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How to Stop WhatsApp Saving Photos and Videos to iPhone

whatsapp-iconSharing photos and videos on WhatsApp is half the fun of chatting with your friends. But there is a caveat to it: Your iPhone storage fills up faster than you can say “rickroll”, because WhatsApp likes to store incoming media locally. Thus all of your received images and videos land in your Camera Roll, located in the Photos app on the iPhone.


This may or may not be what you want in terms of app behavior. Especially iPhones with 8 GB or 16 GB of storage can’t handle a lot of user documents and files. By the way, if you’re always running low on storage space, we have a guide to fix that, too. The below guide deals with how to stop WhatsApp saving photos to your iPhone’s Camera Roll.

How to stop WhatsApp saving photos on iPhone

It might be a useful feature for some, but many are just annoyed by the extra clutter forming in their Photos app. You can stop Whatsapp from auto-downloading all of the media (photos, downloads) you and your friends share within the WhatsApp chat. For this guide, we’ll need to access the WhatsApp preferences. Here is how we’ll go about it:

WhatsApp > Settings > Chat Settings > Save Incoming Media

Open up your WhatsApp application on your iPhone. In the far bottom right, you should see a cogwheel icon titled “Settings”, tap it. Select “Chat Settings” from the menu, then disable the (active by default) toggle titled “‘Save Incoming Media”. You’re good to go! WhatsApp will now refrain from storing received photos and videos in your iPhone’s camera roll. This should be reflected positively in your available storage space over time.
whatsapp save media toggleYou can still manually save individual photos by selecting “Save Image” from their sharing menu, given that WhatsApp still has permissions to access your Camera Roll (Photos). This way you can hand-pick relevant content and store it on your iPhone, while keeping full control over what gets stored and what is only cached temporarily.