While the actual app for WhatsApp isn’t that large compared to other apps and games you may have installed, it still starts to chew up your storage after a while. That’s down to files sent to you or sent by you, which get downloaded into the WhatsApp storage area automatically.
Over time, that can clutter up your precious storage space, especially if you’re on an iPhone or other device without expandable storage options. It also fills up wherever you have your WhatsApp set to backup to, as every downloaded file is also backed up at the same time. WhatsApp doesn’t have an option for excluding those files from backup, so if you don’t want to fill up your cloud storage with memes and videos, it’s time to delete those from your device, before they get backed up.
WhatsApp only recently added some features to manage the storage that the app takes up, so we’ll show you how to manage those unwieldy files.
Here’s how to clean up your WhatsApp files
- Open WhatsApp on your phone
- Open up Settings then find Storage and Data and Manage Storage
- Tap on Files larger than 5MB
- If you don’t have the Files larger than 5MB section, you can tap on individual chats and you’ll see the size of each file on your device
- Long-press on each individual file to get the options menu, then tap on the Trash can icon to delete them
You might also have a section called Forwarded Many Times, which you might want to keep if they’re files you still want to forward on. Once you’ve cleaned up your download folder you’ll need less storage space for backups, and you’ll claw back some storage space on your device.