I’m having trouble downloading and/or sending media files on WhatsApp.


If you are having trouble downloading and/or sending photos, videos, or voice messages, there are a number of issues that could be causing problems. Resolving the issue is a complicated process, if you need further explanation, please read the details below.

  1. Make sure your phone is connected to the internet.
  2. Make sure your date and time are correct.
  3. Your SD card could be causing problems:
    • Ensure there is plenty of free space on the SD card.
    • Backup the contents of your "WhatsApp" folder on the SD card, delete it, create a new "WhatsApp" folder and put the contents back.
    • Check if you can copy files to the SD card.
  4. If you could not copy files to your SD card but you have free space on the card, you may need to reformat (erase) the card:
    • Backup all SD card data onto your computer.
    • If you are sure you want to erase all data on your SD card, reformat it.
    • Still not working? Check out our detailed explanation below.


Before we begin, we ask you to double check (and even triple check) that your phone has an active internet connection with a strong signal. Try loading a webpage to make sure. If you are certain that your phone is connected (try connecting to different Wi-Fi hotspots and/or 3G), keep reading.

Please also check that your date and time are set correctly. If your date is incorrect, you will not be able to connect to our servers to download your media. See how to correctly set your date here.

Sometimes WhatsApp may have difficulty saving files to your SD card. Follow these steps to help:

  1. Make sure there is enough space on your SD card. If your SD card is full, WhatsApp cannot save anything to it, so you may want to delete a few files to make room.
  2. Ensure your SD card is not set to read only. Try saving a file to your SD card that is not from WhatsApp. If the file saves, your card is not read-only and you should be able to save files downloaded from WhatsApp to it. If you cannot save anything, your card is set to read only. You will need to change this; please check your phone’s manual for instructions.
  3. If there is enough free space and you can save files to your SD card, but you still cannot download any files to it from WhatsApp, you may need to delete WhatsApp data from your SD card:
    WARNING: This will erase ALL WhatsApp chat history backups and downloaded files.
    1. This would be a good time to back up your WhatsApp data. To back up your WhatsApp data, copy the "WhatsApp" folder on your SD card to your computer.
    2. Open the SD card folder on your phone and delete the "WhatsApp" folder. All of your WhatsApp media is now erased. WhatsApp will still open - and your chats will still be there - but your media (photos, videos, audio) will be gone.
    3. Restart your phone.
    4. WhatsApp should be able to save your downloaded files now.
  4. Still reading? Remember step 2, when you checked to see if your SD card was read only? If you could not save any files to it, your SD card may be corrupted. In this case, you may need to reformat your SD card. This means erasing the entire SD card and resetting it:
    EXTRA WARNING: This will erase ALL data on your SD card.
    1. Once you format the SD card you will not be able to get back your data.
    2. If possible, backup anything on the SD card. One way to do this is to plug the SD card into a computer with an SD card reader, and copy the files over.
    3. On your Android phone, go to Settings > Storage.
    4. If it exists, tap Unmount storage card.
    5. Tap Format SD card or Erase SD card.
    6. Reboot your phone.

If all of these steps did not work, it may be that there is an issue with your microSD card. You may need to purchase a new microSD card in order to save/send files.

WhatsApp Support Team