WhatsApp messenger is a great tool. It connects over 1.5 billion of us with free messaging and calls. Smartphones have come a log way too, and it is easier than ever to type out messages on your mobile phone. It is still, however, much easier to type on your computer. This makes WhatsApp Web, the desktop version of the Facebook-owned messaging app you can use on your Windows PC or Mac, an essential tool. Add to that the fact that you can leave WhatsApp running on a Chrome tab while you’re working, and it becomes even more important to know the ins and outs of WhatsApp Web. That is why we’re here. This is your WhatsApp Web guide.
WhatsApp Web user guide
How to log into WhatsApp Web
To run WhatsApp on your computer screen all you need is a modern web browser like Safari, Google Chrome, or Firefox and an Android or iOS smartphone that already has an active WhatsApp account. You then need to type https://web.whatsapp.com into the address bar of your web browser and as long as your PC has an active internet connection, you’ll be taken to the WhatsApp Web page. There you will find a QR code waiting for you to scan.
You then need to open WhatsApp on your Android or iPhone. If you don’t have the latest version of the app, you should update WhatsApp. Once you’ve opened the app, tap the horizontal ellipsis icon to open the WhatsApp Settings menu. Then you need to tap the WhatsApp Web option and tap the + icon in the top-right corner. This will open a QR scanner on your phone, which you then use to scan the QR code on the WhatsApp Web homepage. Once you’ve done this the web version of WhatsApp will be ready to go.
What can you do on WhatsApp Web?
Once you’ve followed the instructions above, your WhatsApp account will be linked to your web browser. You should see a list of all your WhatsApp messages down the left of the page and then when you click on one of them, you’ll see the chats screen on the right.
Although this looks a lot like WhatsApp on your mobile, WhatsApp Web has limited functionality compared to the iOS and Android versions of WhatsApp. You can send and receive text messages, images and videos, voice messages, documents, and WhatsApp contacts just like you can on your mobile phone. You can do all this in the same way you do it on your smartphone. You can also connect your WhatsApp account across multiple web browsers on multiple PCs, set up or mute desktop notifications, send GIFs and emojis like you can on mobile, view status updates, clear and delete messages, forward messages, and edit your profile.
What you can’t do, however, is call your contacts using voice or video calls or receive calls from them. Other limitations include being unable to send multiple messages at once via WhatsApp Broadcast, being unable to share your location, to post your own status updates, or to use WhatsApp Web on two PCs at the same time.
How to install WhatsApp Web on your PC
As well as using the WhatsApp Web app through your web browser, you can also install the desktop version of WhatsApp onto your PC. This will offer you the exact same experience as you’ll find on WhatsApp Web, but it’ll open in a dedicated program. To download WhatsApp desktop app on your PC, hit the download button below and follow the instructions.
How to set up WhatsApp Web notifications
Setting up notifications on WhatsApp Web couldn’t be easier. When you first log into your account you’ll notice a blue banner at the top of your chats. Clicking this button will bring up a dialog box in your web browser asking you to allow WhatsApp Web to show you notifications through your browser. Click Allow and your browser will notify you every time you receive a message.
You can also hit the horizontal ellipsis icon just above this banner and click Settings to open up the WhatsApp Web settings menu and then click the Notifications option. Here you can control whether your notifications will make sounds and also whether you’ll see previews of the messages you’ve received in your notifications.
WhatsApp Web tricks and tips
So, as you can see, although WhatsApp Web is a little limited compared to the mobile app, it still has plenty to offer. Not least because it is much easier to participate in long conversations using an actual keyboard rather than your smartphone. Furthermore, WhatsApp Web also has some very useful keyboard shortcuts. These include pressing Ctrl + N to start a new chat, Ctrl + Delete to delete a chat, and you can scroll through your different chats by pressing Ctrl + ] to go to the next chat and Ctrl + [ to go to the previous chat.
Another trick for anybody who has more than one WhatsApp account is to set up WhatsApp Web on two different browsers on the same PC. You could do this using any modern browser like Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Edge. This also works, if you log into WhatsApp Web using a privacy protecting mode like Incognito mode on Google Chrome. This, however, will log out every hour, meaning you’ll have to repeatedly log back in should you need to use WhatsApp Web for an extended period. If you’re using WhatsApp Web on a public PC, you should always use Incognito mode as it’ll protect you, if you forget to log out.
How to log out of WhatsApp Web
As we’ve already mentioned if you use WhatsApp Web in Incognito mode, it’ll automatically log you out after one hour. If you’re not using WhatsApp Web in Incognito mode, however, don’t worry it is easy enough to log out yourself.
To log out from WhatsApp Web from your PC all you need to do is open the menu using the horizontal ellipsis icon that is above your chats and click Log out. This will then take you back to the QR code homepage you saw the first time you landed on the WhatsApp Web homepage.
You can also log out from WhatsApp Web desktop devices using the WhatsApp app on your phone. To do this open the app and then open the Settings menu and then hit WhatsApp Web. You’ll then see a list of all the devices that currently have an active WhatsApp Web connection to your account. Clicking these will then give you the option to log out. At the bottom of the list you’ll also see the Log out from all devices button, which does exactly what it says it will.