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Home / Tips and Tricks / Tired of just using WhatsApp on your phone? read this

Tired of just using WhatsApp on your phone? read this



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You are not held hostage to using WhatsApp on your phone.

Image by Jason Cipriani / CNET

WhatsApp, den Facebookknown chat app, is a platform app that makes it too easy and convenient to share messages, photos, videos and GIFs with friends and loved ones from your phone.

But as with all messaging services, it can be difficult to have to stare at the phone screen all day long while group conversations are flooded with messages. Especially when you are sitting at a desk, with a computer right in front of you.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have access to your WhatsApp account on your computer? You can. And it’s incredibly easy to set up.

What you need to use WhatsApp on your computer

Before you can view and manage your conversations on your PC or Mac, you need to make sure that the WhatsApp app on your iPhone or Android the phone is updated by checking for pending updates in the phone’s or app store.

Once done, download and install the Windows or MacOS version of WhatsApp on your computer. Alternatively, if you use a computer that you can not install apps on, visit WhatsApp Web, which is basically a version of the app, but built for your browser.

Keep in mind that your phone must still have mobile data or Wi-Fi connection for the app on your computer to be able to communicate with the app on your phone. So, for example, if you are traveling in another country and your phone does not have a connection, you can not use WhatsApp on a computer.

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Scan the QR code with your phone.

Screenshot of Jason Cipriani / CNET

How to set up WhatsApp Web

Follow these steps to use WhatsApp Web:

1. Go to https://web.whatsapp.com/ with your chosen browser.

2. You see a QR code that you can scan with the WhatsApp phone app. You can access the built-in scanner by opening Menu or settingsand then select WhatsApp Web from the options.

Note that there is a small check box under the QR code that keeps you logged in to that computer by default. Remove the control if you are using a public computer.

3. After scanning the code, you can see your WhatsApp messages on your phone and in the browser. WhatsApp recommends that you leave your phone connected to Wi-Fi and not just mobile data to avoid data overload.

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The desktop app looks and works just like the mobile app, only bigger.

Screenshot of Jason Cipriani / CNET

How to set up WhatsApp’s desktop app

Setting up the desktop app is similar to installing WhatsApp Web, but with one exception – you need to download and install the application first.

1. Download the Mac or Windows version of the app from whatsapp.com/download.

2. Mac users need to unzip the file and then move WhatsApp to the application folder.

3. Windows users must run the .EXE file and follow the instructions.

4. When the app starts, you will see a QR code that you can scan with the WhatsApp phone app. You can access the built-in scanner by opening Menu or settingsand then select WhatsApp Web from the options.

5. Once you have scanned the code, you can see your WhatsApp messages on your phone and in the app. Again, WhatsApp recommends that you leave your phone connected to a Wi-Fi network to reduce the amount of mobile data used.

A quick note on security

Once you have installed the app or are logged in to the web interface, anyone who has access to your computer can see your WhatsApp conversations as long as you are logged in. If your computer is password protected, it’s probably not a big deal. But if you are using WhatsApp Web from a public computer, sign out when you are done. You can do this by clicking on the three-point menu icon and selecting Log out.

If you forget to log out of WhatsApp Web on a computer that is not yours, or if you suspect that someone has gained access to your account, you can log out of all active sessions by visiting the same settings page you used to scan QR code in the mobile app and select Log out of all devices.

If you are a Windows user and are looking for more messaging software, we have some recommendations for chat apps beyond WhatsApp which are worth checking out. If you are just starting out with WhatsApp, make sure that check out our favorite features and learn how to use them.


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