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How To Send High Quality Photos in WhatsApp

Posted by Jamie on December 14, 2018

WhatsApp is becoming my favorite app for simple usability and ease of everything. I have used it for years and now couldn’t live without it. While the app has improved immensely since launch, one annoyance remains. The reducing of image quality when sending. If you want to know how to send high quality photos in WhatsApp, this tutorial is for you.

Whatever resolution you upload or take your images at, WhatsApp will always reduce that to around 30% of the original to save space and make for faster transmission. That’s fine for selfies or quick snapshots of random stuff but if quality is key in an image, it is less than ideal. Fortunately, there are ways around it.

Send full quality images using WhatsApp

If you’re anything like me, you’ll take a pic, hit Attachment, go to the Gallery, attach the pic and send it. All without a thought. It’s now second nature but has the downside of lowering the quality. If you send it as a document instead of an image, it doesn’t get reduced.

  1. Open WhatsApp and select Attachments as you normally would.
  2. Select Documents instead of Gallery this time.
  3. Select the file or Browse to it and hit Send.
  4. Press Send when back in the main screen and WhatsApp will send it without messing with it.

As long as your image isn’t huge, this should work perfectly. If you’re sending a 30Mb RAW image or something, there may be an issue but for a 3-4Mb HD image this should work fine.

Rename the image

If sending the image as a document doesn’t work, you can rename the file so it does work. Sending images as documents work fine for me but as usual, your mileage may vary. Or, if WhatsApp catches on to what we’re doing, they may block sending images as documents. If that is ever the case, renaming it will still work.

  1. Rename the image file from JPEG or PNG to PDF or .doc.
  2. Send it as a document.
  3. As the recipient to rename it back to JPEG or PNG so they can view it.

WhatsApp doesn’t actually know what an image is, it looks at the suffix to identify file type. The file does contain identifying metadata too, but for now, WhatsApp uses the JPEG and PNG suffix to identify images. Changing it to something else should work perfectly.

Compress the images

If that doesn’t work, or is patched out at a later date, compressing the file should always work. Compression wraps up a file in a container that WhatsApp cannot read. Even if you use a compression app with an image, you can leave it at 100% quality and still use it. That way, image quality is retained and WhatsApp is none the wiser.

I use Android and ES File Explorer which has a compression tool built in. Open the image in the app, tap and hold the image until a dialog box appears and select Compress. Select More and Compress, leave quality at 100% and let the app do its thing. You can then add the .zip file to WhatsApp and send as a document as above.

You can also use this method to send a bunch of images at once if they aren’t too large.

Upload to Google Drive or iCloud

The final way I know of to send images without losing quality on WhatsApp is to upload them to Google Drive and send a share link. I use Google Drive because I’m Android but iCloud can do exactly the same thing. If you have Sync set up so Google/Apple uploads your images automatically, the heavy lifting is done for you.

  1. Open Google Drive or iCloud.
  2. Select the image you want to share.
  3. Right click and select Get Sharable Link.
  4. Copy the link and send it to the recipient via WhatsApp.

I use the Google Drive instructions here because that’s what I use. Presumably the instructions for iCloud are very similar.

Those are the ways I know of to transfer high quality images using WhatsApp. Each retains the original image quality and as long as they aren’t too large, will use the same transport mechanism all file shares in WhatsApp uses. The methods above work now while renaming and compressing will work even if WhatsApp codes out the first trick.

Failing that, sharing a link from cloud storage is always going to work no matter what WhatsApp does!

You can’t blame WhatsApp for wanting to streamline the entire process but it does have a downside. Got any more ways to send high quality photos in WhatsApp without losing that quality? Tell us about them below if you do!

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