Updated: Sep 22, 2020
WhatsApp general tips and tricks
1) Send your location to a contact
WhatsApp allows you to send photos and videos to contacts, as well as share a contact or document but you can also send your location. This is very handy if you're meeting a friend somewhere, especially if you opt for Share Live Location, which allows your contact to see your Live Location for the duration you choose so they can track you. Duration times are set at 15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours.
iOS: Chat > Specific chat > Tap on "+" to the left of the message box > Location > Share Live Location > Select time frame.
Android: Chat > Specific chat > Tap on the paperclip to the right of the message box > Location > Share Live Location > Select time frame.
2) Search all your chats
Someone might have sent you their address or you might remember talking about a specific programme or film but you don't want to scroll through all your messages to try and find what you're looking for. At the top of all your chats on iOS there is a search bar. On Android, there's a search icon.
You can type anything into the search bar, from the start of a town name if you're looking for an address to a specific word and all the chats with that word will appear below as specific messages. Clicking on a respective result will take you to that part of the chat conversation you had.
3) Search a specific chat
If you want to search a specific chat rather than all of your chats, this is possible too. Maybe you had a conversation about a specific meeting place, or they sent you their other contact number or their address for example.
iOS: Chats > Specific chat > Tap on contact info at the top > Chat Search > Type in the search bar that appears at the top of that specific chat.
Android: Chats > Specific chat > Open the menu top right > Search > Type in the search bar that appears at the top of that specific chat.
4) Make a video or voice call using WhatsApp
WhatsApp isn't just for instant messages, you can use it to make video and voice calls too. WhatsApp calling uses your internet connection rather than your plan's minutes.
iOS & Android: Chats > Specific chat > Press the call icon or video icon in the top right corner.
5)Find who you talk to most
Who is really your favourite person? It might not be who you think. There is a way to find the people you send the most messages to and how much storage each person takes up, among other things.
iOS & Android: Settings > Data and Storage Usage > Storage Usage > Select Contact.
6) Save your data allowance
If you've got a limited data allowance, you don't want WhatsApp munching it all away. Thankfully, you can customise when media is allowed to download, as well as ensure calls use as little data as possible.
iOS & Android: Settings > Data and Storage Usage > Media Auto-Download > Switch to Wi-Fi only to save your data.
7) Find out how much data you're using
If you're worried about your data usage, you can find out exactly how much you are using. You'll get a breakdown of total number of sent and received messages, as well as data sent and received.
iOS & Android: Settings > Account > Data Usage > Network Usage.
) Use WhatsApp on the web and desktop
WhatsApp isn't limited to your mobile phone. There's a web app that syncs everything from your phone and there's a desktop app too. Go to https://web.whatsapp.com/ or download the desktop app from download it from whatsapp.com/download/
You'll then need to open WhatsApp on your phone > Settings > WhatsApp Web/Desktop > Scan the QR code on the browser or Desktop app > Follow the instructions.
Both the web and desktop app will serve up chats and alerts on your computer, allowing you to reply quickly and easily. Your phone will need to be connected for it to work though so if you lose your connection, the web app will stop syncing until you get your phone connection back.
9) Change the wallpaper on your WhatsApp chat screen
WhatsApp has a standard wallpaper, which will appear as a background on all of your chats. You can change this wallpaper though, with options including solid colours, your own photos as well as a collection of images from WhatsApp itself.
iOS: Settings > Chats > Chat Wallpaper > Choose Wallpaper Library, Solid Colours or Photos.
Android: Settings > Chats > Chat Wallpaper > Choose Wallpaper Library, Solid Colours, Gallery, Default or No Wallpaper.
WhatsApp privacy tips and tricks
1) Require Face ID or Touch ID to unlock WhatsApp
If you want double security on your WhatsApp chats, it's possible for iOS users to set their WhatsApp account to require Face ID or Touch ID authentication when opening WhatsApp, even when your device is already unlocked.
You'll still be able to reply to messages from notifications and answer calls if WhatsApp is locked. It's also possible to set the duration of time you want the Screen Lock feature to kick in.
iOS: Settings > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock > Toggle on Require Face ID / Require Touch ID > Select the time duration (Immediately, after a minute, after 15 minutes or after an hour).
2) How to see and turn off last seen
WhatsApp's last seen feature allows you to see when someone last checked WhatsApp, as well as allow users to see when you last checked. If a contact hasn't disabled last seen, it will appear under their name at the top of an open chat. To disable last seen:
iOS & Android: Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen > Switch to Nobody.
3) Hide the blue ticks
Those blue ticks can get you in a whole world of trouble, especially when you don't reply instantly and someone sees you have read their messages. You can turn them off, but it's worth noting that if you do, you won't get read receipts for your messages either.
Apple users: If you get Siri to read the message, the blue ticks won't appear so this could be a good way to read a message without the sender knowing you have. Android users: If you read your messages in notifications, the sender won't get the blue ticks.
iOS: Settings > Account > Privacy > Toggle off Read Receipts.
Android: Settings > Account > Privacy > Untick Read Receipts.
4) Stop people seeing your messages
Ever passed your phone to a friend and instantly panicked about the messages they might see come through? Yeah, we haven't either. For those who have, you can turn off message previews on iOS so only the contact's name will appear, rather than their life story, or you can turn off notifications altogether.
iOS: Settings > Notifications > Toggle off Show Preview / Settings > Notifications > Toggle off Show Notifications.
Android offers a range of notification controls. Within the WhatsApp app itself, you can turn off high priority notifications - those that will pop-up at the top of the screen. Or you can control the notifications at a system level to keep details private or remove them completely.
Android: Settings > Notifications > Toggle off Use high priority notifications.
5) Hide your profile picture
You might not want everyone to see your profile picture, especially if you're part of several groups where you don't know everyone in the group. Or perhaps you just fancy being a little mysterious for the day. Either way, you can choose if everyone, no-one, or only your contacts see your picture.
iOS & Android: Settings > Account > Privacy > Profile Photo.
6) How to block a WhatsApp contact
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to block a contact so we won't ask why. We will just let you know that if you block a contact, you won't be able to send or receive messages, or make or receive calls from them and even if you unblock them, you won't see any messages sent to you whilst they were blocked.
iOS & Android: Chats > Specific chat > Tap on contact subject at the top > Scroll down to the bottom > Block Contact.
7) Download and view your WhatsApp data report
If you want to download and view the data Facebook-owned WhatsApp collects on you, you can download and view a data report.
iOS and Android: Settings > Account > Request Account Info > Request Report.