How to Fix It When WhatsApp Images and Videos Are Not Showing in Gallery

15 quick fixes for saving and finding WhatsApp pictures, movies, and files

By default, pictures, movies, and other media shared in WhatsApp messages usually save to a WhatsApp folder within the Gallery or Photos app on Android and iOS. Unfortunately, sometimes these files can be hard to find, go missing, or don’t download.

Here’s what you need to know about how to save photos from WhatsApp to Gallery on Android and your Camera Roll or Photos app on iPhone and iPad.

The Desktop and web versions of the WhatsApp app don’t feature an auto-download option for media though you can still manually save files via these apps if you like.

Cause of WhatsApp Media Saving Errors

WhatsApp pictures and movies not downloading properly can often be caused by the incorrect app settings being selected, a loss of Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity, and a damaged or corrupted SD card. Simply looking in the wrong location or folder is also a common cause of missing WhatsApp media files.

How to Save Pictures From WhatsApp on Android and iOS

Here’s how to fix all of the problems you may encounter when trying to work out how to save photos, videos, and files from WhatsApp on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

  1. Are you checking the correct folder in Gallery and Photos? Photos and other media downloaded from WhatsApp don't go into the usual Downloads or Pictures folders as you might expect. Instead, they’re in a folder titled WhatsApp, located within the Internal Storage folder on Android smartphones and tablets and under the My Albums category in the Photos app on iPhone and other iOS devices.

  2. Enable the WhatsApp default auto-save option. The easiest method for saving pictures from WhatsApp is to have all media from conversations save automatically to your device’s Camera Roll or Gallery app.

    On iOS, you can enable this option by going to the WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Save to Camera Roll. On Android, click Settings > Storage and data > Media auto-download and manually check which media you want to download on the various cellular or internet connections.

  3. Check your WhatsApp download preferences. Both the Android and iOS WhatsApp apps allow you to specify what type of media files automatically download and what internet connections will trigger each download.

    For example, you may choose to allow photo uploads on cellular and Wi-Fi but restrict video to Wi-Fi only to save on data. On iOS, do this via Settings > Storage and Data. On Android, Settings > Storage and data > Media auto-download.

  4. Enable general Media visibility on Android. To make sure pictures from WhatsApp discussions copy to Gallery in your file explorer on your Android tablet or smartphone, head to Settings > Chats and check you've turned on Media visibility.

  5. Enable Media visibility for individual users on Android. If media from a specific user isn’t showing on your Android smartphone or tablet, from the chat with the user, tap their profile name and then select Media visibility > Yes > OK. If Yes is already selected, you don’t need to do anything.

  6. Turn on specific user or group download settings on iPhone. Auto-downloading of media may have been disabled for particular users or groups. To check, tap their name and make sure that you set the Save to Camera Roll to either Default or Always.

  7. Check your internet connection. If you've set your WhatsApp media download preferences to Wi-Fi-only, and you have Wi-Fi turned off or are connecting via your mobile provider’s 3G, 4G, or 5G signal, your media won’t upload.

  8. Check your cellular connection. Likewise, if you’ve set media uploads to only happen over a cellular connection, they may not initiate when you’re connected to home or work internet.

  9. Free up storage space. Why? WhatsApp won’t download media if there’s not enough space. You'll need to free up space on your iPhone or free up space on your Android phone.

  10. Check if your SD card is damaged. A damaged SD card can prevent apps from saving data to it.

  11. Disable read-only mode on your SD card. The read-only mode will prevent any new data from being written to your SD card.

  12. Check your device’s time zone. If the time on your tablet or smartphone doesn’t match your real-world location, WhatsApp can disable the download of pictures, videos, and other media. You can fix this by setting your iPhone or Android smartphone to detect the correct time automatically, or you can change it manually.

  13. Save photos from WhatsApp manually. Tapping on the share icon on a file in the WhatsApp app will let you save it manually. Doing so will also provide you with the option to send it to another location on your device or send it to a connected app such as Dropbox, OneDrive, or even a social media messaging app.

  14. Save photos in WhatsApp as a screenshot. If all of the above solutions have failed, a sneaky way to save an image from a WhatsApp conversation is to take a screenshot of it. You can do this very quickly on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac.

  15. Save a WhatsApp video with a screen recording.

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