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WhatsApp has always been a mobile-first messaging app. This makes the app feel more personal since you can only use it on your phone. That changed last week when WhatsApp finally released WhatsApp Web.

WhatsApp on the web is extremely simple to setup and use. In the past, you had to use complicated workarounds like using BlueStacks to run the Android app on your computer and then tricking it into thinking it's on a mobile device.

To start using WhatsApp on the web, you need to Chrome (PC | Mac), Firefox (PC | Mac), or Opera (PC | Mac) and the latest version of WhatsApp for Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry. iPhone users are out of luck as "platform limitations" prevent WhatsApp for iPhone from communicating with web browsers.

Setup

As mentioned earlier, you'll need to download one of the browsers listed above and the latest version of WhatsApp. Then visit https://web.whatsapp.com.

You should now see a QR code on the screen. There's a checkbox to keep you signed in so you don't have to scan a new QR code every time you want to use WhatsApp on your computer.

WhatsApp Web header

On your phone, launch the WhatsApp app and tap on the menu button. On Android, it's the three dots at the top right of your chat list. You'll see an option called WhatsApp Web. Tap on that and a QR code scanner will pop up. Scan the QR code displayed in your browser and you're done!

WhatsApp Web Android setup

WhatsApp Web features

WhatsApp Web is basically a watered down version of the phone app so not all of WhatsApp's features are available yet. Facebook will likely introduce more features into WhatsApp Web later on. For now here's what WhatsApp Web can do.

Start new private chats

At the top, you'll see a chat icon where you can pull up a list of your contacts to start chatting with. Your current chats are listed in the main menu already.

WhatsApp Web menu button

WhatsApp Web is limited to starting new private chats so you'll have to start a group chat on your phone. This is a minor annoyance but not a deal breaker.

Type new line using Shift + Enter

Many users are asking if it's possible to change the Enter key from sending a message to creating a new line instead. You can't change the keyboard stroke but you can simply create a new line in a message by pressing Shift + Enter.

Take or attach pictures

Attach pics

I'm happy to see that WhatsApp Web supports attaching photos. At the top of your chat, there's a paperclip icon. Click on that to choose between using your web cam to take a photo or attaching one. It works just like it would on your phone.

If you do want to use your web cam to take a photo, your browser will ask you for permission to access your camera. Click on Allow and your camera can now take a picture of you.

Allow camera

Snooze notifications and toggle sounds

In the menu, you can toggle sounds if you want to chat in silence. You can also snooze notifications for one hour/day/week if you're being overwhelmed. You can disable desktop alerts altogether as well. If you leave desktop alerts on, you'll get a pop up every time you receive a new message.

Snooze notifications

View contact info

To the right of the paperclip icon is the menu button (three dots). Clicking on this gives you the option to view your contact's info.

Contact info

For private chats, this includes a contact's phone number, profile picture and status. In group chats, this option displays who's in the group chat and their names/phone numbers.

Wrap-up: Keep your phone charged

Setting up and using WhatsApp inside a browser is super easy but there's one bit limitation that will irk some users: your phone has to be connected to the internet in order to use WhatsApp Web.

This is because WhatsApp Web relies on the WhatsApp app on your phone to send and receive messages. This also means that there's a possibility of you going over your bandwidth cap if you're constantly sending photos over cellular data. You can fix this by making sure you're on Wi-Fi whenever possible.

If your phone's out of battery, you're out of luck. Keep your phone plugged in or make sure it has a healthy amount of juice to keep chatting on the web.

Have questions about WhatsApp? We answer the most common questions here.

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Follow me on Twitter: @lewisleong

Commented

  • Miftah |
    04/06/13
    Miftah

    Your emulator has reached its 10 minute limit and has been closed. Paying customers aren't time limited to 10 minutes. :(

  • Sandz |
    08/06/13
    Sandz

    Am also getting that. What is up with that? :(

  • reshma |
    15/06/13
    reshma

    it took me upto 7 minutes to read it and then one whole hour to do it

  • Nirav |
    25/06/13
    Nirav

    can we use without downloading software

  • spam |
    26/06/13
    spam

    SPAM dont download, its a virus

  • sreesanth |
    07/07/13
    sreesanth

    really !

  • simon |
    10/07/13
    simon

    its cool

  • siime |
    17/07/13
    siime

    is this for free

  • NIkhil Gautam |
    19/07/13
    NIkhil Gautam

    frdz download bluestack... and enjoy .. all the app of android

  • Pankaj Joshi |
    20/07/13
    Pankaj Joshi

    COOL :)

  • kunal |
    26/07/13
    kunal

    try bluestack instead. Its faster than this, works like actual smartphone and its FREE!!!!

  • Frashish |
    07/08/13
    Frashish

    I want to try it... Because I want to leave my smartphone.... Manymo....!!!!

  • ashutosh tomer |
    10/08/13
    ashutosh tomer

    its owesomeeeeeeeee

  • NASREEN KHAN |
    10/08/13
    NASREEN KHAN

    what'sapp is a user friendly app ......desend app

  • dee |
    17/08/13
    dee

    10 mins ONLY

  • Sxey |
    22/08/13
    Sxey

    Gud but very slow

  • Sensi |
    28/08/13
    Sensi

    try bluestack

  • nesy |
    31/08/13
    nesy

    got frustrated closing & opening the site.... even cursed my network connection... :@ still it processing only.. ridiculous... very slow...

  • talharaziq |
    11/11/13
    talharaziq

    I dont know why bluestack is not working in my system i saw my cousin using that software for whatsapp it was working perfectly there ! but idk why not on my system :(

    help

  • |
    07/01/14

    i ask one question the whats app will operating same time in mobile and computer without any conformation coad????

  • ycngceline88 |
    06/03/14
    ycngceline88

    where can download Whatsapp Messanger for Pc and is free thx

  • vinay.naik.524 |
    25/03/14
    vinay.naik.524

    nice

  • |
    31/03/14

    nice

  • johnkinyanjuindungu |
    13/05/14
    johnkinyanjuindungu

    nice

  • noorul.amin.332 |
    01/06/14
    noorul.amin.332

    good

  • chaliwest |
    07/06/14
    chaliwest

    awesome

  • |
    15/06/14

    hallelujah awesome

  • muntasir.sulaiman.1 |
    22/10/14
    muntasir.sulaiman.1

    i cn't download whatsapp on my laptop. please help

  • 100006272628621 |
    07/11/14
    100006272628621

    I think its imposible!!!

  • Pdharshini |
    12/11/14
    Pdharshini

    my whatsapp got installed..but when i close it and want to start it again..how to do it??plzzz explain..!!

  • |
    05/12/14

    nice

  • javiereduardo |
    16/12/14
    javiereduardo

    You will need to create a new WhatsApp account for Manymo; the emulator will not allow preexisting accounts. whats the point?

  • javiereduardo |
    16/12/14
    javiereduardo

    You will need to create a new WhatsApp account for Manymo; the emulator will not allow preexisting accounts. whats the point?

  • bhavsinghv |
    07/01/15
    bhavsinghv

    iam not able to re use it what to do for re use after closing of browser

  • kamleshnishad |
    09/01/15
    kamleshnishad
  • |
    28/01/15

    good time to know how to use whatsap

  • sethraunaq |
    29/01/15
    sethraunaq

    what about iphone ...there is no webapp option coming on my watsapp in my iphone n its updated to the latest version

  • 100002326273326 |
    30/01/15
    100002326273326

    it is awsomee.. we can use it for free and it is damn simple :*

  • lewis.leong |
    03/02/15
    lewis.leong

    @sethraunaq: There's no way to use WhatsApp Web on the iPhone at the moment.

  • bikerup |
    03/02/15
    bikerup

    COOL: thanks WhatsappTime is awesome!!!

  • KIshoreKumar |
    04/02/15
    KIshoreKumar

    please suggest me....QR code is not displaying in my desktop screen

  • KIshoreKumar |
    04/02/15
    KIshoreKumar

    Please guide me...QR code is not displaying in my desktop screen.

  • lewis.leong |
    11/02/15
    lewis.leong

    @KIshoreKumar: Are you running the latest versions of both Chrome and WhatsApp? Note that this doesn't currently work with iPhones.

  • chaitra.sowmya |
    16/02/15
    chaitra.sowmya

    can i download whatsapp to windows7 32bit..??

  • edu.shabaduu |
    19/02/15
    edu.shabaduu

    Cool Stuff. Is it possible to import my contacts via excel file or csv through the desktop as automatic upload of contact in sync with the phone?

  • Yograj Kumar |
    20/02/15
    Yograj Kumar

    good

  • thomas.dita |
    21/02/15
    thomas.dita

    How to install whatsapp in computer?pls help me now.

  • |
    25/02/15

    please suggest me....QR code is not displaying in my desktop scree

  • donivsaini |
    07/03/15
    donivsaini

    i cant download whatsapp in my pc plz help

  • AMBASSADEUR DARO |
    13/03/15
    AMBASSADEUR DARO

    EVRY THINK IS OK

28/07/15
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