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WhatsApp Video Calling Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Mihir Patkar Updated 29-01-2019

WhatsApp connects over a billion users around the world. They’re able to communicate through text messages or by using WhatsApp voice calling. And like any instant messenger, WhatsApp’s video calling is robust and feature rich.


WhatsApp Video Calling? You Need to Know This

image depicting whatsapp video call in progress on two screens

Video calling is exactly what it sounds like. You “call” a contact you have on WhatsApp, and both of you can see each other on your smartphone screens. It’s what Skype has been doing for years.

WhatsApp video calling works across both Android and iOS. This makes WhatsApp one of the best smartphone apps for cross-platform video calls Best Smartphone Apps for Free Cross-Platform Video Calls It doesn't matter your platform -- from Mac to PC to Android and everything in between -- one of these apps will let you make video calls. Read More .

WhatsApp video calling is technically free, in the sense that WhatsApp isn’t charging you any money to make the call. However, video calls require an internet connection, so they will be consuming data from your phone’s data plan. If you are using WhatsApp to call someone over a Wi-Fi connection, your phone’s network carrier (e.g. AT&T, Vodafone, etc.) won’t charge you anything. A quick reminder, you can check how much data WhatsApp is using thanks to these WhatsApp tricks everyone should know 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 .

To ensure you get all the features, download the latest version of WhatsApp.


Download: WhatsApp for Android | iOS (Free)

This is the only official way to get WhatsApp video calling. Don’t fall for WhatsApp scams 4 WhatsApp Scams You Need to Beware Of and Avoid Like with anything on the internet that has millions of users, scammers are targeting WhatsApp. You need to know the common WhatsApp scams and how to protect yourself from them. Read More that offer other ways to get the feature.

What You Can Do With WhatsApp Video Calling

stock image shows four-way chat on whatsapp video calling

WhatsApp video calling are part of the existing voice calls feature. Placing a video call is pretty simple. Tap the contact you want to talk to, and tap the video camera icon next to their name.


The other person can answer the call (swipe up the blue button), reject the call (swipe up the red phone button), or reject the call and send a text instead (swipe up the message button). If they answer, you’re ready to go.

By default, WhatsApp video calls use the front-facing camera of your phone. However, you can switch this to the rear camera at any point with a tap on the screen. It’s seamless and just works.

You can also mute the microphone, so the other person can see you but not hear you. To mute the audio from the speakers, use your phone’s volume buttons.

Better Internet Speeds for WhatsApp Video Calling

Whenever you make a video call, WhatsApp does not assume any internet speed. So it will calculate your speed each time, and adjust the video quality accordingly. This makes a remarkable difference to how good the video looks.


One Redditor made a short video (linked above) comparing WhatsApp video calls with Apple’s FaceTime. WhatsApp looks far better in that particular battle.

We tried WhatsApp video calling on 4G, 3G, and 2G networks, and it worked on all three. The 2G network’s video quality was poor and pixelated, but it was still smooth enough to know what was happening on screen. The lack of lag was refreshing.

Multitasking While on a WhatsApp Video Call

Screenshot of Whatsapp video chat in progress between mother and daughter

The second highlight of WhatsApp’s video calls is the multitasking feature. Most smartphone video calls force you to use the video call and nothing else. You can’t multitask. However, WhatsApp has no such restrictions.


You can tap the “Message” button at any point to check other messages that someone has sent you on WhatsApp, and even reply to them. To return to your video call, just tap the green bar at the top of the app.

Group WhatsApp Video Calls

You can make a WhatsApp video call with up to four people at the same time. Group video calls obviously consume more data as well.

To place a group video call, first start a one-on-one call with anyone in your contact list. Then tap the “Add Participant” button (it looks like a person’s icon, with a plus sign next to it) in the top-right corner of the screen. Now choose another person to invite, and repeat the process for up to four people in total.

It’s simple and easy, but the four-person restriction is annoying. Plus you need everyone else to have WhatsApp too. While it’s good for an informal chat, we still think is the best option Move Over Google Plus Hangouts. Is Here & It's Really Good People have been crying out for a decent video conferencing app for ages. We thought that was Google Plus. We were wrong. Meet Read More  if you want to talk to more people, without any sign-ups or app requirements.

No WhatsApp Web or Desktop Support

Another image of mother and daughter using Whatsapp to chat

Currently, WhatsApp video calls are not supported on WhatsApp Web or the desktop app.

While WhatsApp requires a smartphone and an active internet connection, you can still use it on a computer. You can do it via the WhatsApp desktop client WhatsApp Desktop Client for Windows & Mac Is Only Second Best WhatsApp released a Microsoft Store app, a wrapper for its desktop app. Notifications and keyboard shortcuts aside, it's identical to WhatsApp Web. Read More or the WhatsApp Web client 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 . However, neither of these support video calls.

On the other hand, apps like Skype or FaceTime are available on both computers and phones, and can make video calls between a computer and a phone.

How Much Data Do WhatsApp Video Calls Use?

this screenshot shows a daughter chatting with her mother using Whatsapp video calling on the iPhone

WhatsApp’s focus is to make the video call look as good as possible. So if it can give you higher quality, it’s going to do that. And that results in high data usage. If you’re not on Wi-Fi, this can quickly eat through cellular data caps.

On average, we found a minute’s call to use 5MB of data on 4G, 3.75MB on 3G, and 3MB on 2G. This isn’t bad at all, and much less than what we expected. A few Twitter users also recorded similar numbers.

WhatsApp’s settings have an option to reduce the data used on voice calls. If you’re worried about data usage, you can try this option to see if it also reduces video call data.

There’s Much More to WhatsApp

WhatsApp Video calling is an essential tool in any instant messenger, and WhatsApp has done a great job with it. The service is only improving with every passing day, and getting more stable and reliable.

That said, voice calling is just one small part of WhatsApp. There is so much more that the app offers, which makes it more than an instant messenger and actually turns it into a social network in its own right. In case you’ve missed some over the years, check out our list of the best new WhatsApp features The Best New WhatsApp Features You Might Have Missed WhatsApp is constantly adding new features. We identify and track the best new features added to WhatsApp over the years. Read More .

Related topics: Video Chat, WhatsApp.

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  1. Jill
    May 25, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Whatsapp video calling is mainly for social and casual interactions. For business video calling and conferences, one can use apps like R-HUB HJD video conferencing servers. It allows 30 people to connect via a video conference.

  2. Shadow
    April 5, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Since I moved down to UA, I can't make either audio or video WhatsApp calls.
    What could be the problem?

  3. Sayyadmohammed
    June 26, 2019 at 4:53 am

    How can I see a video call that I already make when I go on calls I am seeing 10 15 20 mbs an I am wondering where do it store for me to see it back like if your gf or bf if cheating on u an u want to see what there video call was about how do I get it to see please reply need to hear thos

  4. Susan
    July 14, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    While on a video call on WhatsApp, can u also screenshot? Would the other person know? Sometimes my friend will pause her video for less than 5 seconds but I can still hear her. Just wondering if she is screenshotting.

  5. Jude
    June 26, 2018 at 11:56 am

    please I would like to know, is the data charge on whatsapp call on both parties or on the caller alone?

  6. Kate
    April 2, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    I can't figure out how to manage the videos of me and the person I'm video calling with. What I mean is that it's usually the face of the other person I can see and my face in a square below; sometimes they swap (I don't know how and when this happens); sometimes the square below disappears at all and I can't see what my friend can see, etc. How do I manage this small square with my face during a video call, please?

    • LongIslandDave
      December 25, 2019 at 8:45 pm

      Did you know you can swap the images around on the video chat? When you start video chat, your image is small in the top right corner, and the other party is on the main screen, full screen.
      To swap the images - say you want to see more clearly the piece of paper you are showing them - simply tap on the small image, and the 2 images will swap. Tap it again to swap back.

  7. Lalhmingliani renthlei
    March 16, 2018 at 6:00 am

    I have tried whatsapp video call with my friends,im in india and my friend is in england,when ever we try to video chat,we cant see each other,although he can see me a bit but i cant see his face.its totally dark ,and if you can solve my problem ill be very glad, s+

  8. Martin Eady
    March 4, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Used this app was impressed but can anyone else see you talking to each other or is it a private line like a phone call would normally be ??

  9. Jago cheri
    January 28, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Whatsapp should have the ability to take a person's picture on screen while you are having a video chat with them.

  10. Kat Woman
    October 26, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    One of my friends and I are trying to video chat and we can talk for two minutes then it just keeps saying "Reconnecting" and beeping. Why is that? Do we both need to be using wifi or can one have wifi and the other have data? Please help???

  11. sabs
    October 11, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    i have observed that when someone video calls me , i can see myself on the video even if i dont receive the call. i wonder if the caller can see me too, i hope not!! can anyone tell me please? i know it sounds silly but still clarity would be nice.thanks in advance.?

  12. Stephen
    October 8, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Thumb up for Whatsap Team,u've done more than great job, ,,bravo

  13. Stephen
    October 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Thnx a million times for Whatsap Team,they've done great job from day 1 up until now they exel bravo!!!bravo!!.Now Video calling is more than what I've expected fr om you Guys.Yes Whatsap is a Must have App.Thank you a million time and may God keeping blessing you with WISDOM,, , bravo!!!

  14. Patricia Hollinger
    October 1, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Tried it today and was very impressed! Much easier than Skype!

  15. Majid
    September 5, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    i have a problem during whatsapp video call
    Whenever i call the other person cannot hear me until i connect my earphones
    With earphones on i can be heard but not without that
    i uninstalled the whatsapp and re-installed it back but still same
    Also i have granted all permissions to whatsapp but not able to fix this issue
    Phone : Lenovo K5 Note

  16. Harold Hartmann
    July 1, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    I was recently in Germany staying in a hotel right outside of the Munich Airport waiting for a flight back to the US. I had some free time so I thought I would try out WhatsApp video for the first time. As I was walking in the countryside with no WiFi connection I was amazed at the Quality of the WhatsApp video call feature when I called my son in Las Vegas. We had a 10 minute phone conversation and the quality was excellent. WhatsApp is an amazing and well-thought-out app. I use it for sending videos and photos to my relatives overseas and the quality is outstanding.

    June 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

    between me and my friend we cannot do video calling on whatsapp. video call gets converted to voice call immediately after call is answered. but we both can make video calls to other numbers.

  18. mrs miesah sufien
    May 18, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Hi guys i have it and really happy with the quality its so simple to use and im no tech expert im just learning thank you for yr service

  19. Hina
    February 3, 2017 at 4:40 am

    I cant see others people whatsapp video but they can see me how can i resolve this problem

  20. Lucy
    December 29, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Hi! Just downloaded WhatsApp to my mom's 4G tracfone. She doesn't have home based internet. How can we do video chats using the 4G or is that even possible? We keep getting msgs saying "no internet connection". Thx for your help

  21. RR
    December 6, 2016 at 5:33 am

    How to record a video call?

  22. RR
    December 6, 2016 at 5:22 am

    have you tried to record a whatsapp video call?

  23. Moumita
    November 23, 2016 at 7:24 am

    The problem I am facing is that the other person can see me but I cannot see the person. I am using a Samsung A3. Rare occassion i can see the other person but for a couple of seconds. This is the problem even with the strongest of wifi. Pl help to resolve this problem