How to Fix WhatsApp Not Downloading Images on Mac

Can’t figure out why WhatsApp is not downloading images on your Mac?

The desktop version of WhatsApp is a godsend for users who don’t want to get distracted by their phones.

If you are reading this, you’re probably trying to save an image from your loved one or a funny meme from your group chat.

whatsapp not downloading images on mac

Now, you’re wondering what went wrong since WhatsApp is not downloading the images on your Mac. 

Today, we will show you how to fix WhatsApp if it’s not downloading images on your Mac. 

Let’s get started!

1. Check WhatsApp Servers. 

Server-related issues are the most common reason why you can’t download files on WhatsApp.

Given that WhatsApp is an online service, expect problems to occur if the servers are down. 

To confirm this, you can use tools like Downdetector to see if there are reported outages with the app. 

whatsapp not downloading images on mac

If the servers are down, it’s best that you just wait it out. Sadly, server-related issues can only be resolved by WhatsApp’s team. 

2. Restart Your Mac. 

If something isn’t working on your Mac, the first thing you should do is restart it. 

This should reload your resources, eliminating temporary errors that occurred during runtime. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Now, choose the Restart option. 
  3. When the dialog box appears, click Restart to confirm. 
Restart Mac

Once done, go back to WhatsApp and try downloading an image. 

3. Check Your Storage. 

Whenever you are downloading on your Mac, you’ll need enough space to store the file. 

If WhatsApp is not downloading images, it might indicate that your Mac is running out of storage. 

Here’s how you can check:

  1. On your Mac, click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner. 
  2. Now, go to System Settings
  3. Access the General tab in the sidebar and click on Storage on the right. 
  4. Click on All Volumes to see your Mac’s storage information. 
  5. Hover the cursor over a color to see the amount of space each category uses. The blank space indicates your remaining storage. 
whatsapp not downloading images on mac

If your Mac is low on storage, the quickest workaround is to declutter. Look for old and unused files on your Mac that you can delete. 

Additionally, you should check if you have applications you no longer use and uninstall them. 

4. Check Network Connection. 

Unstable internet could also be the reason you can’t download images on WhatsApp.

To verify this, perform a speed test on your network using This will measure if you are getting the speed indicated on your subscription.

If the result confirms that your network is the culprit, power cycle your modem or router. 

  1. Go to your router and find its power cable. 
  2. Disconnect the power cable from the outlet and wait for 5 to 10 seconds. 
  3. Plug back in the power cable to restart your router. 
Restart Router

Wait for your router to initialize and run another test. If you still have connection issues, report the problem to your ISP and ask them to fix the issue. 

Related: How to Fix WhatsApp Not Working on Wi-Fi

5. Enable Media Auto-Download. 

WhatsApp has an option that automatically downloads media you receive from your contacts. 

You can take advantage of this feature if you experience issues downloading images manually.

See the steps below to enable the feature: 

  1. Open WhatsApp on your Mac
  2. Now, click on the arrow icon in the upper right corner. 
  3. Go to Settings and click on Media AutoDownload
Auto Download
  1. On the next page, you’ll see an option to select the media types you want to be automatically downloaded. Click the checkbox beside Photos.
Media Auto Download

Restart WhatsApp to apply the changes. Ask one of your friends to send you an image and see if it will get downloaded automatically. 

6. Refresh Your Account Data. 

Corrupted data can prevent your Mac from establishing a connection with the servers. 

As a result, you’re unable to download images from conversations and receive new messages. 

To fix this, follow the guide below to refresh your account data: 

  1. Start by opening WhatsApp on your Mac
  2. Now, click on the arrow icon in the upper right corner of the window. 
  3. Click on Log Out to stop your current session. 
whatsapp not downloading images on mac

Relaunch the app afterward and scan the QR code using your phone to log in. 

Related: How to Fix Face ID Not Working on WhatsApp

7. Check WhatsApp Permissions.

There’s a chance that file permissions for WhatsApp are not set properly on your Mac. 

As a result, the app can’t read or write on your storage drive, explaining why it can’t download images and other files. 

Follow the steps below to tweak your permissions: 

  1. Access Spotlight Search by pressing Command + Space on your keyboard. 
  2. Look for System Settings and open it. 
  3. Now, navigate to Privacy and Security > Files and Folders.
whatsapp not downloading images on mac
  1. Click on WhatsApp and enable the toggle switch beside the Downloads Folder option.

Go back to WhatsApp and see if you can download images. 

8. Update WhatsApp. 

The version of WhatsApp you’re using might have an issue related to file downloads.

Check if there are available updates for WhatsApp and install them to patch bugs and issues.

Here’s how you can update apps on Mac: 

  1. Press the Command + Space keys to launch Spotlight Search
  2. Look for the App Store and open it. 
  3. In the side menu, click on the Updates tab. 
  4. Find WhatsApp and click the Update button beside it. 
whatsapp not downloading images on mac

Relaunch the app to check if the problem is solved. 

9. Contact WhatsApp. 

If none of the solutions above worked, report the issue to WhatsApp. 

  1. Using any browser, visit WhatsApp’s contact page
whatsapp not downloading images on mac
  1. In the Phone Number section, choose your country code and provide your mobile number.
  2. Provide your email address afterward and confirm it. 
  3. Under the ‘How do you use WhatsApp’ section, choose Web and Desktop
  4. Now, explain the problem you’re experiencing in the message field. 
  5. Click on Next Step and follow the instructions to continue. 

While waiting for a response, you can also visit their Help Center. See if you can find other solutions not mentioned above. 

That ends our guide on how to fix WhatsApp if it’s not downloading images on your Mac. If you have other concerns, please let us know in the comment section and we’ll do our best to help you out. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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