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How to use WhatsApp Web on the computer

If you're regularly at your PC, you might find the web version of WhatsApp very useful.
By
November 14, 2023

WhatsApp has become the most popular messaging app in the world, but it has also 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 the 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.

QUICK ANSWER

To use WhatsApp Web, open a browser and go to 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 browser version, and vice-versa.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7 running Android 14 to develop these steps. We also verified the steps work on Apple devices using an iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.2.

What is WhatsApp Web, and how does it differ from the desktop app?

WhatsApp logo on smartphone next to other devices Stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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 and groups, and search chat histories. You can receive message notifications from your browser if you have them enabled in the browser settings.

However, unlike 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?

WhatsApp stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The differences between the web version and the 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 things like calling, video calls, and status updates.

How to access and use WhatsApp Web

Setting up the browser version of WhatsApp is very quick and easy. The following steps assume you already have an account on the mobile app. If not, you need to do that first.

  1. On your computer, launch your browser and go to web.whatsapp.com.
  2. Now, launch WhatsApp on your phone.
  3. On Android, tap on the three-dot menu icon and select Linked devices. On iPhone, tap on the Settings tab and select Linked devices.
  4. Tap on Link a device.
  5. Use the phone’s camera to scan the QR code on WhatsApp Web.
  6. That’s it. After a few seconds, your chats will be accessible through WhatsApp Web.
How to access and use WhatsApp Web (1)

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. If you’re worried about your privacy, it’s essential to sign out of your WhatsApp account before closing the browser.

  1. On your smartphone, launch WhatsApp.
  2. On Android, tap on the three-dot menu icon and select Linked devices. On iPhone, tap on the Settings tab and select Linked devices.
  3. Tap on the linked computer.
  4. Hit 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 Facebook rectifies that problem, WhatsApp Web is an excellent alternative to use on the tablet. The process is very similar.

  1. Open a browser on the iPad and go to web.whatsapp.com.
  2. You will see the QR code on the screen.
  3. Follow the same smartphone steps mentioned above to connect your iPad to WhatsApp.
  4. 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.
safari add to home screen

The only downside to using WhatsApp on an 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 immediately, you would need to keep the browser open and the iPad window awake to see incoming new messages.

 


FAQs

No, video calls are unavailable on WhatsApp Web.

No, like video chatting, this audio calls on WhatsApp Web are unavailable.

No, you can’t update your status on WhatsApp Web.