Top 10 Ways to Fix WhatsApp Not Downloading Media on iOS and Android

Top 10 Ways to Fix WhatsApp Not Downloading Media on iOS and Android

WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging (instant messaging) applications. In February 2020, the Facebook-owned company announced 2 billion users, up from 1.5 billion in 2018. WhatsApp is quickly adding features to the app and is now an integral part of many people to connect with their friends, their family and even do business through WhatsApp status and groups. While many continue to share media content on WhatsApp, it can be heartbreaking if WhatsApp suddenly throws error while downloading media on iOS and Android.

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Whatsapp not downloading

Many WhatsApp users rely on media files like pictures, videos, and audio to get things done. But when media files don’t perform as expected, it just spoils the experience and forces you to go down an old route like email.

There are several factors behind unexpected download error on iPhone and Android. Follow the troubleshooting steps below to resolve the issue.

1. Update WhatsApp

WhatsApp frequently updates its app on iOS and Android. Media download error can occur due to buggy or old version of WhatsApp on your phone. Go to the App Store or Google Play Store and update the WhatsApp app to the latest version.

Those who use the beta version of WhatsApp on Android and iOS should update the respective versions of WhatsApp to the latest versions, which feature several bug fixes and performance improvements.

2. Quit the WhatsApp beta program

If media download failure is a common issue on beta versions of WhatsApp, it is wise to quit the program and start using the App Store or the stable version of the Play Store.

On iPhone, open TestFlight app> WhatsApp> and select Exit Beta from the next menu.

Stop testing

On Android, open the Play Store and search for WhatsApp. Once you find it, you will see the option to exit the beta program.

Exit the beta program

3. Activate mobile data for WhatsApp (iPhone)

iOS allows you to restrict mobile data usage for certain apps from the settings menu. If the option is enabled for the WhatsApp app, you might not be able to download media content to the iPhone.

Activate mobile data

Open the Settings app on the iPhone and scroll to WhatsApp, then turn on mobile data for the app.

4.Give storage permission to WhatsApp

WhatsApp requires proper storage permission to save media files to device gallery. Open the device Settings app, scroll down until you see WhatsApp and open it. This will open the “Allow WhatsApp to Access” window. Make sure the photo access option is turned on.

On Android, there are two ways to open Authorization Manager. You can open the device Settings app and go to Apps & notifications> See all apps> and go to WhatsApp.

Android storage authorization

Give storage authorization

You can also long press the WhatsApp app icon and select the information option from the pop-up menu that pops up. This will take you directly to the app info menu. There, select the Authorization menu and activate the authorization for the device storage.

5. Use a strong network connection

Media files like videos require a stable and strong network connection for a smooth download process.

Make sure your phone is connected to a stronger network and your phone displays enough bars for the strength of the cellular network. You need to check if your phone supports 5GHz Wi-Fi band if you have dual band router. And if so, connect the phone to the 5 GHz band of your Wi-Fi network.

6. Enable background app refresh

To download media files in the background, you need to allow WhatsApp to run properly in the background. For iPhone users, you can go to Settings> WhatsApp> and enable Background App Refresh option.

Refresh the App in the background

Android users can long press the WhatsApp app icon to open app info. Go to Mobile data and Wi-Fi and turn on the Background data option.

7. Lock WhatsApp from the multitasking menu (Android)

Some third-party skins like Realme UI, MIUI, FunTouch OS, and Color OS restrict the use of the app in the background to save battery. The system kills the WhatsApp app in the background and ruins the media downloading process for you.

Lock WhatsApp

To work around this problem, these Android skins provide the option to lock the app in the background to keep it in good condition. Open the multitasking menu and tap the three-dot menu at the top. Select lock and it will lock the background app. When you close all background apps, the system does not kill / close the app.

8. Activate Save to Camera Roll (iPhone)

WhatsApp offers a nifty trick to not save all the downloaded media in the device gallery. If the option is enabled, you will not see the media files downloaded from WhatsApp on the phone.

Open the WhatsApp app on the iPhone and go to Settings> Chat> turn on the Save to Camera Roll option.

9. Reset network settings (iPhone)

Sometimes users overwrite network settings by mistake resulting in WhatsApp media download failed error. You can fix it by resetting iPhone network settings.

Reset network settings

Open the Settings app on iPhone and go to General> Reset> Reset Network Settings.

10. Check if the WhatsApp servers are down

The WhatsApp media download error may be due to the WhatsApp server side issues. You can visit the downdetector and make sure the WhatsApp servers are working fine on their end.

After all, these files are saved on WhatsApp servers, for starters. In such cases, you have no choice but to wait for Facebook (parent company of WhatsApp) to fix the problem.

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Start downloading media files on WhatsApp

These irrelevant photos from “Good Morning” are avoidable on WhatsApp. But there are times when you need to download and save the media files on the device. If you are having trouble saving media files, go ahead and apply the tips above to resolve the issue.


Are you facing WhatsApp backup stuck problem on iPhone or Android? Click on the following article link to learn about the 11 best ways to fix WhatsApp backup issues on iPhone and Android.

Last updated on Nov 6, 2020

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