How to Move WhatsApp Media to SD Card

Whether you’re clearing out your phone’s internal storage because you’re having issues with memory capacity, or you’ve just got yourself a new SD card and you’d like to start populating it with media, we’re here to teach you how to move your WhatsApp media to an SD card.

You can do this on your computer (via a cable attached to your phone) or on your device itself. However, note that it is only possible to do this on an Android device.

To learn how to move WhatsApp media to an SD card, follow our step-by-step tutorials below. For all other information, or if you have any further questions, please see our FAQs at the end of this article.

How to move WhatsApp media to SD card (Android mobile device)

  1. Navigate to your apps on your Android device, and locate ‘My Files’
    1. Note: depending on the model of phone, this app could be called something like ‘File Manager’ instead
  2. You’ll be presented with various storage devices including ‘Internal Storage’ and ‘SD card’ (provided you have one installed). Tap on ‘Internal Storage’, since this is where WhatsApp media is natively stored
  3. Now, locate the WhatsApp folder either by scrolling down the list or searching for it via the search icon (magnifying glass). Tap on the WhatsApp folder.

  4. You’ll see three folders: ‘Backups’, ‘Databases’, and ‘Media’. Tap and hold the ‘Media’ folder, then from the pop-up options, select ‘Move’.

  5. Now, navigate back out of Internal Storage, and into SD card. Lastly, tap ‘Move here’ to move the WhatsApp media folder from your internal storage to your memory card.
    1. Note: if you do not have enough storage space on your SD card, you may have to free up some space first by deleting unwanted content/old folders

How to move WhatsApp media to SD card (desktop device)

  1. Turn on your desktop device and plug your phone into it via the USB charging cable provided. On your phone, ensure that the device is set to ‘File Transfer’ rather than ‘Charging Only’.
  2. Next, open up your File Explorer/Documents folder on your desktop, and from ‘This PC’ or the sidebar locate and double-click on your mobile device. For example if you’ve plugged in a Samsung Galaxy S9, locate and click on this device name.

  3. Click on ‘Phone’ rather than ‘Card’ to access all of the data included therein
  4. Locate the WhatsApp folder and double-click on it to open it
  5. Now right-click on the ‘Media’ folder found inside the WhatsApp folder, and from the pop-up menu select ‘Cut’ (or click on it and press CTRL + X on your keyboard)
  6. Navigate back out of the phone’s internal storage on your computer’s file explorer, and then into ‘Card’ (i..e SD card).
  7. Lastly, right-click and select ‘Paste’ (or press CTRL + V on your keyboard) – the WhatsApp media folder will be cut from internal storage and pasted/moved into your SD card.
  8. Once the process is complete (this may take several minutes) you can safely eject your device and unplug it from your computer.

And that’s all there is to it! Whether you prefer to work on projects like this from your desktop or mobile, you can move WhatsApp media to your Android device’s SD card without a hitch simply by following our step-by-step tutorials.

If you have any other questions or would like some more information on the subject, please direct your attention to our FAQ section below.

Frequently asked questions

What do you mean by WhatsApp media?

Instant messaging platforms have come a long way since the days of MSN Messenger, and today on apps like WhatsApp you can share all manner of things with your friends and contacts: pictures, videos, music, GIFs, links to various websites, and much, much more! 

Whenever you send a contact or group an image, video, or GIF, or whenever you receive one, the content is referred to as WhatsApp media. This media is stored alongside your chat history, so that if you go into any chat and tap on the name up at the top, you’ll be taken to a menu where you can access all of the ‘chat media’ that you’ve ever sent or received through that specific conversation.

All of this media sent back and forth is what we refer to as WhatsApp media. It’s typically stored in your Gallery, too, for you to view there.

Why would I want or need to move WhatsApp media to my SD card?

The first few pictures and videos sent might seem harmless, but with many people conducting tens (if not hundreds) of chats on WhatsApp, soon the amount of media exchanged becomes enormous. Phones these days have got pretty impressive internal memory capacities, but regardless, they can become choked with WhatsApp media in no time.

As such, moving your WhatsApp media to your phone’s SD card (which will typically have a far greater memory capacity than your internal storage) is a great way of freeing up space on internal storage, and ensuring that you’ve got plenty of room to store future WhatsApp media. This saves you the time you’d have spent constantly cleaning up the WhatsApp Gallery folder and helps your phone run a little smoother and faster.

Can I also backup my WhatsApp media elsewhere?

Yes! WhatsApp (as standard practice) likes to back up your chat history (including media) on a regular, or semi-regular basis. You can edit these settings by opening the WhatsApp app on your chosen device and navigating through Settings > Chats > Chat backup. 

From here, adjust the timeline of your backups (you can choose for WhatsApp to backup to your chosen cloud platform ‘Never’, ‘Only when I tap “Back up”’, ‘Daily’, ‘Weekly’, or ‘Monthly’). You can also choose whether to backup over WiFi only, or also over mobile/cellular data, and lastly, you can choose whether or not to include videos in the backup. Simply toggle ‘Include videos’ to ON in order to ensure that all of your WhatsApp media will be backed up to the cloud.

How do I do this on an iPhone?

Sorry iPhone users, we’re afraid this is not something you can do on an Apple device. One of the perks of owning an Android device is that they allow for the user to modify the phone with their own secondary storage – in this case, an SD card. On an iPhone, you only have the storage that the phone comes with to play with. 

Thus, if you’re having storage issues, we recommend you clear out your WhatsApp media folder of all unwanted media to make room for future content.