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How to use the WhatsApp Chat Lock feature

Stop people snooping on your WhatsApp conversations.
By
December 18, 2023

WhatsApp has introduced several creative features in 2023, including Whatsapp Communities, Message Yourself, message editing, and more. One notable addition is the Whatsapp Chat Lock feature, designed for situations where you may want certain chats to be more private than others. If others have access to your device and there are specific chats you wish to protect with an extra layer of privacy and security, you can place them in a separate folder. This folder is only accessible via fingerprint or face ID. In this step-by-step guide, we will explain how to use the WhatsApp Chat Lock feature.

If you don’t have the feature, you might need to update WhatsApp to the latest version. Even then, WhatsApp Chat Lock hasn’t yet rolled out to all devices and regions, so you may need to wait a little while before getting the chance to use it.

QUICK ANSWER

To use WhatsApp Chat Lock: Go to the Contact info of the chat > Chat lock > Lock this chat with fingerprint. Then, scan your fingerprint.

To find your locked chats, drag down your chat list to reveal the Locked chats folder. Tap it and scan your fingerprint.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to use the WhatsApp Chat Lock feature

  • Open the chat you want to lock.
  • Tap the top bar of the chat to go to the chat info.
  • If you have the feature, you will see the Chat lock option below Disappearing messages on this contact info screen. Tap it.
  • You are given the option to Lock this chat with fingerprint on the next screen. Toggle it on.
  • You will see a popup advising you that the chat will not be locked on your linked devices. Press OK.
  • Confirm your fingerprint on the scanner.
  • The last pop-up will advise you that the chat is now locked.

How to access your locked Whatsapp chats and unlock it

Your locked chats are hidden away in a separate folder from your unlocked ones.

  • Drag down your chat list as if you were scrolling up. The Locked chats folder will appear.
  • Tap on it and scan your fingerprint when prompted.
  • You will now see your list of locked chats.
  • Go to the contact info or group info of any of the chats, you will see that Chat lock is displayed as On.
  • Tap this Chat lock option again.
  • Confirm your fingerprint to unlock the chat.

How to disable chat notifications on WhatsApp

WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

As useful as the Chat Lock feature is, it might not be quite as discreet as you are hoping. Someone with access to your device won’t be able to access the chats that you’ve locked, but even with the feature enabled, WhatsApp still shows a notification when you receive a message on a locked chat. It won’t reveal the sender or show a message preview, but it will show up as ‘WhatsApp: 1 new message’. Not only will an onlooker see that you have messages from a third party, but they can also see that you have gone to some effort to hide it, which may look even more suspicious.

If you want to ensure that there are no indications from your device that you are having a surreptitious conversation, the best way is to disable chat notifications. You can either do this on individual chats or for all of your WhatsApp messages. We’ll run you through the process of doing both.

How to disable chat notifications from a specific contact or group

There are a couple of ways to mute notifications from a specific chat. If you are on the chat list, you can do the following:

  • Tap and hold on the chat you want to mute.
  • When the chat-specific options appear, press on the mute notifications button at the top of the screen. It’s represented by a speaker icon.
  • On the pop-up menu, select whether you want to mute notifications for eight hours, one week, or always.
  • Then, press OK.

You will now see the mute icon next to that chat, represented by a speaker with a line through it. Whenever you receive a message from that contact or group, no notification will show on your device.

 

Alternatively, if you’re on the chat screen already and you want to mute it, you can press the menu button in the top right corner. It’s represented by three vertical dots. Select Mute notifications, and you’ll get the same pop-up asking how long you want to mute for.

How to disable all WhatsApp notifications

Short of muting every chat individually, it’s not possible to blanket mute all WhatsApp notifications from within the app. But you can do it via your system settings.

  • Go to the settings menu of your device and find the notifications menu. It may be labeled as Notification & status bar or something similar related to notifications.
  • Scroll down through the list of app notifications until you see WhatsApp.
  • If you don’t see the apps list, look for something similar to Manage notifications. Tap on it and the apps list will appear.
  • Toggle the button next to it off. You will disable all notifications from WhatsApp until you turn it back on again. When you open the app later, it may ask you if you wish to enable notifications again.
  • To customize which notifications you receive, tap on the name of the app rather than the toggle button. This will open a further menu in which you can toggle on/off group notifications or individual message notifications.

FAQs

No. When you lock a chat, it only applies to that device. So if you have linked devices, such as WhatsApp web on your laptop, the chat will not be locked there.

No. Chat Lock is essentially an organizational tool for the chats on your device, so there is no indication made to the sender that you have used it.