WhatsApp Web offers a quick and easy way to read and reply to WhatsApp messages on your computer. It lets you use WhatsApp online from your browser. And in this guide we show you how to use WhatsApp Web on your PC.
What You Will Need to Run WhatsApp Web
Largely speaking, it’s a simple process and you’ll have the necessary items at hand. But for the sake of thoroughness, here’s the list.
- An Android phone or an iPhone with a working rear camera.
- A laptop or desktop computer with any modern web browser, like Google Chrome.
- An active internet connection for both your phone and your PC.
- The latest version of WhatsApp.
How WhatsApp Web Works
WhatsApp Web does not have all the features of the mobile app. In fact, it can’t work without the mobile app. You will need your phone to connect to and use WhatsApp Web.
This is, in essence, a clone or a mirror of what’s happening on your phone. If a message comes to your phone, you’ll see it in WhatsApp Web. If your phone doesn’t get a message because it doesn’t have an active internet connection or it’s switched off, then you won’t see it in WhatsApp Web either.
This makes WhatsApp Web inferior to other chat apps, but in some ways, it also makes WhatsApp Web more secure.
How to Set Up WhatsApp Web
Once you have these elements ready, setting up WhatsApp Web is simple:
- Open the browser on your PC and go to web.whatsapp.com.
- You will see a QR code that you need to scan to connect to WhatsApp Web.
- On your WhatsApp mobile app, tap Menu > WhatsApp Web to start the QR code reader.
- Point your phone’s rear camera to the QR code on your PC screen.
As soon as WhatsApp Web scans the QR code, it will connect your phone to your PC. In a jiffy, WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp mobile will be synced. You are now ready to use WhatsApp online through the computer.
What You Can Do With WhatsApp Web
- Use your keyboard to type.
- Access media (photos, videos, audio) in-line. You can also download any media directly to your PC. However, you cannot bulk download all media files; you have to manually click each.
- View videos from Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube without leaving the chat window, through Picture-in-Picture mode.
- Start a new conversation with any contact, or search for existing conversations.
- View contact information.
- Start a new group chat, talk in group chats, and view group information.
- Connect multiple computers to your phone and save them for future. You can also remotely disconnect any browser from your phone.
- Get or mute desktop alerts and sounds.
- Share photos and videos, documents, and contacts.
- Send emojis, GIFs, and stickers, as well as voice notes.
- View WhatsApp Status updates from any contact.
- Select multiple messages, and clear messages.
- Reply, forward, star, or delete messages.
- Edit your profile.
What You Can’t Do With WhatsApp Web
- You can’t send a WhatsApp Broadcast.
- You can’t make or receive WhatsApp Voice calls or WhatsApp Video calls.
- You can’t post new WhatsApp Status updates.
- You can’t share maps or your current location.
- You can’t change media download settings, so all photos and videos sent to you are downloaded automatically.
- You can’t use two browsers at the same time. While you can add multiple browsers/PCs to your phone, you can only use one at a time.
- Settings are limited to notifications through WhatsApp Web and chat wallpapers.
Using Multiple WhatsApp Accounts
Some folks have two numbers associated with two different WhatsApp accounts. You can still control WhatsApp online for both on a single PC.
To do that, you will need to open WhatsApp Web in two different browsers, such as Chrome and Opera. Alternately, you can open WhatsApp Web in an incognito window, but that automatically logs you out after an hour.
What Makes WhatsApp Web Special
So why should you use WhatsApp Web when it’s more limited than the phone? Because of the keyboard, of course.
If you want to engage in long conversations with someone, it’s easier to type using a keyboard. In fact, WhatsApp Web also works with WhatsApp Business, and you’ll be glad that you can take care of multiple customers through it.
You can use keyboard shortcuts too. The most useful two to remember are Ctrl + Shift + [ to go to the previous chat, and Ctrl + Shift + ] to go to the next chat.
How Safe Is WhatsApp Web?
While it initially got some flak for its lack of security, WhatsApp now boasts end-to-end encryption for all of its messages. This extends to WhatsApp Web as well.
Still, it’s a good idea to employ the best security practices for WhatsApp
and understand how safe your photos are in WhatsApp, whether you’re using it your phone or using WhatsApp Web. For example, if you have to use WhatsApp Web on a different computer, always open it through an incognito window.
How to Log Out of WhatsApp Web
If you are using WhatsApp Web on your own computer, you can stay logged in even when you are done. It’s convenient.
If you are using it on someone else’s computer, then remember to log out after you are done using WhatsApp online. It’s best to do this on both the computer and the mobile app.
- To log out of WhatsApp Web through your computer, go to Menu > Log out.
- To log out of WhatsApp Web through your phone, go to Menu > WhatsApp Web > Log out from all devices. As the name indicates, this will close WhatsApp Web on any computer you are logged in.
Once you log out, you will need to run the WhatsApp Web QR Code scan again to reconnect to the device.
WhatsApp Web Tips and Tricks
The more you know about WhatsApp Web, the more astounded you will be by what you can achieve with it. In fact, we prefer it to the official desktop apps for WhatsApp since WhatsApp Web is more feature-filled, and even offers extensions.
There’s also a clever hack that makes WhatsApp Web worth using. Through WhatsApp Web, you can actually read your WhatsApp messages without marking them with blue ticks. It’s a sneaky one, but if you want to learn how to do that and more, check out our list of WhatsApp Web tips and tricks
everyone should know.
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