There are pros and cons of using WhatsApp, the world’s most widely used messaging app. One advantage is that your contacts are more likely to be on WhatsApp, but at the same time, you also have to put up with those obnoxious hello messages, consumable memes, and all kinds of unnecessary stuff that when downloaded will stay in it. your phone for eternity. But this growing stack can be of particular concern on phones with limited internal storage, and with expandable memory becoming scarce, it can be a challenge. Managing all WhatsApp media and files running on multiple GB can be a big and time-consuming task, but here is our guide to cleaning up WhatsApp photos, videos, files and other WhatsApp items from your phone.


WhatsApp for Android lets you take a look at the chats that take up most of your phone’s storage space. Using the storage manager, you can easily sort files by size and delete the ones you no longer need or have already backed up. Here’s how to get there:

  1. In fgeneral Discussions tab, go to Settings by pressing the vertical ellipses icon at the top.

  2. Head toward Storage and data and select the first option that says Manage storage space. There you will see the breakdown of storage that WhatsApp uses, along with some suggestions and a list of chats sorted by size.

  3. Go in More than 5 MB to take a look at the files taking up the most storage across all chats, or tap the first chat to reveal all of the files you’ve received from that contact. They’re sorted by size by default, but you can change that order from the hamburger menu at the top.

  4. Now you just have to select the media and files you don’t want anymore and press the button delete button. Deleting a file from here will also erase it from your phone’s memory, unless you’ve made another copy outside of the default WhatsApp folder.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with as many threads as needed to reclaim most of the storage space.

Chances are, you only have a few (or one) contact or group sending you most of the trash. Instead of going far, you can just get rid of their stuff from their chat window itself.

  1. On their chat screen, tap the ellipsis menu in the top right corner and select Media, links and documents.

  2. On the next screen, you will see all the files in this chat sorted by type. You don’t have the option to sort them by size, so you’ll have to scan the files manually.

  3. Select all the files and media that need to go and tap the trash can icon on the top menu.

It can be difficult to keep track of your phone’s storage space when you have a bunch of contacts and groups sending you all kinds of photos, videos, PDFs, etc. If you are one of this group, you will appreciate having smart tools that will make your life easier.

Files by Google

Files by Google was originally designed for very inexpensive phones running the Android Go edition to help users manage their phone’s limited storage space. Ultimately, you can use the same AI intelligences to filter out WhatsApp files that need to be deleted. The To clean The app section gives you an overview of what’s taking up the most space and gives suggestions based on what’s in those images. Like in my case, it gathered lists of duplicates, old screenshots, and memes.

Although I have to warn you that the app sometimes confuses the identification of the contents of the image. A few of my family photos, for example, also ended up in the same folder he suggested deleting. So even if the application saves you from having to locate these individual files, you should repeat these suggestions before you finally click Delete.

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In addition to this, the Files app also highlights the WhatsApp pictures folder so that you don’t have to search for the folder manually. This is useful if you prefer to watch all your WhatsApp media in one place instead of viewing them one chat at a time.

Google Photos

Google Photos continues to be the best photo management app across all platforms, and it’s no surprise that it works well for WhatsApp media management as well. Like Files, Photos also gives quick access to your WhatsApp media folders where you can save any important items or get rid of what you no longer need.

But in my case, the backup function of Google Photos is the most useful. Once Photos has backed up any important image or video I received on WhatsApp, I just need to use the Free up space functionality, and it does the rest for me.

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I know neither of these two apps are great for organizing a ton of WhatsApp files, but they help cut down on the clutter a bit to make it more manageable. There are a handful of third-party apps that claim to automate the whole process, but I would advise you to oppose them. This is because a lot of them are dealing with images in the cloud, and I guess you wouldn’t want your personal photos to end up on a remote unnamed server.

How to prevent WhatsApp from hogging your phone’s memory in the future

You’ll likely find yourself scrambling to empty your phone’s storage space in no time at all if you don’t stop WhatsApp from filling the space again. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure.

Disable automatic media download

Head toward Settings> Storage and data and turn off automatic downloading for all types of files and networks. This will give you back control over which files you want to download to your phone and which files are better not to see.

Image gallery (2 images)

Those who just don’t want media shared on WhatsApp showing in their phone’s gallery app can turn it off from Settings> Chats> Media visibility. Instead of a universal rule, you can also do this for individual chats and groups by going to their profile page> Media visibility> to select no.

Note that this will not display the images and videos in the Gallery app; they will always be downloaded to the default WhatsApp folder.

Left: The overall framework, Center and right: In individual chat.

Whatsapp on the desktop

People who spend most of their time on a computer can use the web or the WhatsApp app for their chats. Media files displayed on the desktop naturally don’t take up space on your phone, although they can still be accessed whenever you need to download them. This is especially useful for single-use files that would otherwise live on your phone’s memory until you manually access them.

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