Search using Files. Also, I do recall there being a way in the WhatsApp to not save media for certain contacts. Images would still appear you just wont have a copy of the pics. I hated when I got on a group on WhatsApp it wat horrible and I think that is how I resolved it.
If I don't download them I don't see them. I haven't found a way to not save them. I just deleted the gallery of WhatsApp pics. I've had this phone less the a week. 1500+ pictures.
There is a setting in Whatsapp which will prevent that.
- Open Whatsapp
- Click on the 3 dot menu in upper right
- Click on Settings
- Click on Chats
- Under "Chat settings", disable the option "Media visibility".