How to Send Photos as Document in Whatsapp on iPhone or Android

Whatsapp has grown to be one of the most popular instant messengers currently available on the market. You can share photos, videos, documents, and audio messages using Whatsapp and get in touch with anyone around the world as long as you have the internet.

However, if you’ve been using Whatsapp for a while then you might have noticed that images get compressed when shared with someone. While a great way to save data and improve connectivity, it can sometimes prevent you from receiving RAW and uncompressed images. Here’s how you can get past the same by sending your image as a document on Whatsapp instead. 

Why send Photos as a document using Whatsapp?

Photos are compressed by Whatsapp when shared with your contacts using the in-built options. This helps save data, improve connectivity times and even save space on your devices. 

However, this image compression is automatic which can cause you to lose many details from high-resolution photos. As this compression can be high as 98% which might not be ideal if you’re looking to share RAW or HD images professionally. In such cases, you can choose to send your images as a document over Whatsapp. 

Sending images as a document will allow you to send them in their original format with their original quality intact, as long as they do not exceed the 16MB sharing limit enforced by Whatsapp.

Related: How to Use Two Phones With WhatsApp Multi-device


Here’s how you can send Photos as a document whether using iOS or Android. Follow either of the methods below depending on your device to help you along with the process. 

How to send Photos as a document using Whatsapp on iPhone

iOS users can either save their photo to the Files app and then send it as a document. This can sometimes lead to image compression depending on your image format.

If that happens to be the case, you can try changing your file extension instead to easily share an uncompressed photo over Whatsapp. Follow the steps below to help you along with the process. 

Method 1: Using Save to Files

Open the Photos app and tap and open the photo you wish to send as a document. 

Now tap the Share icon at the bottom.

Tap and select Save to Files.

Navigate to the desired folder where you wish to save the image and tap Save.

Once done, open Whatsapp and navigate to the conversation where you wish to send the image as a document.

Tap the + icon.

Tap and select Document.

Now tap and select the Photo we recently added to the Files app.

Tap Open.

You will now be shown a preview for the selected image. Tap Send if everything seems up to mark. 

The selected image will now be shared with the selected person as a document on Whatsapp.

Method 2: By changing the extension

If you noticed that your image was still compressed by Whatsapp when sharing it as a document, you can change its file extension and then share it with the concerned. This will send an unaltered document to the recipient who can then rename the file to the original extension to open the image on their device. Follow the steps below to help you along with the process. 

Open the Photos app and tap and open the Photo you wish to send as a document on Whatsapp.

Now tap the Share icon.

Select Save to Files.

Choose a desired destination for the photo in the Files app and tap Save.

The photo will now be saved to the Files app. Open the same and navigate to the recently saved photo. Now tap the 3-dot menu icon in the top right corner. 

Scroll down and select View Options.

Now tap and select Show All Extensions.

Extensions should now be visible for all files in the given folder. Tap and hold on the concerned image.

Select Rename.

Delete the file extension for your Photo and name it one of the following options.

  • DOC
  • DOCX

You can also enter a custom file extension if needed. Confirm your choice once you’re prompted.

Once changed, open Whatsapp and navigate to the conversation where you wish to send an uncompressed image.

Tap the icon.

Select Document.

Now select the renamed photo from the Files app.

Tap Open once selected.

The file will now be opened in Whatsapp. Tap Send in the top right corner. 

Tip: It would also be a good idea to send an additional message intimating the recipient about the file extension change and the original file format.

And that’s it! You will now have shared an uncompressed image via Whatsapp by changing its file extension.

How to send Photos as a document using Whatsapp on Android

If you’re an Android user, then you can choose to send the image as a document directly from your File Explorer. If that does not work for you, you can change the file extension and send your image instead. Follow either of the methods below depending on your current needs and requirements. 

Method 1: Using a File Manager

Open Whatsapp and open the concerned chat where you wish to send the image as a document. 

Tap the Paperclip icon.

Tap and select Document.

Your File Explorer will now be opened within Whatsapp. Tap Browse other docs to open File Explorer independently.

Navigate to the desired directory and tap and select the desired photo from your File Explorer. 

Tap Send to confirm your choice.

The selected image will now be sent as a document to the recipient within Whatsapp.

Method 2: By renaming the file extension

If your image was compressed, then you can rename the file extension and send your image instead. Follow the steps below to help you along with the process. 

  • Files by Google | Download Link

Open the File Explorer on your Android device. If you do not have a File Explorer installed on your device, you can use the link above to download and install Files by Google. 

Navigate to the photo in question and tap and hold on the same.

Once selected, tap the 3-dot menu icon in the top right corner of your screen and select Rename.

Now replace the file extension for the image with either one of the file extensions below. 

  • DOC
  • DOCX

Note: Whatsapp for Android only supports document file extensions when sending files as a document. Using a custom extension will not work when using an Android device.

Once done, tap OK.

Tap Rename to confirm your choice.

Now close the File Explorer and open Whatsapp. Navigate to the conversation where you wish to send an image as a document. 

Tap the Paperclip icon. 

Tap and select Document.

Tap Browse other docs.

Now tap and select the image we recently renamed from your File Explorer.

 

Tap Send.

The selected image will now be shared as a document with the concerned recipient. We recommend you send a follow-up message notifying the user of the extension change at this point. 

We hope this post helped you share an image as a document on Whatsapp. If you have more questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below.

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