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WhatsApp hack: read a message without the sender finding out

We’ve all been there: You read a WhatsApp message but don’t have time or can’t be bothered to reply promptly. Unfortunately, the sender immediately knows you’ve read their message, putting the emphasis on you to respond or end up seeming rude. But a newly discovered WhatsApp tip lets you avoid that entire awkward scenario, making it ideal for those of us who take a more relaxed approach to our chats.

As regular WhatsApp users will already know, the app notifies you that your message has been read by showing two little blue ticks within the chat bubble. One grey tick means sent, two grey ticks means delivered to recipient, and two blue ticks is the gloriously comforting icon that indicates the message has been seen — got it? Now, let’s find out how to override it.

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If you receive a WhatsApp message that you’re cautious about reading (whatever the scenario), all you have to do is put your phone into “airplane mode” before opening the message. This means the app will now be offline, but any messages received before you made the change will be available in its cache for you to read. To avoid giving the game away, make sure to close WhatsApp before turning airplane mode back on.

If, however, you don’t want to go the extreme length of turning off all your phone’s connectivity just to dodge an uncomfortable situation, there is also another method. The second route you can take to remain undercover on the app, is to remove the stress-inducing tick system altogether. For this option, you have to head into WhatsApp’s settings; once there, select account and then privacy, and then toggle the read receipts tab off. A word of warning for the uninitiated, this method applies to you, too, meaning you won’t be able to see if your sent messages have been read either. Additionally, keep in mind that none of these tips can be employed in group chats, where read receipts are always on.