You might have noticed that in spite of keeping hundreds of images, the ‘WhatsApp Images’ folder on our device still does not take up a lot of storage space. This is because when you share an image over WhatsApp the image file is heavily compressed and sent in low resolution. I think that’s alright because otherwise sharing large files would eat up a lot of my time and consume a huge portion of allotted data with my internet connection. But, there are times when you would like to share the full-resolution images. For instance, if you need to have the image printed, the print will not be as good from a compressed image. Full-resolution images will give you a much more desirable outcome.
Unfortunately, sharing full-resolution images is not as straightforward as you would have liked. WhatsApp does not ask whether or not you would like to compress the file before sharing. Luckily, there are workarounds to keep the file size and quality intact. This is exactly what we are going to share with you in the following text. So, keep reading!
Rename the File Extension
The idea is to trick WhatsApp into believing that the file you are sending is not an image. This, you can easily do by renaming the file extension from any image format (such as JPG, JPEG, PNG) to a document format (such as DOC, DOCX, PDF). Let’s assume that the filename of the image you wish to share is picture.jpeg. Here is how you can do that:
1. Open a file manager or file explorer on your device (such as ES File Explorer or any stock file manager)
2. Navigate to the folder where the image file is saved
3. Long press the file in question and tap ‘Rename’ in the available options (this may work differently on your device, but is more or less the same)
4. Rename the file to picture.doc (or anything you want as long as it is not the image format extension)
5. If you see any warning message ignore it and continue
6. Now share this file via WhatsApp and it will be sent as a document. The image will not be compressed and the quality will be retained
7. In order for the receiver to view it as an image, ask them to rename the file back to picture.jpeg using any file manager
Well, that’s it!
Zip the File (or Files)
Zip itself is a compression tool and hence you may ask if it will not cause the image to lose quality. It is true that zip will compress the file to a certain extent but when the file will be uncompressed on the destination device it will restore its quality. The best thing about zipping is that you can send multiple files as a single file. Also, the recipient can simply unpack the file without having to rename each one of the separately.
1. Download a free zipping tool (if you already don’t have one)
2. Put all the desired files in a single zip file
3. Attach the zip file to the desired WhatsApp conversation
4. Ask the recipient to uncompressed or unzip the file once they receive it
What if you do not wish to rename the image or send it as a zipped file? What if the recipient does not have the zip app to uncompress the file? Well, thankfully, there is an alternative that lets you send all your image files without either having to rename or compress in zip. You can share the files directly as document and it is pretty straightforward too. With this method you can share the entire folder housing the image files or just the selected images. While sharing the folder, if you happen to have files other than the image files, they will also be shared.
Here are the steps:
1. Launch WhatsApp and open the desired recipient’s chat/conversation window
2. Tap the ‘attach’ icon (paper clip) right next to the text field where you type your message
3. Select ‘Document’ from the options
4. Navigate to the folder you wish to share
5. Select the folder or specific images and send as attachment
All your images will be sent without any compression. The user will not see the image preview as is the case while sharing as an image.
Remember that uncompressed files are big in size and may take a while to be sent. It all depends on the quality of your internet connection.
I will admit that this isn’t exactly the most convenient way to send images. In fact, you are not sending any images at all using WhatsApp. You are just pointing the recipient to the source where you have uploaded the images. They will have to download them manually on their device.
But, there are some distinct advantages of cloud sharing. First of all, all your files will remain on the web as long as you want them to. Whenever you need to share the file, you will only have to share the link. This eliminates the need to repeat the sharing process again and again. You just have to upload them once. This method will save your time as well as data. The other benefit is that cloud links are platform independent and can be accessed from smartphones, tablets, computers and whatnot. And, most of the cloud services offer 10-15 GB storage free.
You could use cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive. You will first need to create a free account with the service you wish to use. If you are already using Gmail, you can use the same Google account to access Google Drive without having to create a new one.
You can also change the privacy settings of the files you wish to share. You can share the file with everyone or specific people only. You may also choose not to share the files at all.
Special: Using iBooks (iOS exclusive)
If you have an iOS device, such as iPhone, you can easily send any images as PDF files without losing the quality or size. Make sure that you install iBooks from App Store as it does not come pre-loaded on some devices (though it is an integrated app since iOS 8).
This method is quite simple. This is what you need to do:
1. Launch the Photos app on your device
2. Select Camera Roll and choose the picture/image files you wish to share
3. Now tap the option ‘Save PDF to iBooks’ option on the bottom slider menu
4. The images will now be converted to the PDF format
5. You can share the files using WhatsApp without losing image quality Remember that this method works only on the iOS devices. This also means the shared files can only be opened on iOS devices.
If WhatsApp wouldn’t compress the images locally, sharing them would take a lot of time and consume a great deal of data. So, I would say the compression feature is pretty handy. However, sometimes you want to deal in the original files with all the details intact and not the small sized, low-quality images. This is where the above methods can come handy.