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One of the worst things about WhatsApp has finally been fixed

Published Nov 3rd, 2020 10:14PM EST
WhatsApp Features
Image: oatawa/Adobe

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  • WhatsApp is about to fix one of the worst things about the app, the multimedia storage management tool.
  • Large files are routinely exchanged over social media apps like WhatsApp, including video files that can be quite large. Over time, these files can eat up a sizeable chunk of the phone’s storage space.
  • WhatsApp will roll out a tool that will make it a lot easier and faster to clear out large files and save the personal files that you might want to keep.

It’s not like the novel coronavirus pandemic had to prove to anyone how toxic social media apps can be when it comes to the spread of fake news and conspiracy theories. But the health crisis resurfaced the problem. Some apps attempted to place breaks that could limit the spread of disinformation, but COVID-19 fake news still spread furiously. You’ve probably been at the receiving end of plenty of COVID-19 content, including links, texts, memes, GIFs, and lengthy videos. And the never-ending stream of content hitting your phone from friends and family can induce an additional problem that has nothing to do with the actual quality of the content.

All the media that you receive from WhatsApp is stored on your phone, and the more media files you receive, the more storage they take up. The app is insanely popular as it offers the kind of cross-platform functionality that makes instant messaging between iPhone and Android much simpler. And after all these years, WhatsApp is finally fixing storage management, which was one of the worst issues with the app.

As you can see in the following screenshot and video demo, WhatsApp is finally ready to make it easier to quickly delete all the bulky attachments you receive while also offering a quick way to make sure you aren’t going to delete any of the personal files that you want to save, such as important videos:

Screenshots show the new features of WhatsApp’s upcoming storage management tool. Image source: WhatsApp

The new Manage Storage section will sort the various attachments in your chat by size, so you can immediately remove those large clips that your friends and family may have sent over and over. The “Forwarded many times” section will actually show you how often the same video has been sent and stored on your phone. You’ll be able to browse those categories, inspect all the thumbnails, and then select everything you want to delete with a single tap if there’s nothing worth saving.

The new storage management screen shows you how much storage WhatsApp media uses, and it will still let you inspect chats as you can do right now to see what media files were exchanged in the past. That’s another way of making sure the files you want to preserve can be saved before you delete everything.

While Facebook is ready to show off the new storage management tool for WhatsApp, you’ll still have to wait a while to get it. The feature will be rolling out to users worldwide later this week. It should be available both on iPhone and Android when Facebook pushes out the update.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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