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WhatsApp has this feature of sending videos in messages which can only be viewed once by the recipient. It auto destructs after its viewed.

Where does WhatsApp store this video file temporarily? Is it possible to copy this file from this location while the video is playing? Need to know the location both in case of rooted and non-rooted phones.

PS: The other question Where do Android apps store data? mentions general paths used by android specific apps. However, whatsapp storage location on android for some of their features are more obscure (Like - one time viewable videos). The locations mentioned in the previous answer do not contain the data for this use case.

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  • If you could access the file(s) without root permissions that would be a big and severe mistake. If I had to implement something like this feature I would allow only direct streaming of the data while playing so the data is never completely available in RAM and never on disk.
    – Robert
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 11:29
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    Based on experiments, at the very least, the media file is received temporarily on Internal storage\Android\media\com.whatsapp\WhatsApp\.Shared, but then it is deleted quickly, presumably after it's processed and stored elsewhere.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 3:56

3 Answers 3

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I found it, it is supposed to be at

data/data/com.whatsapp/files/ViewOnce

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    Note that this needs root access.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 17:58
  • Yes, i forgot to say that Commented May 13, 2023 at 19:33
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As @brunoman4006 answered almost a year ago (sorry for my late response) it is also possible to retrieve the images without root installed on the device, although you would need to have your bootloader unlocked and a recovery capable of decription of your data (ex, TWRP compatible with your android version) you can go directly to the location of the images that was mentioned before and copy them werever you may want them, tho before retrieven the folder you can not let whatsapp task be terminated so you have to hard shutdown your phone (usually volume- and power button for a set amount of time) otherwise the opened files will be deleted. There may be a way to change the location itself but haven't go that far without rooting (banking and payment apps are a real pain to deal with when you have root nowadays)

Sorry for the long answer, but I really hope to shed some light into this matter

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  • Some light is not an answer. Please make a list of the steps, so someone can follow them. Commented Feb 16 at 9:38
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Whatsapp stores its normal videos in

\Internal storage\Android\media\com.whatsapp\WhatsApp\Media\WhatsApp Video

It has two subfolders Private and Sent. If Whatsapp is storing these videos while playing, I would expect them here.

However, if they are storing it, I would expect it to be encrypted. Otherwise, the feature would be useless.

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  • While the encryption is highly possible, I have checked the folders and it's not there.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 3:49

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