How to save phone storage with WhatsApp’s new file management tool

Redesigned storage management tool make it easier to delete large, unwanted files

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With higher-resolution photos, HD videos, gifs, voice messages and endless memes, our WhatsApp conversation can take up a surprising amount of phone storage space.

To address this, and make it easier to keep on top of what media you keep and what you delete, WhatsApp has created a new file management tool. WhatsApp says the new tool will be rolling out to users globally this week, building on the Storage Usage tool the chat app already has.

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You will be able to access the new tool by heading to the settings page of the WhatsApp application, then navigating to Storage & Data, then Manage Storage.

From there, users will be greeted by thumbnails of content that can be deleted, such as images, voice notes and videos shared in your various conversations and saved to your phone. This content will be organised into intuitive groups with names like 'larger than 5MB' and 'forwarded many times' to help you find items to keep or get rid of.

Previously, the Storage Usage tool only ordered your chats based on how much phone storage space they take up. You could then delete entire categories of content in these chats at once, like photos, videos, gifs and messages. This was a quick way to free up storage, but didn't give the option to manually sift through content and delete specific files; for example, a large HD video that was shared to you by multiple people, is taking up a lot of space, but which you don't need to keep.

The new tool, which can arrange large files in size order, should make it much easier to spot that large file and delete it without wiping out an entire chats, or entire collection of videos from a chat.

If you are running really short on storage, you could always disable WhatsApp's auto save feature, which stops media shared in your chats from being saved to your phone.

For more on clawing back some precious smartphone storage space, read the GearBrain guides for iPhone and Android.

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