Are you having trouble downloading media (photos and videos) that you receive through WhatsApp on Android or iOS? Have you been trying to save some memes or funny videos that your friends sent you on WhatsApp but to no avail? Thankfully, this should be an easy fix.
In this article, we'll guide you through the steps to troubleshoot your problem with WhatsApp media not downloading. And hopefully, by the end of the article, you'll be able to download media from WhatsApp without any trouble...
1. Check Your Internet Connection
When you're having difficulties using an app that requires the internet, you should check that your internet or mobile data connection is working correctly. This could be the reason why your WhatsApp images are not downloading.
Try using other apps on your phone and check if they can access the internet. You can also try visiting a webpage on your preferred browser.
If other applications are also experiencing similar connectivity issues, check that you're connected to the internet.
Fix Wi-Fi Connectivity Issues
Start by switching your Wi-Fi router off and then back on. If the connectivity issue persists when the router comes back on, refer to our guide detailing how to fix slow Wi-Fi connections.
Fix Cellular Data Issues
Try turning off cellular (or mobile) data and then switching it back on again. If that doesn't help, enable airplane mode and change back to regular mode. You should also check that your internet plan is active and that you haven't run out of data.
If you still cannot download media files on WhatsApp (despite having a data plan), try speeding up your mobile data connection.
2. Check Your Device Storage
This is the second thing to do if photos and videos are not downloading on WhatsApp. You cannot download files from WhatsApp and other applications if you don't have sufficient space on your phone's internal or external storage.
If you're unable to download WhatsApp images and storage is an issue, that's a no-brainer. Say you're trying to download a 50MB video and there's only 40MB of free storage space on your device, WhatsApp will not complete the download.
For Android, launch your phone's File Manager app and check how much free storage space your phone has. Alternatively, you could also go to Settings > About phone (this will vary from device to device) or search for storage in the search bar inside the Settings app.
Ideally, the available storage on your phone should be sufficient to accommodate the media file you want to download. If your Android phone is running low on storage, there are several ways to free up storage space and make room for WhatsApp media.
If you use an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage/iPad Storage to check how much storage you've used and how much you have left to use.
If your iPhone or iPad is low on storage space, our guide explaining how to create free space on iOS should come in handy.
3. Check the Storage/Media Permission on Your Device
This is another important storage-related check you should carry out if WhatsApp is not downloading media files (or any other app, really). If WhatsApp doesn't have access to your phone's storage or photos, you will get an error message when you try to save media files. In this case, you need to grant WhatsApp storage permissions.
How to Grant WhatsApp Storage Permissions on Android
To grant WhatsApp access to access your storage, follow these steps. However, keep in mind that the procedure will vary depending on your device.
Go to Settings > Apps > Manage apps > WhatsApp > App permissions > Storage and click Allow.
How to Grant WhatsApp Permissions to Access Photos on iOS
Launch the Settings app and select Privacy. Next, select Photos, choose WhatsApp from the list of applications, and make sure All Photos is selected.
4. Force Close WhatsApp
When an app gets stuck or some of its features don't work correctly, force-closing the app is an effective way to eliminate snags that are causing the app to malfunction.
Follow the steps below to force-close apps on your smartphone...
How to Force Close WhatsApp on Android
Access your phone's Settings and click on Apps > Manage apps. Next, select WhatsApp from the list of installed applications. Finally, tap the Force Stop icon and select OK on the confirmation prompt. This procedure might be slightly different on your Android smartphone.
How to Force Close WhatsApp on iOS
Double-click the physical Home button (for iPhone 8 or earlier and iPhone SE 2020) or swipe up from the bottom of your device's screen and release your finger when the app preview cards appear on the screen. Swipe up the WhatsApp preview to force close it.
Launch WhatsApp again and check if you're able to download media files.
5. Restart Your Phone
Power-cycling your phone can also help resolve minor software glitches like WhatsApp failing to download media. Shut down your device and when it comes back on, check if you're able to save photos and videos on WhatsApp again.
6. Check Whether WhatsApp Is Down
Sometimes, the reason why WhatsApp media is not downloading on your phone isn't your fault. The problem could be on WhatsApp's end. If the company's servers are down, certain app features and functionalities may fail to work.
You can use trusted third-party platforms like DownDetector or Outage.Report to check for possible problems with WhatsApp servers. Alternatively, you can use WhatsApp Web on your PC to quickly check if the problem you're facing is device-related or server-related.
7. Update WhatsApp to the Current Version
Another thing to check is that you're running the latest version of WhatsApp on your device. Old versions of the app sometimes contain bugs that cause certain features to fail, like WhatsApp photos and videos not downloading. New versions come with bug fixes that restore the app to normalcy. Click the link below to update WhatsApp on your device.
Download: WhatsApp for Android | iOS (Free)
8. Enable "Save to Camera Roll" (for iPhone)
If you notice that photos and videos that you received via WhatsApp are no longer automatically saved to your iPhone, make sure Save to Camera Roll is enabled.
Launch WhatsApp and go to Settings > Chats and toggle the Save to Camera Roll option.
You can also configure your WhatsApp to save media files from individual or group messages automatically. Simply open the chat and go to the contact/group info page. Select Save to Camera Roll and choose Always from the options.
9. Check Your Phone's Date and Time
If the date or time shown on your phone doesn't match your time zone, you won't be able to connect to WhatsApp's servers, meaning you will have trouble downloading images and other media to your device. The best way to fix this issue is to set your date and time settings to Automatic.
Fortunately, this is pretty similar to do regardless of whether you own an Android or iOS device. On Android, you can do this by going to Settings > System > Date & time. On the other hand, iOS users can find these options in System > General > Date & Time.
10. Reset Your Network Settings
If the problem persists after trying all of the solutions above, try resetting your device's network settings, especially if you're having trouble using Wi-Fi or cellular data.
Resetting your device's network settings will delete all previously-saved Wi-Fi networks and cellular data configurations.
If you use an Android device, go to Settings > Connection & sharing > Reset Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and Bluetooth.
If you're using a Pixel, open Settings, go to System > Advanced > Reset options, and select Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth. Keep in mind, specific steps for different Android devices will vary.
You'll be required to authenticate the network settings reset by entering your phone's password or PIN.
To reset network settings on your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Reset Network Settings. Enter your iPhone's passcode and click Reset Network Settings on the prompt to proceed.
11. If All Else Fails, Reinstall WhatsApp
By progressing through the troubleshooting guide above you should have fixed the issue and now be able to download media files from WhatsApp once again. However, nothing in life is guaranteed.
If none of the above steps work, try deleting WhatsApp from your device and then reinstalling it from scratch. This nuclear option should fix the problem when all else fails.
Just remember to back up your messages before uninstalling WhatsApp so you don't lose important conversations and files.
Download WhatsApp Media Without Too Much Trouble
As you can see, there may be several reasons why WhatsApp cannot download images to your device. Going through all these troubleshooting steps one by one will help you find the culprit and fix the problem.
Moreover, you can learn to avoid a similar situation again with the points we discussed here. Hopefully these solutions fix the problem for you so that you can download WhatsApp media to your phone without any more trouble.