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How to Install Whatsapp for Mac OS X: What You Need to Know

Mihir Patkar 07-10-2015

What do you mean you aren’t using WhatsApp? This is one of the fastest growing social networks you should join Here Are the Fastest Growing Social Networks You Need to Join While Facebook holds the lion's share of the social market, new services like Kik, Snapchat and WhatsApp threaten to break Facebook's stranglehold on the social Internet. Read More . Look, if you haven’t got it because you’re a Mac user and think it doesn’t work with Macs or iPhones, you’re mistaken. Let’s get WhatsApp working on OS X, shall we?


Now, WhatsApp is primarily a phone-based instant messaging service. It’s great for Android Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed A moment of introspection, please: What do you do more often - call people using your phone, or text them? I would bet it's the latter. For many people, texting is more convenient than calling.... Read More , it’s great for iPhone WhatsApp - The Perfect iPhone Messenger App Read More . Yes, you can use it without a phone and I’ll show you how, but the bottom line is that it’s best to use it on your phone. The messages you get on your phone can then be relayed to your Mac. Cool?

With that in mind, go get the app for your phone first and set it up:

Download: WhatsApp for iPhone (Free)
Download: WhatsApp for Android (Free)

The Simplest Choice: WhatsApp Web


Once you have WhatsApp set up on your phone, WhatsApp Web is the official and easiest way to get WhatsApp on Mac. Setup is super simple too.

  1. Go to How to Use WhatsApp Web on PC: The Ultimate Guide WhatsApp Web is the easy way to use WhatsApp messenger. Here's everything you need to know on how to use WhatsApp Web on your PC. Read More on Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari browsers.
  2. On your phone, tap WhatsApp > Menu (three dot icon) > WhatsApp Web > “+” icon
  3. Point your phone’s camera to the QR Code you see on your screen.

WhatsApp will detect the code and sync your phone’s client with your computer’s. And just like that, your entire WhatsApp chat history, contacts, and other data will be mirrored to your browser.

WhatsApp Web cannot do everything the phone client can, but includes several useful features like using your keyboard to type, desktop alerts, sharing photos or audio, and more.

Notable missing options are making WhatsApp Voice calls WhatsApp Voice Call: Everything You Need to Know Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has finally launched a new voice calling service, enabling users to make phone calls over the Internet. Read More , blocking users, and starting a group chat. For more details, here is everything you need to know about WhatsApp Web How to Use WhatsApp Web on PC: The Ultimate Guide WhatsApp Web is the easy way to use WhatsApp messenger. Here's everything you need to know on how to use WhatsApp Web on your PC. Read More .

Since it first released, WhatsApp Web has changed or added several items, like support for iPhones, browsers other than Chrome, changing profile pictures, and more.


ChitChat, a Dedicated WhatsApp Web Client


Chrome has a nasty habit of hogging RAM This is How Google is Fixing Chrome's Memory Problems and Discarding Tabs Google Chrome is just so slow and annoying. Right? Google is now rolling out major changes to the browser that fix memory problems and actively discards unused tabs. Read More , so if you don’t want an open tab doing that with WhatsApp Web, then consider downloading ChitChat. This is a standalone Mac app that is basically a web page wrapper for WhatsApp Web.

Once you download and install ChitChat, it works exactly like how WhatsApp Web does in any browser, so the setup is the same as the steps above. The difference? You can ditch Chrome and still use this. It even supports notifications for new messages! The app can also be set to sign in automatically when you start.

ChitChat has a few bugs that show up from time to time. In the screenshot above, you can see how the first contact has the close/minimize buttons overlaying it—that’s not how it always looks, it’s a bug that goes away when you resize the window. These are small bugs and nothing that is a deal-breaker.


Direct Download: ChitChat v1.3 (zip)

Use PushBullet for Notifications and Quick Replies

We’ve previously mentioned how Pushbullet connects your Android and computer Pushbullet Puts Your Android And PC On The Same Wavelength Find out how you can keep your Android perfectly synced with your PC -- push your phone's notifications to your desktop, share files, and much more! Read More , and an update earlier this year made it even better. Now, you can reply to incoming WhatsApp messages on your phone through a notification on your screen.

Not everyone will want WhatsApp Web and this is a less intrusive solution to use WhatsApp from your computer once in a while without reaching for your phone. Here’s what you need:

  1. Download and install Pushbullet for OS X.
  2. Download and install Pushbullet for Android.
  3. Sign in with the same account on both devices and follow the in-app instructions to connect them.
  4. On Android, go to Pushbullet > Menu > Mirroring > Show my notifications on my PC and enable it.
  5. On Mac, go to Pushbullet > Preferences > Settings > Enable Pushbullet Notifications and check the box.
  6. This will enable notifications for all chat and text apps. If you want only WhatsApp and nothing else, then on your Android, go to Pushbullet > Menu > Mirroring > Only for some apps and select only WhatsApp in the list.

Now, the next time you get a message on WhatsApp, it will show up like this notification on your Mac, which you can quickly reply to or dismiss:



Note: This method does not work with WhatsApp and Pushbullet on iPhones, it only works with Android smartphones.

The No-Phone WhatsApp Setup: BlueStacks


In case you don’t want WhatsApp installed on your phone but still want to use it occasionally from your Mac, there’s still a way. All you need is an app called BlueStacks.

Simply put, BlueStacks lets you run Android apps on Mac OS X How to Run Android Apps on macOS If you want to run Android apps on your Mac laptop or desktop computer, this is how you do it. Read More . It’s an emulator. But to set up WhatsApp, you will still need access to a phone—but not necessarily a smartphone. You just need any mobile phone where you can receive a good old phone call.

Chris has detailed the step-by-step guide to run WhatsApp on computers How To Run WhatsApp & Other Mobile Messaging Apps On Your PC Most mobile messaging apps don't offer a desktop client or web interface and not even a Windows 8 app. We show you a workaround for running the Android versions on your Windows or Mac computer. Read More , but here’s a quick run-through:

  1. Download and install BlueStacks on Mac OS X.
  2. Run BlueStacks and sign in with your Google account.
  3. Search for WhatsApp in BlueStack and install it.
  4. Go through the setup process till you reach the point where WhatsApp asks for your number. Give the number of the phone where you can receive a regular phone call.
  5. WhatsApp will try to verify the number with an SMS but be unsuccessful. This takes about four minutes, so you’ll have to wait. Once it is unsuccessful, WhatsApp will prompt to call you with a verification code. Accept this toll-free call.
  6. Answer the call when your phone rings, and you will hear a verification code. Key it into the Verification Code Box in WhatsApp on BlueStacks.
  7. Follow the steps to finish installation and you’re ready to use WhatsApp on your Mac.


With this method, you cannot use WhatsApp on your phone and Mac at the same time. WhatsApp will only be active on your computer, not your smartphone. If you use the same number to install WhatsApp elsewhere, whether on your phone or another computer, it will no longer work on this setup.

Personally, I don’t recommend this method as WhatsApp is best on a phone, what with its myriad tips and tricks to make WhatsApp better 9 Essential WhatsApp Tips and Tricks You Should Know Here are some essential WhatsApp tips and tricks you may not know exist. But once you do, you're likely to make use of them. Read More .

Do You Use WhatsApp on a Computer?

Have you tried WhatsApp Web or any of the other options mentioned above? Do you find WhatsApp useful on a computer? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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  1. Tom
    August 14, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I managed to get this working - I have an old phone but needed WhatsApp on my Mac. I downloaded and installed BlueStacks following the instructions above - a bit clunky but I got there. I then downloaded the easier to use 'WhatsApp for Mac' from This required a QR code which I got by holding the computer up to a mirror with the QR code loaded up. However, I couldn't get any contacts as I have never used WhatsApp. However, friends are able to find me on their WhatsApp. I am able to use WhatsApp for Mac so long as BlueStacks was also open.

  2. Allan Prittie
    January 9, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Good afternoon,
    I have just installed WhatsApp on my MacBook Pro (macOS Sierra version 10.12.2). I would like to add my contacts list to WhatsApp. I haven't been able to find how to do this. I wonder if you could help me. Thanks in advance for that. Allan

    • Lily Andreoni
      April 28, 2017 at 10:44 am

      I've got the same problem. Since I don't have a smartphone I'm not able to add my not-existing-contacts. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

      • Tom
        August 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        Hi, I had the same problem but my wife managed to find me and add me so I think people with your number already should be able to find you on their WhatsApp - but you won't be able to find them. I downloaded BlueStacks and then WhatsApp for Mac - keeping both open but using the regular app as it's less glitchy. I hope that helps.

  3. jessica mclaughlin
    January 5, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    this is so silly , my phone broke so i decided to get whatsapp on my mac..... but it askes me to check my phone for a code? HELLOOOO i dont have a phone.. it broke, thats why i needed to do it in the first place uhg

  4. Michael Praschma
    July 30, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Desperately looking for a switch from BlueStacks to WhatsApp Web for Mac: It‘s QR code on the Mac svreen is waiting for being photographed, but the phone number successfully used for BlueStacks belongs to a good ol' cell phone with abolutely no interest in QR codes.

    Any solution for this?

    • Mrobo
      August 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Im afraid no solution sir, because to use Whatsapp Web you must scan the QR code, and that phone must also have internet capabilities, wifi recommended.

    • Alex
      November 6, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Bluestacks will use your computer's webcam in the same way that a smartphone would use a camera. I managed to set up Whatsapp app with Bluestacks by taking a photograph of the QR code in the Whatsapp app on my Macbook using someone else's phone, then I moved over into Bluestack and put the screen of the phone up to the webcam so the QR code could be scanned.

      It worked perfectly and now I am able to use the Macbook version of Whatsapp without a smartphone or constantly switching to Bluestack.

      • Michael Praschma
        November 6, 2016 at 5:45 pm

        @Alex: Sounds cute. But there's a step missing I fear:
        1) I made a screenshot of the QR code, printed it and took a photo with BlueStack's camera.
        2) Where the heck is it?
        3) The WhatsApp App is on my Computer, but there's nothing in the file menu to start with.
        Any idea? (I mean, what difference can it make wether I present a printed QR code ore the screen of a samrtphone to BlueStack's cem?)

  5. Wim
    May 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    The official mac app is now available for download. You should definitely add it to this post! :)