I've spent hours on this and am amazed there is no obvious answer from googling.

I got a new phone, a Google Pixel 4a. I am transferring data and settings from my old phone, an HTC One M8. I made a Whatsapp backup that saved to Google Drive then installed Whatsapp on the new phone, it detected the backup and I have all my chats, photos and animated gifs.

This is where it gets confusing...

In Whatsapp > Settings > Chat backup I have NOT enabled "Include Videos" yet somehow all videos that were sent to me via Whatsapp when I was using it on my old phone ARE in my new phone? Maybe that was because of how I transferred data between the old and the new phone during the initial setup? I used the Google Pixel app and both phones were connected via a cable. I can play these videos on the new phone in the "Files" app.

In Whatsapp > Manage Storage .. it only sees about 300MB of used space. But when I connect the phone to the laptop and browse the Whatsapp media folder all the videos ARE in there in the Whatsapp Video folder, taking up almost 2GB. Yet they will not play IN Whatsapp, only via the "Files" app.

This is what I have tried:

  1. Clearing Whatsapp cache.
  2. Checked my internet/network connection and I am connected (although this is un-necessary in my case because the videos ARE already in the phone and they do play on the phone from the "Files" app.
  3. Restarted the phone.
  4. Whatsapp has FULL permissions to do whatever it wants on the new phone.

Possible solution?
It's like Whatsapp doesn't see the videos even though they are there? Maybe it's because of how those videos got on the new phone in the first place? Did that Google Pixel Setup Wizard put them in the wrong place? They were originally in the internal storage of my old phone and my new phone only has internal storage also.

This post speaks about renaming the Whatsapp folder in internal memory then downloading an image from a chat which forces Whatsapp to create another Whatsapp folder to be created in internal memory?

As an example of a video that was originally sent to me via Whatsapp on my old phone but does not play in Whatsapp on the new phone but DOES play in the "Files" app... From the "Files" app I can see its location is: /storage/emulated/0/Whatsapp/Media/WhatsApp Video/ViD-2021.....mp4

An example of an image that does display in Whatsapp on the new phone when I check it in the "Files" app its location is: /storage/emulated/0/Android/media/com.whatsapp/Whatsapp/Media/WhatsApp Images/IMG-2021.....jpg

So do I need to drag all the videos from:
/storage/emulated/0/Whatsapp/Media/WhatsApp Video/...
/storage/emulated/0/Android/media/com.whatsapp/Whatsapp/Media/WhatsApp Video/...



I tried that idea and copied a video from:
/storage/emulated/0/Whatsapp/Media/WhatsApp Video/...
/storage/emulated/0/Android/media/com.whatsapp/Whatsapp/Media/WhatsApp Video/...

Now when I go back in to Whatsapp this time the thumbnail of the video is no longer greyed out suggesting that I just have to click on the thumbnail for the video to play but when I do I still get the same error message:

Sorry, This media file appears to be missing...

I tried clearing the Whatsapp app cache and restarting the phone but this made no difference.

Any help gratefully appreciated,


1 Answer 1


Turns out I was doing the right thing... moving those videos into.. /storage/emulated/0/Android/media/com.whatsapp/Whatsapp/Media/WhatsApp Video/...

DID make them play in Whatsapp... What was confusing me is the first few videos I was testing to playback within Whatsapp had been deleted by the original sender at their end so they weren't playing but for an entirely different reason!

As to why I had all my Whatsapp videos on the new phone even though I had not enabled Whatsapp to backup videos that was because the Pixel install wizard transferred them over from my old phone. Whatsapp > Manage Storage.. was only seeing about 300MB of used space because the Whatsapp videos were copied over from the old phone to the wrong place on the new phone where Whatsapp wasn't looking.

I guess that's just a feature of how Whatsapp works: if someone sends you a video via Whatsapp and then subsequently deletes it at their end from their Whatsapp conversation with you it will no longer play from your Whatsapp... EVEN if you still have the video in the Whatsapp media folder in your phone!

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