How can I fix the “Download which failed” on WhatsApp?

WhatsApp an instant messaging application is a real success. It accumulates more than 2 billion active users around the world. It is because, this free Facebook app, in addition to allowing direct and secure communication, also offers versatility when sharing files and it is compatible with a wide number of devices.

However, despite being one of the best instant messaging platforms today, WhatsApp is not immune from errors. If you do not have much experience with the use of smartphones, these errors can become annoying and difficult to solve. Among all the problems, the most common one is “the Download failed message”.  It sometimes happens when you are wanting to download an audio, image or video from WhatsApp. For this reason is that, in this post we are going to reveal the possible causes of this error and we will teach you how to solve it in a simple way.

Why is it happening?

If you are a WhatsApp user, it is probable that more than once you have come across the message: “Download failed. The download could not be completed. Try again later”. If so, you should know that it is a recurring problem that can be due to different circumstances. Hence, there is no only an unique solution for all cases.

However, the truth is that, no matter what the cause of this annoying error is, there is a simple solution for each possible cause. And it sometimes is the dumbest but possible reason. It may be that your WiFi connection is failing or that you have run out of mobile data in your navigation plan. If your error is not due to any of these reasons, the possible causes of the failed download error in WhatsApp are described below.

WhatsApp´s old version

If you are one of the people who does not like to waste time downloading updates to their apps when the device recommends it, then you may currently have an outdated version of WhatsApp. If this is the case, it is possible that you are having problems downloading files from the app due to not having the most recent version of the app.

If you want to make sure that you are not ignoring the most recent version of WhatsApp, you can access Play Store (or App Store, depending on your case). Check if there is a pending update to download. If so, download it and try again downloading multimedia content.

Problems with the network

There is another possible cause that prevents WhatsApp from downloading the multimedia content received in your chats, and it is that your device does not have an internet connection fast or stable enough to complete the download. If the bandwidth of the network to which you are connected is very low, or if your router or repeater is quite old, it is very likely that you will have download speed problems on your phone.

In order to find out whether, the problem with your WhatsApp is due to the causes mentioned above, try to connect to other WiFi network, or use your mobile data network to download multimedia files. If your operation succeeds, you have already detected the cause of the failure.

Obsolete phone

If you have a phone with an Android operating system, you should know that old equipment can be out of date in terms of capacity. Even though, the fact that your device is in good condition, sometimes the operating system and the hardware capabilities of the phone are not adapted to the most recent updates of the apps which we use.

Therefore, if you have an Android phone that is several years old, there is a possibility that it is no longer capable of running applications like WhatsApp properly. Therefore, the best advice you can get in these cases (although it seems rude), is to buy a decent Smartphone.

No storage available on the phone

Many times the “Download failed” message may be due to, the fact that, the mobile device does not have enough storage space to house the multimedia file that you want to download from WhatsApp. This cause is quite common, and it is because, many times we do not realize how much space our device has left.

If you consult on your phone and find out that your memory is saturated, it is best to make some space by deleting unimportant files, or backing them up elsewhere. Once this is done, you will be able to forget it for a while. You will not have problems again to download the content that your WhatsApp contacts send you.


What can I do to fix it?

If you have already considered all the possible causes of the failed download error in WhatsApp, now is the time to get down to work and find a viable solution to this annoying inconvenience once and for all. Here are some possible solutions for this problem:

Download the latest version of WhatsApp

As we explained a while ago, if you have forgotten to update the WhatsApp application on your computer, it is possible that your problem with the Download failed error comes from there. If it is your case, you should not worry. You only have to access Play Store and download the pending update; you will be able to end this error.

To do that, enter Play Store, go to Mis apps and games, then select WhatsApp and press the “Update” button.

WhatsApp Messenger
WhatsApp Messenger
Developer: WhatsApp LLC
Price: Free
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  • WhatsApp Messenger Screenshot
  • WhatsApp Messenger Screenshot

Clear WhatsApp cache

When you think that the cause of your problem originates from the little storage space you have, a fairly efficient solution is to clear up the application itself from the junk files that have been generated in it over time. This procedure is known as cleaning the cache.

You can clean the cache from your application directly from your phone’s configuration and going to Applications. Once there, look for WhatsApp app, press it and choose “Empty cache”. Also, you can use other special apps to clean your phone, for example: CCleaner or AVG Cleaner.

Some other details

After you have discharged the possibility that this error originates from any of the solutions mentioned above, you can also check if your phone is not in power saving mode. This configuration many times prevents your phone from downloading multimedia content from applications. It is in order to save power consumption of the phone.

Another thing you can try is to delete all the app data from your phone and install the app again. To do this, you must uninstall WhatsApp from your device, restart your computer and download the latest version again. If you do that, you may no longer have this annoying error.

Sometimes, the problem is not directly related to the application, it is possible that everything originates from the network to which you are connected. As we have explained before. When the speed on your internet connection or mobile data network is not stable or is too slow, it can lead to WhatsApp throwing the message “Download failed. The download could not be completed. Try again later”.

If you think it is the case, you should think about changing your internet provider, switching to a plan with more megabytes or purchasing a better performance wireless router.

Likewise, it is always advisable to have a Smartphone with a more recent version of Android such as: 6 or 7. They will guarantee you that, WhatsApp and other applications will be able to function correctly regardless of the updates that are released.