silly good morning, good night messages accompanied by a similarly irrelevant media file. These media files end up being downloaded automatically on your phone and occupy storage space.

They clutter your phone’s gallery and are of little to no value. Thankfully, you can get rid of this problem for good by preventing WhatsApp from auto-downloading media files you receive. If a media file is important, you can always manually download it later on.

So, here’s how you can stop WhatsApp from automatically downloading media files on Android to reduce the clutter they create.

How to Stop WhatsApp from Downloading Media Files Automatically

Step 1: Open WhatsApp and tap the 3-dot overflow menu button at the top-right followed by Settings. From there, select Data and storage usage.


Step 2: Under the Media auto-download section, you will find the various scenarios under which WhatsApp will automatically download all media files you receive.

Depending on your preference, you can select whether WhatsApp will download all the media files you receive when your phone is using mobile data or connected to a Wi-Fi network. You can even specify whether you want to download only a certain type of media file when your device is on mobile data, on roaming, or connected to a Wi-Fi network.

WhatsApp Media Settings

So, for example, if you want to reduce the media clutter from WhatsApp on your Android device, disable the option to download photos from under ‘When using mobile data.’ This will ensure that any images sent to you on WhatsApp will not be automatically downloaded when your phone is on mobile data. If you want to completely disable media auto download, simply unselect the various media file types from the ‘When using mobile data’ and ‘When connected to a Wi-Fi network’ options.

Do note that for optimum communication experience, WhatsApp downloads all audio files that are sent to you.

With media download disabled, you will have to tap on the download icon whenever you receive a new media file so that it can be downloaded and opened.

With this handy tip, you will not only end up saving storage space on your Android device but also reduce clutter on it.