How to Remove WhatsApp Photos from Google Photos

Namrata Gogoi

I am part of 10 WhatsApp groups. There ... I said it out loud.

By now, you might have already deduced the sad state of my phone's gallery. From nonsensical media forwards to awkward jokes, my phone has seen and saved everything. While there's a nifty little trick to hide WhatsApp media from the gallery, the damage was done long before. My phone's WhatsApp media folder had already synced with Google Photos. Imagine my horror in seeing the old media files rubbing shoulders with pictures from the camera roll.

How To Remove Whats App Photos From Google Photos

Cleaning or decluttering a space that virtually offers you unlimited storage may seem pointless for some. However, for those of us who take spring cleaning as more than just an annual affair, keeping only the relevant stuff is of utmost importance. So yes, a few hundreds of useless media files is a big red flag. Besides, a clean Photos app will render a smooth experience.

Keeping only the relevant stuff is of utmost importance

So, in this article, I'll show you a quick and smart way to remove WhatsApp Photos from Google Photos. 

Cool Tip: WhatsApp now lets you hide the media files directly through Settings. Enable the 'Show media in gallery' option in the Chat settings.

Search Smartly for WhatsApp Files

The best thing about WhatsApp is that it stores media files in a certain format. If you notice, the image files have IMG-[Sequence]-WA***.jpg as the suffix and the same holds true for videos as well. So, our job would be to search for these files in Photos and remove them manually.

Step 1: Open Photos and type WA in the search bar, this will bring up all the photos which have the aforementioned image name.

Remove Whatsapp Photos From Google Photos 1

Step 2: Long-press on a photo to select and without lifting your fingers, drag down until you've selected all the pictures. 

Remove Whatsapp Photos From Google Photos 8

Tap on the Delete icon and that's it! For now, this seems to be the only way around. 

Pro Tip: Likewise, you can also remove screenshots from Google Photos. If your phone saves screenshots with a particular suffix, search using the same keyword and show them the bin. 

Alternatively, you can search using the keyword *.png.

How to Turn Off Auto-backup in Google Photos

Now that you have cleaned up Google Photos, you must make sure that it doesn't get cluttered again. The best way to go about it is to switch off the WhatsApp sync.

To do so, swipe right to go to the Settings menu and once there, navigate to Device Folders > WhatsApp Images and toggle the Back up & sync button off. Do so for the other WhatsApp add-ons like WhatsApp Videos and GIFs and not a single image from WhatsApp will trouble you again!

Remove Whatsapp Photos From Google Photos 12
Remove Whatsapp Photos From Google Photos 19

If you do want a few pictures to be preserved forever in Google's immense labyrinth of photos, we have a nifty little trick for you.

Go to your phone's Gallery app and select the pictures that you want to back up. Once you've made the selections, tap on the three-dot menu at the upper-right corner and tap on Move to album. Select Camera or Camera Roll as the location. 

Remove Whatsapp Photos From Google Photos 7
Remove Whatsapp Photos From Google Photos 6

This will change the location of all the selected pictures. So, the next time you're connected to Wi-Fi, those photos will be synced automatically. Cool, no?

Google Photos Bonus Trick: Free up Device Storage

Again, photos and media files alike clog the phone memory. So it makes sense that photos that have already been backed up aren't eating up unnecessary space on your phone.

Remove Whatsapp Photos From Google Photos 10
Screenshot 20180706 154923 Photos

All you have to do is go to Settings and tap on the Free up device storage option. Alternatively, you can tap on the Completed back up icon on the home page.

Clean as a New Pin

Google Photos, with its seldom-wrong facial recognition feature, is my go-to app whenever I have to take a trip down the memory lane. Plus, with its brilliant search, hunting for a specific picture is a walk in the park.

Do you know of any other way to keep Photos clean from unwanted WhatsApp media forwards? If yes, please share them in the comments section below.

Read Next
Google PhotoScan Can Bring Your Old Polaroids to Life
Also See
#google photos#whatsapp

Join the newsletter

Namrata Gogoi

Written By

Namrata Gogoi

An engineer turned tech writer, Namrata used to write software codes before turning to a career in tech- writing. She is passionate about travelling, food and reading about cool new stuff. Apart from that, she holds a bachelors degree in I.T and hails from Guwahati.