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You might think you know everything about WhatsApp. After all, with more than one billion users, it’s fair to presume that most of you will use it at least once a day.
However, you’re probably wrong. Like anything tech-related, there are always more tricks, tips, and features to learn about and use.
But how can you find out about all these awesome tricks and turn yourself into a bona fide WhatsApp pro? Easy – just read this article!
1. Create Conversation Shortcuts
Are you constantly using WhatsApp to message the same two or three people? Wife? Boyfriend? Dog?
If so, did you know you can streamline your experience by adding a conversation shortcut to your device’s home screen? Just open the app, click on the Chats tab, long press on the conversation you want to create a shortcut for, and select Add Chat Shortcut from the popup menu.
2. Library Images
The WhatsApp sharing feature is a great tool, but sometimes it can get annoying – especially if you’re part of a group that insists on sending hundreds of images of memes and jokes every week. Those images can clog up your library, use valuable memory space, and could be downright embarrassing if they end up in front of the wrong pair of eyes.
It’s easy to stop this happening. Tap on Options (the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner) and head to Settings > Data Usage. Under Media Auto-Download, tap on When Using Mobile Data, When Connected on Wi-Fi, and When Roaming and uncheck all the boxes.
3. Schedule Messages
Are you forgetful? Fed up of overlooking your parents’ anniversary or your sister’s birthday? Fear not, WhatsApp can help.
You’ll need to download a third-party app for this – if you’re on Android you should check out Seebye Scheduler ROOT (free), iOS users should look to Message Scheduler for WhatsApp ($0.99 on Cydia). You’ll need either a rooted or jailbroken device.
4. Blind Carbon Copy
Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) is a frequently used email feature that lets you send out the same message to lots of people without the recipients themselves being aware of who else got the communication.
It’s a little-known fact that WhatsApp allows you to do the same thing. The feature is called Broadcast. To use it, click on Options > New Broadcast and enter the names of the people who you want to send your message to. You’ll be able to see who opened it and receive any responses privately and individually.
5. Lock WhatsApp
Do lots of people use your phone? Perhaps your kids use it to play games or your secretary uses it to field calls on your behalf?
Thankfully, there is a way to lock WhatsApp and keep its contents away from prying eyes. Once again, you need to install a third-party app. If you’re on Android you could try AppLock, iOS users can turn to iAppLock. The Android version will work on vanilla devices; the iOS version will require a jailbroken phone.
6. Supercharge Your Privacy
Sure, if you are only chatting to friends and family it might not be important, but what about if your number is added to a massive group full of strangers for a conference or wedding? You probably don’t want everyone seeing your face and being alerted when you are typing.
The solution is to edit the visibility of your Last Seen status, Profile Photo, Status, and Read Receipts.
To do so, head to Options > Settings > Account > Privacy and make the necessary amendments. You can choose whether everybody, your contacts, or nobody sees your details (though read receipts are just on/off).
7. Mute Chats
So you get added to a group that’s filled with family members or work colleagues. It can be useful at times, but more often than not it’s filled with inane chatter about grandma’s cat or Barry’s spreadsheets.
The problem is, if you leave the group you’re going to cause offence to its other members. After all, why wouldn’t you want to be alerted every time your cousin sends a picture of her new baby doing something “cute”?
Save your integrity by muting chats. Navigate to the chat you want to silence, then tap on Options > Mute. You’ll be given a choice of muting it for eight hours, a week, or a year – and there’s also a checkbox which will allow you to disable its on-screen notifications.
8. Change the Background
WhatsApp has been around since 2010, yet it still uses the same weird background image filled with cartoon doodles. Anything has to be better than that, right?
Luckily, you can change it. Follow Options > Settings > Chats > Wallpaper and you’ll be able to add your own picture from your library, remove the wallpaper altogether for a grey background, or reload the original WhatsApp offering.
How many times have you found yourself frantically scrolling back through old messages to try and find an important phone number or email address?
Save your time and your thumbs by using WhatsApp’s built-in search feature. Just open the chat that you want to search, then tap on Options > Search and enter the phrase you’re looking for.
Sadly, on an iPhone you cannot search individual chats. You’ll need to open your Chats tab and swipe down to reveal your search box.
10. Starred Messages
Of course, instead of desperately searching to find old messages, wouldn’t it be great if you could be proactive and save them at the time they were received?
Lo and behold – you can! Just long press on an individual message then tap on the star icon in the bar at the top of the screen. To see all your starred messages, click on Options > Starred Messages.
What Are Your Favorite WhatsApp Tips and Tricks?
We’ve given you a list of ten, but there are loads more. For example, did you know you could email entire chat histories to yourself? Use WhatsApp without a phone number? Or change the font size? Tell us your favorites!
We’d love it if you added your own tips and tricks to our list. Who knows, perhaps you’ve discovered a little gem that nobody else knows about.