In today’s world, it is very rare that anyone having smartphone is not subscribed to WhatsApp. We are right to say because the Facebook owned social messaging app is undoubtedly the most used app on the planet.

Although there are countless pros of using WhatsApp but a number of cons as well. One of which is the default behaviour of downloading any piece of media that is sent to your device and save it to the internal memory. This poses a couple of problems:

  • Quickly running out of space
  • Chewing up tons of data

That means the default mode of downloading media results into occupying considerable amount of internal storage. Any type of media, images or audio/video notes, sent by a number of contacts and groups take up the space irrespective of their prominence to the user. Moreover, if you are on mobile data, this annoying behaviour will leave lesser volume for any other online activity.

If you want to know the amount of data consumed by WhatsApp so far on your device, simply head on to the three dots in the top right-hand corner. Go to Settings > Data and storage usage.


Head down to network usage and you’ll find some interesting stats on how much data has been wasted downloading those random images and videos from your various chats.


How to Disable Auto Download of Media on WhatsApp

What to do then? Luckily, there’s a way out but majority of WhatsApp users don’t even notice a simple setting to get rid of this annoying feature.

Simply launch WhatsApp and hit the same three dots in the top right-hand corner. Go to Settings > Data and storage usage > Media auto-download and select When using mobile data under Media auto-download. Check the kind of content you want to auto-download from the four categories of Photos, Audio, Video, Documents and switch off as necessary.


If you don’t want auto-download media, even on WiFi or when on roaming, tap on the When connected on Wi-Fi or When on roaming as appropriate and repeat the same process.

Remember, you still have the option of downloading media files when received but tapping manually on the download button.