Whenever I receive or send a media file via WhatsApp, it is stored in WhatsApp/Media/.

Is it ever stored anywhere else as well? (perhaps depending on configuration of WhatsApp)

I want each WhatsApp chat media file and document to be stored only once in the whole directory structure (for a cleaner administration, and to save space). I am not referring to the same file sent/received many times.

Following instructions in https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/en/android/30031687, I placed a .nomedia file in each of the directories in WhatsApp/Media/ (WhatsApp Images, etc.), and in the respective Sent subdriectories. With that, they do not show up anymore in the Gallery, so this suggests that the answer to my question is No.


Whatsapp is using peer to peer networks and hence its duplicating files to ensure its availability even though its deleted for one user. But its a bad concept and it junks your mobile. A mapping method should be used to avoid duplication.

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  • At the time of writing this comments, whatsapp doesn't make duplicates. It maps to single original source and all the references in the form of sents and forwards are mapped to it. For instance a same media is sent to two people and than from second person chat it is forwarded to third person, than there will be single file in WhatsApp/sent folder. You have to remove all the references of that image in WhatsApp in order to remove it from sent folder. If you resend an old picture that is already send in the past, guess what you wont get a duplicate as it's already in sent folder 😀 – Samiullah Khan Oct 21 at 15:25

The way WhatsApp is programmed, you will create multiple files of the same media file every time you send it to a new user.

.nomedia file in android just makes sure that the folders (and it's subfolders) are not SEEN in the gallery app. Doesn't at all mean they aren't being created at all.

I am afraid there is nothing you can do to STOP multiple files of the same media from creating when you send the same media file to multiple people.

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  • Can you specify the directories where the copies you mention are created? – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Feb 6 '17 at 10:32
  • Plus, you only mention Sent media files. What about received media files? – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Feb 6 '17 at 11:39
  • If you send to multiple people the same file, all will be in sent (like if you send the same video to multiple people, all those copies will be in WhatsApp/Media/WhatsApp Video/Sent). Same is for received. Example: If you received the exact same file from a person on personal chat as well as multiple groups, you will see all those in that respective file (so if you got a photo, it will be in WhatsApp/Media/WhatsApp Images folder). – Raa Feb 6 '17 at 13:00
  • You were refering to a different case from what I had in mind. Your point is also interesting, but I had already found out about it. I had rewritten my question to clarify this. – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Feb 7 '17 at 11:37

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