Do you find it annoying that WhatsApp automatically download photos and videos to your camera roll by default? I personally find this feature irritating because it fills my Camera Roll with cluttered photos and videos. This feature also makes you concerned about losing your privacy because anyone can access those pictures and videos through your camera roll.

However, WhatsApp has made it quite easy to disable auto-downloading feature. If you don’t want to auto save WhatsApp photos and videos to your iPhone camera roll, here’s how to do that. (Note that WhatsApp prevents videos from auto-downloading by default.)

How to Stop Auto-Download in Whatsapp for iPhone

How to Stop WhatsApp Auto-Download Photos and Videos to iPhone Camera Roll:

Update WhatsApp

  • Open WhatsApp
  • Tap on Settings
  • Tap on Chat Settings
  • Next, tap on Media Auto-Download

For each of the three options (Images, Audio and Videos), tap on it and pick from the three: Never, Wifi, Wi-Fi and Cellular.

Whatsapp Auto-Download Images Option for iPhone

Turn off Auto-Download in WhatsApp

Never will stop all auto-downloads. You will have to tap on the download icon for all images, videos and audio messages. With Wi-Fi selected, the media will be downloaded only when your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. The last option (Wi-Fi and Cellular) is basically enabling auto-download for all media.

It’s good that WhatsApp doesn’t give a blanket option that applies to all. I find that I mostly need to prevent video and audio auto-downloads (because that’s what gets most of the data usage).

Note that Voice Messages, however, are downloaded automatically by default and there’s no way you can stop it (unless you manually prevent the download while it’s happening).

Saving Media

Note that the auto-download doesn’t relate to saving the media to your camera roll. Saving media by default (or disabling it) is a separate switch/feature within WhatsApp. It’s still available though. Under Settings -> Chat Settings, you should find the switch labeled Save Incoming Media.

You can also use an alternative method to block WhatsApp from saving media to your camera roll automatically. That’s shown here.