Photos take up a lot of storage space on our phones. If you are active enough on WhatsApp, you must be recipient of several WhatsApp photos. While some make sense and are important, others just feel that spam is taking up space. You can delete these images from your WhatsApp on iPhone and Android.
WhatsApp photos can be deleted in two ways – from WhatsApp itself and from the photo viewer (gallery application). The steps and features differ for Android and iPhone.
Let's see different methods to delete WhatsApp photos. But before that, you must understand how WhatsApp media is stored on your phone.
How and where are WhatsApp images saved on Android and iPhone
Generally, you need to tap the received photo to download it into WhatsApp. On Android and iPhone, you get a feature in WhatsApp called Media Auto-Download. Once activated, WhatsApp automatically downloads the received photos.
However, the operation differs after they are downloaded to WhatsApp. On Android, photos once uploaded to WhatsApp are also saved in the gallery application. You can see them in WhatsApp and the gallery application.
On iPhone, when you receive a photo, it is not automatically downloaded to the filmstrip. Photos remain on WhatsApp servers and are only visible in WhatsApp. You must manually register them using the Save button present in WhatsApp or enable the "Save in filmstrip" setting to display them in the Photos application or any other gallery application on your iPhone.
Now let's take a look at the six methods to remove photos from WhatsApp on iPhone and Android.
Method 1: Delete recent photos from WhatsApp Chat
Here are the steps.
Photos deleted with this method would be deleted only from WhatsApp, even if you saved them in your filmstrip. You can view these images in the Apple Photos app after removing them from WhatsApp.
To delete photos, open the chat. Touch and hold the photo you want to delete. Tap More, and then tap Delete.
You can select multiple photos by tapping them. Then press the delete icon at the bottom. Finally, press Delete for me.
Open the WhatsApp chat from which you want to delete photos. Touch and hold the photo you want to delete. If you want to delete multiple photos, you must select a photo and press other photos to select them.
Tap the delete icon at the top. A window will appear. In case you want to delete the photo from WhatsApp only, uncheck "Delete media in this chat" and press delete for me. The photo will continue to take up space on your phone and it will also appear in the gallery application. To also remove it from the gallery application, make sure that the option "Delete media in this chat" is checked. Then, tap Delete for me.
Method 2: Delete the old photos from the WhatsApp chat
The method mentioned above is useful for deleting recent photos. If you want to delete old photos, you will need to scroll up and find them. This makes it tedious. To avoid this, follow the steps mentioned below.
Tap the name of the contact or group at the top of the WhatsApp chat. You will be redirected to the information screen. Tap Media, Links, and Documents.
Press Select. Then tap the pictures to select them. Tap the delete icon at the bottom, then tap Remove for me. The selected photos will be removed from the WhatsApp chat. However, these images will remain on your phone, if you had them saved, and are available in the Photos application.
Tap the name of the contact or group at the top of the WhatsApp chat. You will be redirected to the information screen. Tap Media.
You will find all your photos, videos and even documents. Touch and hold the photo you want to delete. Then tap others if you want to delete multiple photos. Finally, tap the delete icon. Again, as in the previous method, you will get a pop-up window. Check the "Delete media in this chat" box if you also want to remove it from your gallery application. Tap Delete for me to allow it.
Method 3: Delete WhatsApp photos from the gallery
You can use any gallery application present on your phone for this method, including the Google Photos app and Apple Photos.
On iPhone, only photos that you have saved manually can be deleted from Apple Photos or from other applications in the gallery. Removing WhatsApp photos using this method will not remove them from WhatsApp. They will always appear in the chat.
Launch the Apple Photos app and open the WhatsApp photo you want to delete. You can select multiple photos using the Select Up option. Then touch the delete icon, then confirm on the next screen.
Launch the gallery application and find the photo you want to delete. Then press the delete icon.
Now, when you delete a photo from the gallery application, it will also be removed from WhatsApp on Android. You will then see a download icon on the photo. You will have to download it again. However, this is only possible if the sender has not deleted the photo from his side. Otherwise, WhatsApp will show you an error message.
Interestingly, if the gallery application, from which you deleted the photo, supports the ability to recover deleted photos within a fixed time, the photo will remain on WhatsApp and in the deleted items folder of the gallery application. Most applications label it as a trash or a basket, which can often be full. Once the specified time has elapsed, the photo will be permanently deleted from your phone and WhatsApp.
Method 4: Remove all photos from a conversation without erasing the conversation
WhatsApp provides a native option to manage the storage occupied by it. In other words, you can delete messages, multimedia files such as photos, videos, documents, and so on. separately from each individual discussion. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Launch WhatsApp and tap Settings at the bottom. Tap Data and Storage Usage.
2nd step: Tap Storage Usage at the bottom.
Step 3: Tap the contact whose photos you want to delete. Tap Manage at the bottom of the next screen.
Step 4: Keep the option checked. Then press Clear at the bottom. Confirm in the pop-up window.
All photos will be deleted from this chat. However, all the photos you have saved in your film remain unchanged.
For that, proceed as following:
Step 1: Open WhatsApp and tap the three-dot icon at the top. Select Settings in the menu.
Étape 2: Appuyez sur Données et utilisation du stockage, puis sur Utilisation du stockage.
Step 3: Tap on the contact name from which you want to delete all photos. Use the search to find the contact.
Étape 4: WhatsApp will show space occupied by various elements such as photos, videos, GIFs, etc. Tap on Free up space at the bottom.
Step 5: Uncheck other things and keep Photos checked. Tap on Delete items. A pop-up will appear. Tap on Clear Messages.
Note: When you use this method on Android, then pictures will be removed from WhatsApp and gallery app.
Method 5: Delete All WhatsApp Photos by Clearing Chat
If you are okay with clearing all the messages and other media files from a chat, you can clear the chat. Doing that will remove all the photos, videos, and other documents from WhatsApp.
When you use this method on iPhone, your saved WhatsApp photos in Camera Roll will not be deleted from the Photos app. Only the photos in WhatsApp will get deleted along with messages and other things from that chat.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Open the WhatsApp chat and tap on the contact name at the top.
Étape 2: Scroll down and tap on Clear chat. A confirmation box will appear. Tap on Delete all messages.
Step 1: Open the chat and tap on the three-dot icon at the top. Select More.
2nd step: Tap on Clear chat. A pop-up will appear. If you want to delete the photos from your gallery app, you should keep the ‘Delete media in this chat’ checked. Tap on Clear.
Method 6: Delete WhatsApp Photos from All Chats
If you want to save space on your phone, you can delete all the received WhatsApp photos at once. Here's how to do it.
On iPhone, this method will only work for the photos saved to your phone. The photos in WhatsApp will remain untouched.
To do so, open the Apple Photos app and go to the Albums section. Tap on WhatsApp.
Tap on Select at the top followed by tapping on Select All present at the top-left corner. Then, hit the delete icon at the top.
You will find a folder known as WhatsApp Images on your gallery app. Open it and select all the photos. You can even select some photos.
Bonus 1: How to Stop Auto-Download of Photos on Android and iPhone
On Android, open WhatsApp settings and go to Data and storage usage. You will find three options — mobile data, Wi-Fi, and roaming. Tap on each of them one by one and uncheck Photos. By doing so, photos will stop downloading automatically. You will have to tap on the photos in WhatsApp to download them.
On iPhone, tap on WhatsApp Settings followed by Data and storage usage. Then tap on Photos. Select Never.
Bonus 2: How to Stop Auto Saving of Photos on iPhone
To stop your iPhone from automatically saving the downloaded WhatsApp pictures to Camera Roll, go to WhatsApp Settings > Chats. Turn off the toggle for Save to Camera Roll.
Delete for Everyone
When you delete a received photo, it is only deleted from your end and not from the sender's side. However, WhatsApp has a feature where you can delete a sent message from the receiver's end too. The feature is called Delete for everyone. If you are curious about deleted messages, know how to see deleted WhatsApp messages.
Then: Did you accidentally delete an important photo? Here's a detailed guide on how to recover deleted images in WhatsApp.