How to Bypass WhatsApp’s “Messy” Image Compression

How to send original photos on WhatsApp without compression

While yourself (and a billion other global WhatsApp users) love the fact that you can send photos, videos, and other multimedia to your contacts and they’d receive it in microseconds, what you might not know is the fact that WhatsApp compresses your content so it can be sent as fast as you want them to.

Interestingly, WhatsApp does the compression of media files so well that the reduction in quality is almost visually unnoticeable — at least to the average WhatsApp user. If you weren’t aware, now you know…that WhatsApp automatically reduces the quality of your “super-fly high-quality selfies” before delivering them to your boyfriend, girlfriend, befriend, mum or dad.

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Generally, this messy media compression is no big deal for end-users who intend to consume (read: view, use) the shared images/videos on their mobile phones. For individuals (like photographers, creative artists & directors, designers, etc.) who intend to work on images they receive via WhatsApp later on their computers, compression is definitely a no-no; a bummer.

According to a test by ProPakistani, WhatsApp can decrease the quality of your image by as much as 98%. Reportedly, images with an aspect ratio of 16:9 are shrunk to about 800×450 while all 4:3 images will be compressed to a maximum resolution of 800×600.

Here’s a sample list of images we sent using WhatsApp. The output can be used to identify the resolution of images after compression:

Original: 0.7MP or 1024×686 (162KB) – Compressed: 800×535 (109KB)
Original: 0.8MP or 1024×768 (158KB) – Compressed: 800×600 (56KB)
Original: 12MP or 4032×3024 (2.5MB) – Compressed: 800×600 (45KB)
Original: 1.9MP or 1920×1080 (2.1MB) – Compressed: 799×449 (58KB)

So, how can you bypass compression and quality deterioration when sending high-quality photos on WhatsApp? Find how below:

1. Send as a Document

When next you want to send media files on WhatsApp without reducing its quality, send it as a “Document“, not as a “Gallery” file. Afterward, click on “Browse other docs” and select the file (image or video) you want to send. Do this and your media file will be sent without any compression or reduction in quality.

How to send original photos on WhatsApp without compression

If you have multiple files to send to a contact, you compress them into a single ZIP file with your phone’s file manager or using third party apps like ES Explorer. So if you have about 30 images or more to send to your designer, instead of sending them individually, you can put them into a ZIP folder and send as a single document.

2. Change the file extension

Another way to send original media files via WhatsApp without quality reduction is by renaming the file. If you want to send a picture, for instance, head to your file explorer/manager and change the file extension.

  • Rename an image from “Vacation_Picture.jpeg” to “Vacation_Picture.pdf” or “Vacation_Picture.doc“. The image then becomes a pdf or a doc file.
  • Send to your contact as a Document
  • Tell the recipient to rename the file to its original format i.e .jpeg
    Now the particular image becomes a pdf/doc file. You can easily attach this file as a document and send to the recipient.
  • Ask receiver to again rename image.pdf to image.jpg using file explorer

Though this method is quite lengthy, it works. However, both methods allows you bypass the WhatsApp compression to send original photos.