We have all been through this.
As per a WABetaInfo report, WhatsApp now allows users to download deleted media, such as images, videos, GIFs, voice messages, and documents, from its servers again. Once the user deleted that particular content from the WhatsApp folder on their device, there was no way to retrieve it. Addressing the issue, the latest update now allows a user to re-download content from the app.
According to WABetaInfo, which is known for its updates on new and upcoming features on WhatsApp, the feature is live on Android.
Earlier, users were not able to download deleted specific files sent over WhatsApp. This also means that media messages are being stored on the apps's servers and now for a longer period, even after a user has downloaded them. It has made a decision to store all the messages and multimedia content on its server even if it is downloaded by the user. When it comes to very old media files, it claims that they were not able to download images sent in August 2017 as the app asked them to request the sender to send the files again. The first characters in the timestamp "Yesterday" "Today" are being replaced by their ASCII equivalent- "89esterday" "84oday". The only condition is that the message, which had the media attachment should not have been deleted by the sender, otherwise the download will not possible. It was found that the bug was only affecting the WhatsApp beta version 2.18.109 that was released on April 12.
WhatsApp turned around a fix for the glitch in a matter of days, with the new beta version now available to download. Therefore, the bug was primarily changing the first alphabets of the affected timestamps with their ASCII codes. Currently, this feature is only available for Android users and not for the iOS users.
That being said, as it is always recommended, you should avoid downloading beta version software on your devices to get a smooth user experience.