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

We've rounded up some top tips for everyone's favourite instant messaging service

There are over a billion WhatsApp users worldwide right now. The bad news? Your mum has already found her new favourite way to spam you. The good news? You can easily avoid her on the down-low, and that’s just one of the messaging service’s many secret tips you probably don’t know about.

From disabling its ‘last seen’ feature to bookmarking messages you don’t want to forget about, there are loads of tricks to make your favourite IM app more useful than ever. You just have to be in the know.

Luckily enough, we’ve scoured every inch of WhatsApp to gather up its most useful features. Read these top tips and you’ll be a pro in no time at all.

Send GIFs in a jiffy

GIFs are the new message currency. Why use an emoji when you can send a GIF instead? Why send an static image when you can say so much more with a GIF? You get the gif - er, we mean gist.

How: You don’t have to search the internet for appropriate GIFs. WhatsApp has its own collection of GIFs. Mind blown. Hit the ‘+’ sign as usual, go to Photo & Video Library. See that magnifying glass icon next to GIF?, tap that and you’ll find a collection powered by Tenor. Don’t see what you need? Just tap the search bar to look for the GIF that perfectly sums up your feelings.

You can even star GIFs for future use and even overlay them with your own text and doodles.

Clearing unread message count

Reading all your messages can be hard, especially if your colleagues have the habit of contacting you via WhatsApp. So the buildup of unread messages is inevitable.

But if you’re the obsessive-compulsive sort and our number of unread messages (99 at last count) is making your left eye twitch uncontrollably, there’s a quick way to reset the counter without having to go through each message.

How: Hit Edit in the top left corner, and then Read All at the bottom. Ahh, that must feel good. You can stop twitching now. 

This is also where you can dump or archive multiple chats at once. 

Hop into an individual chat from a group chat

How many group chats are you in right now? Plenty, we bet. Given that you can have up to 256 participants in one group chat, there must be a bit of overlap with your existing individual chats. 

And sometimes there are things you want to say to someone that should never be mentioned in a group setting, but it’s also a pain to go locate that individual chat. There’s a simple way to start an individual chat quickly from a group one.

How: In the group chat, tap and hold the person’s name you wish to speak to in private and Message. You will be teleported right into that individual chat without you having to scroll-search your extensive list of chats.

It’s a minor detail but a really handy shortcut to have around, especially when you want to stop a friend from quickly leaking a secret in a digital group setting. 

Replying to specific messages

We all have that one friend who asks a string of questions at one time. By the time he’s done, you will need to make sure you address his questions directly to make sure your message won’t be subject to misinterpretation. There's an easier way than replying in chronological order.

How: Tap and hold the specific message you want to reply to directly and hit Reply and type your answer. This will then show up as a screenshot of the message you're replying with your answer right below. No room for miscommunication then.