Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

How to stop WhatsApp from saving photos and videos in your gallery

You don't need a collection of mediocre memes.
By
December 5, 2023

Messaging apps like WhatsApp are perfect for sharing photos and videos made on your phone. But isn’t it annoying to see your phone gallery plagued with all those WhatsApp photos your friends send you? This usually happens by default and can quickly become an issue. Your gallery will soon become cluttered. Today, we’ll show you how to stop WhatsApp from saving photos and videos.

QUICK ANSWER

To stop WhatsApp from saving photos and videos in your Android phone's gallery, launch WhatsApp, tap on the three-dot menu button, and access the Settings. Tap on Chats, and make sure Media visibility is toggled off.

The process is very similar on iOS, but things look slightly different. Keep reading to learn more. We can also show you how to change this setting for specific contacts on both platforms.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7 Pro running Android 13 and an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 16.3.1 to formulate instructions within this guide. Keep in mind some steps may differ depending on your device and the software it’s running.

How to stop WhatsApp automatic downloads on Android

There are two ways to stop WhatsApp from saving photos and videos in your gallery. You can either turn them all off altogether or specify which contacts you want to avoid this with.

If you want to stop all WhatsApp automatic media downloads, launch the WhatsApp app, tap the three-dot menu button, and select Settings. Then go to Chats. You’ll see an option labeled as Media Visibility, with an explanation of what the feature does right under it. Toggle it off.

Turn off Media visibility on WhatsApp for Android:

  1. Launch WhatsApp.
  2. Hit the three-dot menu button on the top-right corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Go into Chats.
  5. Toggle off Media visibility.

Alternatively, you can also pick and choose which contacts you want to turn off media visibility for. Just launch WhatsApp and go into a conversation with the person you want to stop from plaguing your gallery. Tap on the person’s name or nickname up top. Tap on the Media visibility option, then select No and hit OK.

Turn off Media visibility for specific contacts on WhatsApp for Android:

  1. Launch WhatsApp.
  2. Tap on a conversation with the person you want to turn off Media visibility for.
  3. Tap on the person’s name, nickname, or number. It’s on the screen’s top side.
  4. Find the Media visibility option.
  5. Select No.
  6. Hit OK.

How to stop WhatsApp automatic downloads on iPhone

WhatsApp for iOS has the same options, but they will look a little different than what Android users see. Let’s walk our Apple brothers and sisters through the process.

If you want to stop all WhatsApp photos and videos from reaching your iPhone’s Camera Roll, launch WhatsApp and tap on the Settings tab. Open the Chats options, and then make sure Save to Camera Roll is toggled off.

Turn off Save to Camera Roll on WhatsApp for iPhone:

  1. Launch WhatsApp.
  2. Tap on the Settings tab.
  3. Select Chats.
  4. Make sure Save to Camera Roll is turned off.

Just like with Android, you can get contact-specific for your media download needs with WhatsApp for iOS. Simply launch WhatsApp and open a conversation with the person you want to change the setting for. Tap on the name, nickname, or phone number that shows up on the top side. Tap on the Save to Camera Roll option. Select Never.

Turn off Save to Camera Roll for specific contacts on WhatsApp for iPhone:

  1. Launch WhatsApp.
  2. Tap on a conversation with the person you want to turn off Media visibility for.
  3. Tap on the person’s name, nickname, or number. It’s on the screen’s top side.
  4. Select the Save to Camera Roll option.
  5. Select Never.

FAQs

Yes. Both the Android and iOS apps have the ability to turn off Media visibility or Save to Camera Roll.

Yes. This option can be tweaked per contact.

No. But the desktop and web apps don’t download media by default to your computer anyway. You have to download it manually.

This is possible if you’ve backed up your WhatsApp account. Here’s a guide on how to do this.