Telegram is one of the better WhatsApp alternatives out there, but that doesn’t mean it always runs as it should. For instance, sometimes the media files you receive through Telegram while chatting won’t automatically be saved to your phone’s gallery app as they normally should. If you’re also affected by this issue, which seems to be quite widespread, follow us in this article as we detail some methods that could potentially correct the problem.
1. Enable “Save to Gallery”
In Telegram, the option to automatically save incoming photos and videos might need to be activated manually from the mobile app (not from the desktop one). If you just installed the app on your device, you need to enable this option to ensure that all the pics you receive via chat will automatically show up in your Gallery app. Below we detail the steps for both Telegram for Android and iOS.
- Open the Telegram app on your device.
- Tap on the hamburger menu in the upper left corner of the display.
- Select Settings.
- Tap on “Chat Settings.”
- Scroll all the way to the bottom until you find the “Save to Gallery” option and toggle it on.
Now Telegram should automatically start saving the photos and videos you’ve received directly to your phone’s gallery. If you ever change your mind, you can easily retrace the steps and turn off the feature to ensure images don’t get automatically saved anymore. If you do this, you can still save important pictures manually, while saving precious space on your device.
On iOS the same option is called “Save Incoming Photos.” This is how you can activate it on your device.
- Open the Telegram app on your iPhone.
- Go to Settings.
- Then tap on “Data and Storage.”
- Scroll down until you find the “Save Incoming Photos” options and press on it.
- Enable the option for Contacts, Other Private Chats, Group Chats, and Channels as required.
Now the media you receive while chatting in Telegram should be automatically saved to your iPhone’s gallery.
2. Grant Storage Permission (Android)
Another thing you want to try is to make sure your Telegram app has storage permission. Depending on what version of Android is running on your phone you might have to grant “Files and media” permission instead.
- Find the Telegram app on your phone and long press on its app icon.
- Tap on the “Info” or “App info” button that pops up.
- Select “Permissions.”
- If you’re running an older version of Android (the device in the screenshots is running Android 7.0) you will need to tap on “Storage” to enable the option.
Alternatively, if you’re running Android 11 or 12, you should see the “Files and media” option under “Permissions.”
Tap on it and check to see if the “Allow access to media only” feature is on. If it’s not, activate it.
3. Enable the Option to Auto-Download Media
If you’re constantly switching between your Wi-Fi and data, you need to activate the “Enable auto-download media” option to make sure a photo or video doesn’t slip through the cracks while you’re in-between. These instructions apply to both Android and iOS devices.
- Open the Telegram app on your phone.
- Tap on the hamburger menu in the upper left corner.
- Select Settings.
- Press on “Data and Storage.”
- Toggle on the “When using mobile data” option if it’s not enabled. The “When connected on Wi-Fi” featured should be on, but if it’s not make sure to activate that as well.
4. Update the App
If photos and videos aren’t showing up in your gallery it might be due to a bug and so your app needs to be updated. Go to the Google Play Store, search for the app and see if you can spot an “Update” button underneath.
If it’s not there and it simply says “Open” then it means that the app is running the latest version that is available for your region.
On iOS devices, go to the App Store and update your app from there, if an update is available.
If the problem persists, keep your eyes out for updates. The issue appears to be quite common, so if the most recent update doesn’t fix it, the next one might (assuming the problem is not due to the other aspects detailed above).
5. Restart Your Phone
If nothing changes after you’ve updated the app, you could also try restarting your phone just for good measure. Doing this will flush your system’s memory and get rid of any errors that might be causing Telegram not to automatically save your photos to the Gallery app on your phone. To restart your device, simply long press on the power button for a few seconds until a bunch of options pop up on the screen. Select “Restart.”
6. Check Telegram Servers
If you still can’t get the option to function properly, then we suggest that you check Telegram servers, as there might be a problem with the app itself that might cause it to act this way. Simply go to a website like Downdetector and search for Telegram. Check out the Telegram outages report graphic. If it’s going through the roof, then you know you’re not doing anything wrong on your end and you just have to wait until Telegram fixes the issue.
7. Save Photos and Other Media Manually
When all else has failed, the only solution left at your disposal might be to manually save the photos or videos from the app. This is how you can do it on your mobile device.
- Open up a chat that contains a media file you want to save.
- Tap on the media file to open it.
- Tap on the three-dots in the upper right corner of the display.
- Select “Save to Gallery.”
Now go to your phone’s Gallery, and you should be able to see the picture there.
On Android, this option can sometimes malfunction. If you’re having issues seeing your received photos and videos in the Gallery after manually saving them, try updating the app or installing the APK from the official Telegram website.
Here’s how you can manually save images on iOS.
- Open a chat that contains a media file you wish to save to your gallery.
- Tap on the file.
- Now press on the little forwarding icon in the lower left corner.
- Select the “Save Image” option at the bottom. Telegram will ask permission to access Photos and once you’ve granted it, the image will show up in your gallery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Telegram automatically save images sent via secret chats to the Gallery app?
The answer is no. Secret chats are a private form of communication and so Telegram will disable the auto-save option for these chats, even if the “Save to Gallery” feature is enabled otherwise. If you want, however, you can manually save pictures that are sent via secret chats. The other party won’t be notified that you’ve done so.
Does Telegram for desktop automatically save images?
In theory, it should. If you go to “Settings -> Advanced,” you should be able to find the “Automatic media download” option which is enabled by default in private chats, groups, and channels. So technically, Telegram desktop should save images you’ve received to the “Downloads” folder.
However, in our case this doesn’t appear to work.
The solution would be to instead click on any of the images you’ve received and then hit the “Save” icon in the lower right corner of the display. This automatically saves the picture to “Downloads.” If you wish to change the folder where you save the images, simply click on the three-dots (also in the lower right corner) and select “Save as.”
Will Telegram delete media from the cloud chats that I haven't accessed in a while?
No. By default, Telegram is set to store pictures/videos you’ve received via cloud chats indefinitely. However, to save space on your device, you can change this duration by going to “Settings -> Data and Storage -> Storage usage.” Use the slider to extend or shorten the period of time during which Telegram will keep media from chats on your device.
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