WhatsApp is the best app for reaching out to friends and family in almost every possible way, be it via text, photos, audio files, videos and a bunch of other file formats, including GIFs and documents.
While this versatility makes WhatsApp a very convenient chat application, the same can also turn out to be a data hog if not well handled. The app’s default settings allow the messages you receive to be auto-downloaded to your phone, be it photos, videos or audio files, regardless of their size. This is a cool feature, but it can really hurt you if you are using a limited data pack.
From what I know, many people use limited data bundles that tend to run out depending on their usage. In fact, many WhatsApp users purchase small data packs for use on the app and a few other browsing needs, something that can be hurt by this auto-download feature. The files auto-downloaded to your phone not only take up too much storage space that also contributes to the overall sluggish performance of the phone, but they also consume lots of data bundles on messages you’d have preferred not to check out.
The good side of the story is that you can take care of this in a few simple steps. Yes, you can stop WhatsApp media files from auto-downloading to your phone whenever you turn on your limited data connection. It’s quite easy to do this.
Simply launch the WhatsApp app and while on the home page, tap the three dots you see in the top right corner and hit the Settings option. While in there, tap on the Data usage option and from the window that opens, you should see a Media auto-download option. This is where the magic is.
There are three options here, which means you can stop media auto-download when using mobile data, when connected to the Internet via a Wi-Fi hotspot or even when roaming. Go ahead and uncheck all the options under the “When using mobile data” section, which include Photos, Audio, Videos and Documents. When done, hit OK and that’s it!
From now henceforth, you will have to manually tap on photos, videos, audio or documents in conversations in order to download them to your phone. The “When connected on Wi-Fi” section also presents the same options, but there’s no need to uncheck these ones unless your Wi-Fi hotspot is also using data from a tethered device.