How to Fix WhatsApp Download Failed Error?

WhatsApp Download Failed error
WhatsApp Download Failed error

Experiencing issues with downloading media on WhatsApp can be quite frustrating, especially when met with the message “Can’t download, please ask that it be resent.”

This typically indicates a problem with the app’s functionality on your device. As a common issue for many users, it can usually be resolved through a series of troubleshooting steps.

My initial recommendation for addressing this error involves ensuring that your connection is stable, as WhatsApp requires a solid internet connection to download media.

It’s also important to verify that your phone’s storage has enough space since a lack of space can prevent new media from being saved.

If these conditions are met and the error persists, it may be necessary to take further steps to fix the problem, involving the app’s settings and system configurations on your device.

Understanding the ‘Download Failed’ Error on WhatsApp

When I encounter the ‘Download Failed’ error on WhatsApp, it suggests that the app is unable to complete the process of downloading media or documents.

This issue can arise due to several factors, each impacting the app’s functionality differently.

Common Causes:

  • Connectivity Issues: A stable internet connection is essential. The download will fail if my network is unstable or non-existent.
  • Insufficient Storage: My phone must have enough space to save incoming files. If the storage is full, WhatsApp can’t save the data.
  • App Permissions: WhatsApp needs certain permissions enabled, such as storage access. If these are disabled, WhatsApp can’t write files to my phone.
  • Corrupted Cache/Data: Occasionally, the app’s cache or data might become corrupted, causing functions like downloading to fail.
  • Outdated App Version: Running an outdated version of WhatsApp can lead to compatibility issues and bugs, including download failures.

When the error message suggests asking for the media to be re-sent, it often indicates a potential issue with the original sending process.

Potentially, the file wasn’t uploaded correctly by the sender, and thus cannot be downloaded on my end.

To resolve this error, I look into these factors, checking my internet connection, freeing up phone storage, ensuring necessary permissions are granted, clearing the app’s cache, and making sure I’m using the latest version of WhatsApp.

If these steps don’t help, requesting the sender to re-send the file can be a simple yet effective solution.

Common Causes of WhatsApp Download Failures

How to Fix WhatsApp Download Failed (Ask That it Be Resent To)?
How to Fix WhatsApp Download Failed (Ask That it Be Resent To)?

Experiencing difficulty with downloading media or messages on WhatsApp can be frustrating. I’ll discuss common reasons for these download failures, providing a straightforward diagnosis to tackle the issue effectively.

1. Insufficient Storage Space

Issue: The primary reason for a failed download is often insufficient storage on the device. WhatsApp needs space to save incoming files.

Fix: Check your device’s storage settings and free up space by deleting unnecessary files or apps.

2. Weak or Unstable Internet Connection

Issue: A weak or unstable internet connection can interrupt the download process, leading to failed downloads.

Fix: Ensure a strong connection by either moving closer to the Wi-Fi source or checking your data connection if using mobile internet.

3. Outdated WhatsApp Version

Issue: An outdated WhatsApp application may not support newer features or bug fixes that are essential for downloads.

Fix: Visit the Google Play Store or iOS App Store to update WhatsApp to the latest version.

4. Corrupted Files

Issue: Occasionally, corrupted files can prevent successful downloads. This can happen during the sending process.

Fix: Ask the sender to resend the file, ensuring it’s not corrupt this time.

5. Restricted Data Usage Settings

Issue: Data usage restrictions set within your device or the app can prevent downloads in certain conditions, such as when roaming or on mobile data.

Fix: Check WhatsApp and phone settings to adjust data usage allowances for app downloads.

6. Check Network Connectivity

First, I always ensure that my device’s internet connection is active and stable. WhatsApp requires a robust internet connection to download media. I check if other apps are online and if not, I toggle the Wi-Fi or data connection off and on.

7. Restart Your Device

Next, I recommend restarting your device. This can resolve many temporary glitches, including app functionality issues with WhatsApp. I hold the power button and select ‘Restart’ to refresh the system.

8. Update WhatsApp

Then, I check if WhatsApp is up-to-date. Outdated versions often have bugs that can be fixed with an update. I visit the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, search for WhatsApp, and tap ‘Update’ if it’s available.

9. Clear WhatsApp Cache and Data

Finally, I clear cache and data which can rebuild corrupted temporary files. Here’s how I do it on an Android device:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Apps’ > ‘WhatsApp’.
  2. Tap on ‘Storage’.
  3. Hit ‘Clear Cache’ and ‘Clear Data’.

For iOS, I uninstall and reinstall the app, as there’s no option to clear app cache directly.

10. Adjusting the Data Usage Settings

WhatsApp has an option to control data usage that might affect downloading files. To ensure downloads are not hindered, I recommend the following adjustments:

  1. Open WhatsApp and navigate to Settings.
  2. Tap Data and storage usage.
  3. Scroll to the Media auto-download section.
  4. Check the boxes for When using mobile data, When connected on Wi-Fi, and When roaming according to your preferences.

11. Freeing Up Storage Space

Insufficient storage space can prevent downloads from completing. Here’s how I manage my phone’s storage:

  • Check current storage: Go to your phone’s Settings > Storage to see how much space is available.
  • Uninstall unused apps: Remove apps that you no longer use to free up space.
  • Clear WhatsApp cache:
    • Access WhatsApp App info via settings.
    • Select Storage and tap on Clear Cache and Clear Data if necessary.
  • Manage media: Delete unnecessary media from WhatsApp chats or transfer them to a computer or cloud service.

12. Checking for External Obstructions

Sometimes, issues beyond the app can cause problems. Here’s what I look out for:

  • Ensure your phone is not on Airplane Mode, and you have a stable internet connection.
  • Check if any antivirus or firewall settings on your phone may block the download process.
  • If using a microSD card for storage, ensure it’s not set to read-only mode and is functioning properly.

When to Contact the Sender

In certain instances, when all troubleshooting steps fail to resolve the ‘WhatsApp download failed’ error, the only recourse is to contact the sender. This ensures that the media file is indeed available and has not been compromised.

1. Error Persists After Troubleshooting

After I’ve exhausted all initial troubleshooting methods such as force stopping the app, clearing the cache, and ensuring there’s enough storage space on my device, it’s time to reach out to the sender.

This is necessary when the file fails to download repeatedly, indicating that there might be an issue on the sending end rather than with WhatsApp or my device.

2. Verification of the File’s Origin

Before I ask the sender to resend the file, I must make sure that the file has its origin in a conversation with a contact I trust.

I verify the sender’s identity to safeguard against potentially harmful files.

This step is crucial for security reasons and to ensure that the error is not a result of a file that was never properly sent or received in the first place.

Reinstalling WhatsApp as a Last Resort

When all other troubleshooting steps have failed to rectify the ‘WhatsApp download failed’ error, I consider the last resort: reinstallation.

It’s important to ensure that a backup of conversations takes place before proceeding, as this will prevent any data loss.

Step 1: First, I navigate to Settings on my device, tap on Apps or Application Manager, find WhatsApp, and select Uninstall.

Step 2: Next, I ensure there’s enough storage space on my device. If storage is insufficient, I clear out unnecessary files or apps to make room for WhatsApp.

Step 3: After confirming enough space, I then restart my device to refresh the system and prepare for a clean installation.

Step 4: Once my device is back on, I head to the Google Play Store or the App Store, search for WhatsApp, and tap Install.

Step 5: After installation, I open WhatsApp and proceed through the setup process, restoring my chats from the backup I previously created.

By taking these steps systematically, I can tackle the ‘WhatsApp download failed’ issue effectively.

If the problem persists, even after a fresh install, it might be time to contact WhatsApp support or check if my device’s software is up-to-date.

Frequently Asked Questions

When using WhatsApp, you may occasionally encounter issues with downloading media. These problems can range from a simple ‘Download Failed’ error to more complex issues such as media files appearing as missing.

I’ve distilled the essential steps to fix these common issues in the following subsections.

How can I resolve a ‘Download Failed’ error when trying to download media on WhatsApp?

I suggest first checking your internet connection, as this is a common cause. If the connection is stable, try clearing the app’s cache. For Android users, you can do this by navigating to Settings, selecting Apps, then WhatsApp, and tapping on Storage to find the clear cache option.

What steps should I take if I receive a ‘Please ask that it be resent’ message on WhatsApp?

This message typically indicates that the original message wasn’t properly sent. I would start by asking the sender to re-send the media. If this doesn’t work, ensuring that your app is updated to the latest version can sometimes resolve this issue.

Why am I encountering a ‘Media file appears to be missing’ error in WhatsApp, and how do I fix it?

A ‘Media file appears to be missing’ error may happen if the file was deleted or moved from the original folder. To fix it, I’d check whether the file exists in your device’s storage and hasn’t been renamed or moved. If it’s not there, you’ll likely need to ask the sender to re-send it.

What causes WhatsApp to fail to download photos or videos, and how can the issue be fixed?

Failures in downloading photos or videos on WhatsApp can be caused by insufficient storage space on your device or restrictive data settings. I’d make sure to clear some space on your device if it’s full and check that your data settings allow media downloads.

How can I troubleshoot a persistent ‘Download failed’ notification on WhatsApp?

For a persistent ‘Download failed’ notification, I recommend restarting your device as a first step. If that doesn’t work, forcibly stopping the app and restarting it can also help. Access the app settings to force stop the app if needed.

What should I do if I can’t download messages or media on WhatsApp and it suggests asking for a resend?

If you continually can’t download a message or media, and WhatsApp suggests asking for a resend, aside from asking the sender to resend the file, I would also check for any updates to the app or potential issues with your phone’s software that may be causing the problem.

Posted by
Mike Kunz

Mike Kunz used to previously write at but he has now joined the TechNerdish team where he shares his knowledge about technology with everyone.

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