WhatsApp on Android will let users re-download old images and videos that might have been deleted from the user’s mobile storage. The feature will allow download of images, videos, voice messages, etc which were sent more as long as three months back. The only condition is that the message, which had the media attachment should not have been deleted by the sender, otherwise the download will not possible.
According to WABetaInfo, which is known for its updates on new and upcoming features on WhatsApp, the feature is live on Android. The report notes that WhatsApp on Android allows users to download deleted media from their servers again. This also means that media messages are being stored on the apps’s servers and now for a longer period, even after a user has downloaded them.
The report points out that earlier if the media files were not downloaded, they were made available for 30 days and then deleted from server if the user did not download them. With the new feature, WhatsApp will now let users re-download these media files for a longer period, even if the user deleted them from their phone’s storage.
WABetaInfo also says that they were able to download images and videos received two, three months ago. It seems version 2.18.113 of the Android app supports this feature. However media which is more than three months old, cannot be downloaded again. In our case case, we tried downloading images and videos from 2016, and it was not possible on the Android beta version of the app.
It should also be noted that if the user deletes the older message, then the image cannot be re-downloaded. If the message is still in the chat and not more than three months old, then the user will be able to successfully download it again. Another key point to keep in mind is that media files are end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp, even if the company is keeping them on its servers.
The option for re-downloading older media messages is not available on iOS as we saw. WhatsApp will tell the user to ask the sender to re-send the message in this particular case. Remember downloaded media messages means videos, photos, etc on which the user clicked and these were downloaded on the app, and thus saved to the phone’s storage.