You wanted to stop WhatsApp from auto-saving images and you did. But then, there are some photos you want to save to your camera roll. Some photos are worthy enough to be saved for eternity. What do you do then?

If WhatsApp has access to your Photos app (to your camera roll, basically), you can save specific photos manually. This, despite having auto-download switched off. Here’s how to manually save photos from WhatsApp to your iPhone:

How to Stop Auto-Download in Whatsapp for iPhone

Before you start, make sure WhatsApp is “allowed” to access your Photos app. To do this:

  • Open Settings
  • Scroll down and tap on Privacy → Photos
  • Turn on the switch for WhatsApp

Photos Privacy Settings in iPhone and iPad
Now, let’s save photos:

Open WhatsApp and tap on the chat where the image was shared

  • Tap on the image
  • When the image opens in full-mode, tap on the share icon.

Tap on the Share Icon

  • Tap on Save Image

Tap on Save Image

That’s all. Your WhatsApp photo is now saved to your Camera Roll.

Note that when WhatsApp doesn’t have access to Photos, it won’t be able to save the photos to the camera roll. It will ask for permission to access Photos when you should tap on “Allow”.

WhatsApp continues to be one of the leading messaging platforms across all mobile OSes even after its $19b-purchase by Facebook. Besides text conversations, WhatsApp is also a place where people share a ton of photos and videos. Both photos and videos get auto-downloaded in iOS (there is no way to stop auto-download of images except tapping on a currently-downloading-image to stop the download). But you can prevent photos from getting saved to the camera roll. This helps in scenarios when you don’t want WhatsApp photos to show up on your camera roll (either due to memory issues or for privacy and “nsfw-type” photos). However, you can still save some photos and videos manually. And that’s kind of neat.