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How to stop WhatsApp from saving photos and videos

Your phone's camera roll will thank you.
By
May 23, 2022

Messaging apps like WhatsApp are perfect for sharing photos and videos made on your phone. But not every photo and video need to be automatically downloaded to your camera roll. If everything were automatically downloaded, your camera roll would soon become cluttered, and you’d be spending lots of time deleting images and video. So how do you stop WhatsApp from saving photos and videos? As usual, the answer lies in the settings.

Read more: How to use WhatsApp — a step-by-step beginner’s guide

QUICK ANSWER

To stop WhatsApp from saving photos and videos, go to the contact in question and tap their name at the top of the screen. Scroll down till you see Save to Camera Roll. Tap on that, and you'll get three options — Default (On), Always, and Never. Choose which one you want. Unfortunately, you need to do this process for each contact. There's no one blanket setting for everyone.

How to stop WhatsApp from saving photos and videos

For some inexplicable reason, WhatsApp doesn’t have one button you can tap on and off for media downloading. Instead, you have to do this individually for every contact.

On either Android or iOS, select the contact you want to change media downloading for, and tap on their name at the top of the screen.

whatsapp mobile contact name

Scroll down till you see Save to Camera Roll. Tap on that to select it.

whatsapp mobile save to camera roll

You’ll now be given three options — Default (On), Always, and Never. Select which one you want.

whatsapp mobile camera roll options

At the moment, Default is On, because everyone on my WhatsApp contact list is enabled for media downloading. But if a majority of those contacts were subsequently changed to Never, then Default will change to Off.


Read more: What is WhatsApp? The ultimate guide to getting started

FAQs

Yes. This has to be tweaked per contact. Unfortunately, you can’t toggle one setting for everyone simultaneously.

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