33 secret WhatsApp tricks you (probably) didn't know about

8) Go incognito

You can’t get away with not replying to messages if people can see when you were last online, so turn off WhatsApp’s ‘last seen’ feature to go incognito. Now you can ignore people at your leisure...

How: It’s in the Privacy menu, under Last Seen, and if you want you can hide from everybody, or only allow your contacts to see your activity.

9) Send messages with your voice

If you’re busy cooking, eating or juggling, replying to messages can be a real faff. But thanks to Siri on iOS and Google Assistant on Android, you can reply without touching your phone. 

How: Holler “Hey Siri” or “OK Google”, say “send a WhatsApp to Jonny” and you can dictate your missive about missing Jonny’s wedding because of your juggling practice instead.

10) Send public invites privately

If you’ve got a generic announcement to make - an invite to a weekend BBQ or an intervention about your friend's unhealthy obsession with KFC - and you don’t want to do it on the loudmouth platform that is Facebook, this feature works in pretty much the same way as BCC-ing people in an email.

Your recipients will get the message as if it was a privately composed one, oblivious to the fact that you’ve sent the exact same invite to 342 other people. Sincerity? What's that?

How: On the top-left-hand corner of your WhatsApp Chats window, just below the search bar, you’ll notice a Broadcast Lists. Tap on it for the option to create a new list of contacts you want your message to go out to, and message away like you would normally. Nobody will be any the wiser.

11) Stay selectively notified

Not all group chats are created equal, with some filled with little more than white noise. But there is a simple way to avoid reaching for the phone every time you get a new notification. Just assign different tones to different groups or contacts on WhatsApp and you'll know who's posting without even having to pick up your phone.

How: Go to the significant group chats, tap on the name to bring up Group Info and then Custom Notifications. There, you can select a custom message alert for the group chats of your choice. All you have to do now is remember which alert tone you assigned to which group chat. This customisation now works for both groups and individual chats.

12) Back everything up

Worried about losing a year’s worth of messages? You needn't be. WhatsApp knows how precious your chat history is to you and secures it all for you in the cloud.

How: iPhone users get the option of backing their chat history to iCloud automatically on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule, and can choose to back up with or without videos. Head to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup to set your preferences for that.

For Android users to do the same, go to Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup, which will let you set up an automatic Google Drive backup. The next time you install WhatsApp from fresh on any device, you can simply select the Google Drive backup option at the setup screen, to have all your up-to-date messages injected into your device, straight from the cloud. 

Just interested in the one conversation? Both operating systems allow you to just save the deets of one special chat by going into your chosen convo and selecting to send it to yourself. On iOS, click your contact's name in chat > Export Chat, or on Android, click three dots > More > Email Chat.

13) Save your media (and data allowance)

When you’re on a 1GB data plan, every byte counts; you don’t want to be slapped with a hefty bill at the end of the month from sending stupid shareable memes and screenshots of every little thing. Handily, there’s a way to make sure that all that heavy-duty image sending won’t eat up what little complimentary data you might have in your plan.

How: On iOS, go to Settings > Data and Storage Usage and tweak the settings for how you want your received media to be downloaded. Choose Wi-Fi if you don’t want to overload your data plan. Alternatively, you can trigger downloads manually by switching Auto-Download to Never. You can also save the hassle of having to clean up your camera roll every so often by tweaking Save To Camera Roll off in the Chats menu.

For Android, head to Settings > Data Usage for similar controls.

14) Draw on your pics

If a picture paints a thousand words, scrawling all over the top of them can only add a few more. Especially if the picture is of a load of sausages.

How: Once you’ve picked the picture you want to send from your camera roll, use the icons at the top of the screen to add words, draw pictures, or chuck in an emoji or eight.

15) Star messages for later

When dinner time rolls around, the last thing you want to do is scroll through 352 frivolous messages to find the address of the restaurant you're meeting your friends at. Fortunately, WhatsApp lets you bookmark certain messages for easy access.

How: On iOS, long hold or double tap on any message and tap on the star icon to mark it. To find it again, all you have to do is tap on the chat’s name, and tap on Starred Messages to see all the messages you’ve marked out. On Android, long hold on the message then click the star icon at the top of the screen. To find your starred messages, just hit the three dots icon in the top-right and got to Starred Messages.

You can also see conversation context by either tapping on the arrow next to the message (iOS) on tapping on the message itself (Android). This will bring you back to the exact place in the chat. Messages can also be unstarred when you’re done with them, and viewed in their entirety in the main settings menu.

1
2
3
4