WhatsApp Web is a browser version of the popular WhatsApp Messenger chat and video/voice calling app from iOS and Android. Desktop WhatsApp comes in two flavors — a downloadable system app for Mac and Windows or the ability to operate directly from the browser.
WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop function as extensions of your mobile WhatsApp account, and all messages are synced between your phone and your computer, so you can view conversations on any device regardless of where they are initiated. Here, we’ll walk you through how to use the WhatsApp browser app.
The process and interface are identical in iOS 13 and iOS 14. Similarly, the Android 10 interface is the same as the previous version.
How to use WhatsApp Web
To launch WhatsApp Web, just click on its URL in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, or Edge and scan the QR code on the page with the WhatsApp mobile app from your phone. WhatsApp Web automatically launches in the browser and remains active until you log out on your computer or phone.
- Go to the WhatsApp website to link WhatsApp Web with your mobile phone app.
- Launch WhatsApp on your iPhone or Android mobile phone.
- Scan the QR code that appears on the site with your phone open to WhatsApp.
- On the iPhone tap Settings > WhatsApp Web/Desktop.
- Tap Scan QR code and hold your phone up to the code to pair it.
- On Android phones, tap on the three dots at the upper right from the Chat pane.
- Tap on WhatsApp Web and scan the QR code.
- Your smartphone account is now linked to the web version of the app.
- From there you can send and receive messages from your computer’s desktop browser.
WhatsApp Web features
After scanning the QR code, you can view your WhatsApp chat list directly on the web page. On the left, you can see your chats by clicking a contact to open the chat and your message history, if you saved it.
On the top left of the Web page, three icons are available: Status, New chat, and Menu, which offers a list of nested options. The Status option reveals all statuses posted by your contacts along with the ability to respond from the reply area at the bottom of the pane. Clicking New chat opens the contacts list on the left side of the page. From here, you can create a new group or begin a conversation.
The three-dot drop-down menu lets you create a new group, change information in your profile, search archived chats, view starred messages, change settings like notifications and chat wallpaper, or log out.
WhatsApp Web is as easy to use as the mobile app, and the interface will look familiar. To send a message from your desktop, click on an existing chat or click on the New chat icon and select the contact you wish to interact with. Here, you can see previous chats, if they are saved, or alternately you see the message bar at the bottom. Click on the Type a message bar and start chatting. When you’re done with your message, click the Enter key on your keyboard to transmit — or just click on the Send icon.
If you want to include documents, images, or recordings, just attach the files from your desktop and send them as you would any other message by clicking on the paper clip Attach icon at the top of the current chat.
Install WhatsApp on your system
WhatsApp also offers the option of a desktop client for Windows or Mac that you can download directly from the WhatsApp site. It looks identical to the web app. After downloading on Windows, follow the installer steps. On a Mac, drag the WhatsApp icon to your Applications folder. Then, launch the desktop app. As with the web browser version, you’ll get a prompt to scan a QR code in a similar manner to the web version. WhatsApp keeps you logged in until you’re ready to log out.
To log out, return to the WhatsApp menu on your phone and choose Log out from all devices, or on your computer by tapping the three-dot icon at the top of the conversation, and choosing the Log out option.
Desktop video calling planned
WhatsApp is planning to implement multi-party desktop videoconferencing within its web app to accommodate up to 50 participants. This would provide an alternative to Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet, which promises to be extremely convenient for WhatsApp users. The feature is still in beta and has not been released to the general public as yet. Group video chats are already available in the mobile versions of the app.
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