Whatsapp To Let Users Recover Photos Deleted Months Ago

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

An upcoming Whatsapp update will allow users to recover media files that were deleted months ago. This is a welcome feature but it does come with a few caveats.

What’s changed?

Well, the Whatsapp servers would only keep media for a maximum of 30 days and after that users could no longer download media files. If you noticed, this is why if someone sent you a media file and you later deleted it, re-downloading after a certain period would not work. This is because once the files were no longer on Whatsapp servers the media was gone for good.

Going forward, users will be able to delete media files but still come back to download them if they realise it was an important file, a slight irritation I’ve had to deal with a couple of times.

The re-download (not the official name) feature will only be available for files from chats that have not been deleted by both users, so this will not be a perfect solution because this means if you want to re-download a photo you will only be able to do so if the sender of that file still has that chat. I guess half a loaf is better than nothing.

Only for beta testers right now

The update is already available for beta testers since they get to preview features much earlier than the rest of the ‘normal’ users. If you are a beta tester and you update your Whatsapp to version 2.8.113 then you will be one of the few that have this feature.

If you are not a beta tester, you can rest easy knowing that the feature will be coming to users pretty soon anyway since these features are rolled out to users after the testing period.

Effects of the update will be felt later…

In terms of usefulness, the effects of this update won’t be felt immediately. Because Whatsapp has updated their servers now, it means right now you probably will not be able to download media files which were sent 6 months ago, since those were probably deleted a long time ago. The updated is more of a ‘going forward’ solution than an immediate term thing. I’m sure users will welcome the feature with open arms either way since it addresses an annoyance that irritated a lot of people.

It seems the update is only available to Android users for now. This means it will probably be coming to iOS users once it is out of beta testing and is officially available to all users.



  1. wokenman

    So that facebook has more time to mine those photos for location and face data I see.

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