How to stop automatic uploading of photos in WhatsApp groups

Is your phone’s gallery app full of useless photos and videos from WhatsApp groups? This is a recurring problem when you are part of dozens of groups on WhatsApp. Although some family groups are important, you don’t need to automatically download photos and videos from each WhatsApp group. Here’s how you can stop photos from automatically uploading in WhatsApp groups.

Before you know it, you might end up downloading “Good Morning”, “Happy Birthday” and other irrelevant media files from WhatsApp groups. By following the steps below, you can save internet data and storage space on your iPhone or Android phone.

Disable automatic media download on WhatsApp

By default, WhatsApp automatically downloads all photos, videos, and other files shared in a WhatsApp group. So, if you haven’t changed the settings, turn off automatic media download on WhatsApp for iOS and Android. Follow the steps below.

WhatsApp for iOS and Android use different user interfaces. The steps to make the required changes differ on the two platforms.

whatsapp for iphone

Step 1: Open WhatsApp on iPhone.

2nd step: Tap the Settings gear in the lower right corner.

Step 3: Tap the Storage & Data menu.

Step 4: From the automatic media download menu, open Photos.

Step 5: Tap Never.

Repeat the same steps for audio, video, and documents.

whatsapp for android

Step 1: Launch WhatsApp on Android.

2nd step: Tap the three vertical dots menu in the upper right corner.

Step 3: Tap Settings.

Step 4: Select the ‘Storage & Data’ menu.

Step 5: In the auto-download media menu, tap “When using mobile data”.

Step 6: Disable check marks for photos, audio, videos, and documents. Then press OK.

Step 7: Open the “When connected to Wi-Fi” option. Clear the checkmarks for all media files and press OK.

After that, WhatsApp will not automatically download any media files over mobile data or Wi-Fi.

Disable Save to Gallery for WhatsApp Groups

The default WhatsApp group setting will save every uploaded photo or video to your phone’s gallery app. Here’s how to find and disable the “Save to Gallery” option for WhatsApp groups.

whatsapp for iphone

Step 1: Open WhatsApp on iPhone.

2nd step: Select a WhatsApp group that spams you with useless media files.

Step 3: Tap the group name at the top. This will open the group info menu.

Step 4: Scroll down and select Save to Camera Roll.

Step 5: Tap Never.

When you download a media file on WhatsApp, the app does not save it to the Photos app on iPhone. Now let’s make the same changes to WhatsApp for Android.

whatsapp for android

Step 1: Launch WhatsApp on your Android phone.

2nd step: Open any group in the app.

Step 3: Tap the group name at the top.

Step 4: Select Media Visibility.

Step 5: Tap the radio button next to No.

Select OK and you are good to go.

Manage existing WhatsApp group media

You have taken the necessary steps to stop the automatic uploading of photos in WhatsApp groups on iPhone and Android. But what about existing WhatsApp group media files? You can always open your phone’s gallery app and manually delete photos and videos. It takes time and you may delete important photos in the process.

Instead, you can use WhatsApp’s built-in storage manager and delete downloaded WhatsApp group photos.

whatsapp for iphone

Step 1: Open the Storage & Data menu in WhatsApp settings (refer to the steps above).

2nd step: Tap Manage storage.

Step 3: You can check how much storage WhatsApp media is using on your iPhone, along with a detailed breakdown by individual chats and groups.

Step 4: Scroll to a group.

Step 5: Tap Select in the top right corner.

Step 6: Tap Select All and tap the Delete icon.

whatsapp for android

Here is how you can use WhatsApp storage manager on Android.

Step 1: Go to Storage & Data menu in WhatsApp settings (check the steps above).

2nd step: Tap Manage storage.

Step 3: You will find a similar menu (like WhatsApp for iOS) with a detailed breakdown of storage.

Step 4: Open any group.

Step 5: Tap the Select All checkmark in the upper right corner.

Step 6: Select the delete icon and confirm your decision.

Stay away from WhatsApp group spam

Some WhatsApp groups may spam you with endless media files. When the auto download and save to gallery option is enabled for these WhatsApp groups, you end up with thousands of media files on your phone. The solutions mentioned above will help you to disable automatic uploading of photos in WhatsApp groups and delete existing media files.


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Deana N. Guinn