WhatsApp Cannot Download Media – How To Fix

Having trouble downloading recieved files on WhatApp? This guide will show you all you need to know to fix the issue.

WhatsApp Cannot Download Media

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WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app, allowing users to freely share photos, videos, and other media files with their contacts. However, from time to time errors can occur with users unable to download received media and documents.

This guide will go through the steps to try and troubleshoot the problem and show you some of the fixes to the “WhatsApp cannot download media” issue.

WhatsApp Cannot Download Media – Causes and Fixes



Check internet connection

The issue is most likely caused by having a bad internet connection. If you are on a mobile network switching to a Wi-Fi network that provides a stronger connection can fix the issue and vice-versa. Additionally, the Wi-Fi network that you are connected to might block or limit the use of WhatsApp. If other apps work correctly on your phone then the issue may not be with your internet connection.



Check WhatsApp Permissions

Sometimes when WhatsApp cannot download media it can be due to the app not having permission to access your phone’s storage and save files. This means that you’ll need to grant permission to WhatsApp manually.

In order to do this complete the following steps:


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select applications and choose WhatsApp.
  3. Go to permissions, then files and media, and grant permission.


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy, then select Photos.
  3. Choose Whatsapp and toggle all photos.



Ensure enough storage space

When receiving a photo or other media file through whatsapp it must  be saved on to your phone. If there isn’t enough space on your phone then the file cannot be received.

In order to do this you will need to:

  1. Go to phone settings.
  2. Select storage.
  3. Remove the required files to ensure that there is enough space.



Set the correct date and time

Having the wrong date and time on your phone will sometimes stop WhatsApp from connecting to its servers and cause the wrong date and time error occur.

  1. Open the settings app.
  2. Select general.
  3. Then select date and time.
  4. Enable automatic date and time.



Update WhatsApp

Sometimes using an older version of WhatsApp can cause there to be compatibility issues. Making sure you have the latest version can alleviate this.

  1. Open the Google Play Store or App Store for iOS.
  2. Search for WhatsApp.
  3. If there is an update available then download and install it.



Clear WhatApp cache

Over time when using WhatsApp the app will collect a cache of data. this helps the app to function faster. Cache files are temporary so deleting them won’t removed any valuable files or messages.

Luckily, we have handy guides on how to delete cache for android and how to delete cache for iPhone.



Ask the person to resend the file

Simply asking the person to resend the file can fix the issue. WhatsApp stores files on its servers for up to 30 days, after that it is deleted.

When trying to download a file after 30 days users will see this prompt “Sorry, this media file appears to be missing. Please ask (Sender Name or Phone number) to resend it”.

Why isn’t WhatsApp auto downloading media?

Androids and iPhones have data saving features that prevent files from auto downloading. To enable files to auto download you need to turn off data saving.


  1. Settings
  2. Network and Internet
  3. Turn off data saving


  1. Settings
  2. Mobile data
  3. Mobile data options
  4. Turn off low data mode

WhatsApp Cannot Download Media – Final Thoughts

After completing these steps you should be able to fix the issue with WhatsApp not being able to download recieved files. If you are still experiencing issues then you should contact WhatsApp support directly.