With in excess of 2 billion active users, WhatsApp is overwhelmingly the most popular instant messaging app on the planet. That's estimated to be around 700 million more than another Facebook-owned app in Messenger, although WhatsApp has a key security advantage in the form of end-to-end encryption. 

WhatsApp doesn't seem to be a huge storage drain, with the iOS app coming in at around 150MB. However, that can quickly grow when you exchange thousands of messages, voice notes, photos/videos, GIFs and more with friends and family. 

To help prevent you from keeping loads of extra data that you don't need, WhatsApp recently revamped its built-in storage management tool. It now makes it much easier to quickly identify and delete files you no longer need. Here's how to make the most of it. 

How to manage WhatsApp storage

  1. Make sure WhatsApp is updated to the latest version on iOS or Android and then open it
  2. If you see a message saying 'Storage almost full' at the top of your screen, tap it. Otherwise, go tap the three dots in the top-right corner and choose 'Settings'
    WhatsApp manage storage
  3. Tap 'Storage and Data'
    WhatsApp manage storage
  4. Tap 'Manage storage'
    WhatsApp manage storage
  5. You should now see an overview of how much data you're using, as well as the chats which are taking up the most space. Tap on any chat to see the biggest files
  6. From there, tap each file you'd like to delete or choose the select all button
  7. Tap the bin icon to remove them from your device

If you use WhatsApp extensively, you may also see categories such as 'forwarded many times' or 'larger than 5MB'. There's currently no way to manage this from the desktop app, although that may be added at a later date. 

Check out the official video below for a quick demo:

We have plenty more WhatsApp-related tutorials on the site. Here's how to group video call, set disappearing messages or get dark mode