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Sharing images, movies, and documents is easy with WhatsApp, and it's part of the reason why it has become the world's most popular messaging application. However, sometimes those attachments seem to go missing, with WhatsApp images not showing in gallery views. With a little troubleshooting, it's often possible to recover images, especially if the problem turns out to simply be a setting. But even if it's a corrupted file (and all digital storage has a risk of damage or corruption to data), it can still be possible to recover your lost document.

Part 1. Why Can't I Find WhatsApp Media (Images & Videos) in Gallery?

Like any app, WhatsApp has lots of settings, some easily changed and some that might take a little digging. Some of these solutions only apply to specific devices, but if you find WhatsApp media is not showing in a gallery app, then they are likely to help you:

  • Received photos do not appear in the gallery on Android — see Part 2, Case 1.
  • Sent photos do not appear in the Android Photo Gallery — see Part 2, Case 2.
  • WhatsApp media not showing in the gallery on iOS — see Part 3.
  • Other solutions when none of the above work — see Part 4.

Part 2. How to Fix WhatsApp Images/Videos Not Showing in Gallery — For Android Users

Case 1. Received Photos Do Not Appear in the Gallery

This is most likely caused by a simple setting within WhatsApp.

  • 1 Open the WhatsApp app, and tap the three dots icon.
  • 2 Tap "strong > Settings", then "strong > Chats".
  • 3 Toggle the "strong > Media Visibility" switch to on.
turn on media visibility

The media should now be visible in the gallery.

Case 2. Sent Photos Do Not Appear in the Android Photo Gallery

This, again, is a setting, but a little harder to fix since it's within the file system, with a small file preventing the media being accessed.

  • 1 Open a file management app on your phone, you may need to download one from the Google Play Store.
  • 2 Navigate to "Device Storage/WhatsApp/WhatsApp Images/Sent/". Note that your device might use a different name for internal storage.
  • 3 Select and delete the ".nomedia" file.
whatsapp nomedia file

When you return to the Photo Gallery, you should be able to see WhatsApp photos you have sent.

Part 3. How to Fix WhatsApp Media Not Showing in Gallery — For iOS Users

iOS has a lot of privacy settings, so apps cannot access photos without permission. WhatsApp will prompt you to grant permission when you first use it, but you might have accidentally clicked "Don't Allow", or changed the setting accidentally. This will result in any WhatsApp photos or WhatsApp videos not showing in the gallery.

  • 1 Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • 2 Scroll down and tap on "strong > Privacy", then tap on "strong > Photos".
  • 3 You will be presented with a list of apps that have asked permission to access photos, find WhatsApp and tap on it, ensuring that the setting is "strong > All Photos".
whatsapp photos settings

Part 4. Other Solutions When You Can't Find WhatsApp Images in Photo Gallery

If none of the other solutions work, and you find WhatsApp media not showing in the gallery, all is not lost. It may still be possible to retrieve photos. Modern phones, and their operating software, are complex. There are many settings, both user and internal that might affect what is happening. The following solutions may help solve the problem, and in some cases may address other performance issues you have experiencing.

1. Move Media to a New Directory

On an Android device, you can try moving your WhatsApp images to a new folder. You will need a file manager on your device.

  • 1 Navigate to "Device Storage/WhatsApp/Media/WhatsApp Images".
  • find whatsapp media files
  • 2 Select all the image files in the directory.
  • 3 Move the image files to a new directory.

Your device should recognize the "new" images and display them in your gallery.

2. Clear the WhatsApp Cache on an Android Phone

Caches are, usually, useful stores of frequently accessed data. They help by speeding devices and computers up, keeping local copies of data. However, they can become corrupted, meaning that data isn't accessed properly. The method may vary between Android devices, but all will follow a similar process.

  • 1 Open "strong > Settings" on your phone.
  • 2 Select "strong > Apps", then "strong > Manage apps".
  • 3 Select "strong > WhatsApp" from the list of installed apps.
  • 4 Tap the "strong > Clear data" button, then confirm your choice.
Note

The location of "Clear data" option varies with device brands, the picture below shows how to clear WhatsApp data on Samsung Galaxy S.

clear cache data android

It's worth restarting your device after this, and note that, until the cache is rebuilt, WhatsApp and photos may be a little slower than before.

3. Check Google Photos

Android users may benefit from it being a Google product. The tight integration may mean that Google Photos is used to manage pictures on the device, either because of user choice, or even as a default option when a Google account was linked.

Check on the Google Photos app, or even the online service, to see if photos are available there.

4. Update WhatsApp

Like any app, WhatsApp is regularly updated. Most devices will automatically download updates to installed apps, but that setting may have been turned off, or the device might not have checked for updates. You can see which is the case quickly, and force an update if necessary, by checking the Google Play Store or App Store.

You might also want to check that your operating system is up to date. Having an OS and app that are not both current can sometimes cause problems, especially with apps like WhatsApp that use OS frameworks to operate. Like apps, operating systems usually update automatically, but it's worth checking to make sure it has happened. It might solve some other problems you have been having too.

update whatsapp ios

5. Delete and Re-install WhatsApp

The app equivalent of turning it off and on again, re-installing apps is a chore, but can often fix lots of problems by removing any problems that might have credit into settings and data.

If nothing else has worked, it's worth trying this option. However, it will delete all your settings, chats, and attachments. You should, therefore, ensure you have a current backup that you can restore when you have re-installed WhatsApp.

Conclusion

WhatsApp is, usually, a reliable way to communicate and your data, whether its chats or attachments like media, is usually safe in the application. However, nothing is perfect and modern phones and apps are sophisticated and complicated devices that can, and do, sometimes go wrong.

In the vast majority of cases, following some simple troubleshooting steps will solve the problem. And often the issue is not a fault, but a user setting that has inadvertently been set incorrectly. Even if this is not the case, you will almost always be able to retrieve media.

Perhaps the most important thing, though, is to ensure you always have a backup. Although only one of these solutions — deleting and re-installing the app — needs a backup, it's important to have a good backup routine in place, including for your WhatsApp data. So, even if you have a problem that isn't solved by any of these steps, you can still retrieve your data.

author

Olivia Tucker Updated: Aug 02, 2021, Filed to Transfer WhatsApp

Olivia Tucker has in-depth knowledge in the field of mobile phones and computers. She has been committed to provide convenient solutions of managing WhatsApp data.

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