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How to use WhatsApp Web on the computer
WhatsApp has become the most popular messaging app in the world, but it has now leaped off mobile devices and onto the web. Many of us value seeing our messages come onto our computer screens in real-time as we work, and WhatsApp gives us that option, as well as being able to reply more easily and quickly using our computer keyboards. Here’s everything you need to know about WhatsApp Web and how to get started using it.
To use WhatsApp Web, open a browser and go to https://web.whatsapp.com. You'll need to log in and synchronize WhatsApp Web with WhatsApp on your mobile device by scanning a QR code. Once the connection is made, any messages that appear on your WhatsApp mobile app will instantly appear on the web version.
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What is WhatsApp Web and how does it differ from the desktop app?
WhatsApp Web is the online browser version of WhatsApp mobile. It enables you to receive your messages on your computer screen in real-time, reply by typing on your keyboard, start new conversations, start new groups, and search chat histories for a contact. You can receive message notifications from your browser if you have them enabled in the browser settings.
However, unlike the desktop and mobile apps, it doesn’t allow you to make telephone and video calls. You also can’t change your status. So there are a few shortcomings with the browser version — but nothing that would be a deal-breaker.
What are the differences between WhatsApp Web and the mobile app?
The differences between the web version and mobile app are the same as the desktop app. The mobile app gives you the full WhatsApp experience with all the bells and whistles. The browser version misses out things like calling, video calls, and status updates.
How to access and use WhatsApp Web
Setting up on the web version of WhatsApp is very quick and easy. The following steps assume that you already have an account set up on the mobile app. If not, you need to do that first.
First, go to https://web.whatsapp.com. You’ll see this screen.
The QR code shown on the screen will connect the browser to your WhatsApp mobile app. Open WhatsApp on your mobile device and go to Settings—>Linked Devices. Now tap the blue Link a Device button.
A QR code scanner will now appear on the screen. Point it at the QR code on the WhatsApp browser page and keep pointing it until your WhatsApp messages show up on the screen. Sometimes it takes a minute for the connection to be made between the mobile app and the browser. Eventually, your messages will show.
Now just use it as you would typically use your WhatsApp mobile app.
How to log out of WhatsApp Web and keep it secure
You need to bear in mind a security vulnerability when using the browser version. When you close the browser tab — or the browser completely — it doesn’t log you out of your WhatsApp account. So somebody could reopen the browser tab, access your WhatsApp conversations, and reply as you.
Therefore, if this scenario is likely for you (maybe you have intrusive roommates or a nosy spouse), it’s essential to sign out of your WhatsApp account before closing the browser. You do this by going to Settings—>Linked Devices on your WhatsApp mobile app, selecting the authorized computer and tapping Log Out.
How to use WhatsApp on iPad
One of the most common complaints people make about WhatsApp is the lack of an iPad version. Until WhatsApp rectifies that problem, WhatsApp Web is a nice alternative to use on the tablet.
Simply open a browser on the iPad, log in to https://web.whatsapp.com using the method explained above, and keep it open. If you’re using the Safari browser, you can even make an icon for the screen by tapping the Share button and choosing Add to Home Screen in the menu.
The only downside to using WhatsApp on iPad is that the notifications are pretty terrible. You’re relying on the browser to deliver the notifications, not WhatsApp. So unless you don’t need to reply to messages right away, you would need to keep the browser open and the iPad window awake to see incoming new messages.
Can you video chat on WhatsApp Web?
No, this feature is unavailable.
Can you make a phone call on WhatsApp Web?
No, like video chatting, this feature is unavailable.
Can I update my status on WhatsApp Web?
No, your status can’t be updated.