While there’s a big debate about a big roadblock that is iOS-to-Android messaging with iMessage, many people just go for the lowest common denominator and stick with instant messengers like WhatsApp. Those work without workarounds on all platforms and sharing media files is usually swift and simple. However, some folks have had a hard time with file sharing on WhatsApp. For some of them, WhatsApp won’t download received files no matter what they do.
Table of contents:
- Check the network
- Inspect Time & Date settings and SD card
- Clear data from WhatsApp and set it up again
- Reinstall WhatsApp
Can’t download or send media files on WhatsApp
If you can’t download or send media files on WhatsApp, make sure that:
- WhatsApp is not down.
- You’re connected to a stable Wi-Fi network or WhatsApp is allowed to download media files on mobile data.
- Your sender fully uploaded the file (video, photo, etc.) before you can download it.
- The app is up to date.
- Your Time and Date settings are correct.
Check the detailed instructions below.
1. Check the network
The first thing to do is to ensure that you’re connected to a stable Wi-Fi network. You can check if other network-dependent apps work, like browsers or social media apps. If they do and your Wi-Fi connection is not causing the problem, move to the next step.
On the other hand, if you identify some network-related issues, fix them by following the instructions in this article. Since this is a 3-side function, make sure that your sender uploaded the media file completely and that WhatsApp is not down (check here).
Also, if you use mobile data to chat with WhatsApp, make sure that Media auto-download options for Mobile data are enabled. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open WhatsApp.
- Tap on the 3-dots menu and select Settings.
- Open Storage and data.
- Tap When using mobile data and check all boxes. Do the same for the When connected on Wi-Fi option.
2. Inspect Time & Date settings and SD card
One thing that’s frequently overlooked is the date & time setting. If your date and time are not correctly set for your time zone, WhatsApp servers will have a hard time transferring files between your recipient/sender and you. You can set the Automatic internet-provided time and forget about it.
Here’s how to set automatic time and date on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select System or General management.
- Select Date and time.
- Enable Automatic date and time.
Also, if you use an SD card to store data from WhatsApp, make sure to format it and try again. There are reports that, after formatting (deleting all content so make sure to back it up) from the SD card, WhatsApp started downloading media files again. You’ll need to set up your SD card anew and make sure not to choose the Read-only option.
3. Clear data from WhatsApp and set it up again
Moving on. If WhatsApp still won’t download media files, you can try resetting the app. Clearing the local data is a good way to deal with possible data corruption. The only thing you should do is back up your chats before clearing the data. This will allow you to, once you add your number again, restore all chats and media files.
Here’s how to clear data from WhatsApp on Android:
- Open WhatsApp > 3-dots menu > Settings.
- Select Chat and open Chat backup.
- Enable Include videos and tap the green Back Up button.
- Close WhatsApp and open Settings.
- Tap Apps.
- Select WhatsApp.
- Tap Storage.
- Clear all data and restart your Android.
- Make sure to grant all permissions to WhatsApp.
After you sign in again and restore the backup, check for improvements.
4. Reinstall WhatsApp
Finally, you can try reinstalling WhatsApp and see if that sorts things out. While we’re at it, if you’re running the beta version of WhatsApp, we suggest leaving the Beta program. Stick to the stable version and give it another try.
You can uninstall and install WhatsApp again from the Play Store. Again, make sure to back up your chats or you’ll lose them.
An alternative approach would be to use an APK and roll back to an older version of WhatsApp via an APK. Learn how to do that, here. Maybe the latest stable version is having a debilitating bug that’s behind all this and an older version doesn’t. And you can’t be certain unless you try it out.
That should do it. Do you have anything to add or take from this article? Maybe some alternative solutions? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below. We thank you for reading and look forward to hearing from you.