10 Easy Tips and Tricks For WhatsApp users

WhatsApp is undoubtedly the most popular mobile messaging service app that is used on the smartphone. Earlier this year, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp hit the 1 billion user mark and left behind Facebook’s own Messenger as the most widely used chat app in the world. Back in April, WhatsApp also rolled out end-to-end encryption on all of its devices.

While WhatsApp is easy to use, there are also some hidden features and twists that we tend to miss out on. Moreover, popular messaging service keeps on adding features inconspicuously, that it becomes very important for us to be up to date.

While there are many tips and tricks that you can use on WhatsApp, we bring to you those tips and tricks that will help you get started if you are a beginner.

1) Hiding Last Seen, Profile Picture And Status

The dreaded “last seen” feature can be the reason behind problems in life and keeping that in mind, WhatsApp has included the ability to hide it completely. You can hide your last seen, profile picture and status from people.

To disable “Last Seen”, go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen. There you will have the options to select from if you want your last seen, profile picture and status to be seen by “Everyone”, “Contacts” or “Nobody”. Select “Nobody” and now your WhatsApp activities are now a secret to everyone but you. However, note that if you hide your last seen, you won’t be able to see others last seen as well.

2) Check When A Message Was Read

WhatsApp allows you to check when a message sent by you was read first. All you need to do is press hold on a message and tap “Info”. Once done, you will be able to see the time when your message was delivered and read.

3) Read Messages Without Others Seeing The Blue Check Marks

The blue ticks that appear beside a WhatsApp message indicate that the message has been read. However, the blue check marks make disregarding messages all the more difficult without giving yourself away. While a user’s “Last Seen” timestamp only tells you when a user was last on WhatsApp, the blue ticks leaves no room for explanation.

Fortunately, you can read WhatsApp messages without pressing the alarm button. Enable Airplane Mode to temporarily kill your Internet connection. Once done, you can check your messages freely without giving yourself away. Similarly, you can enable banner notifications for Whatsapp, which allows you to read brief messages without opening the app.

If everything fails, you can turn off the blue ticks all together. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy. Switch the toggle off on “Read Receipts.” You can now ignore all your friends and loved ones without hurting their feelings!

4) Manage Auto Downloading Of Media

Auto-download on WhatsApp is a convenient feature rather than manually tapping download every time a picture or video arrives. However, it can consume your limited mobile data bandwidth. Hence, there are options to set that accordingly.

On Android, you will find the options in Settings > Chats and calls >Media auto-download. You can then set whether you want to auto download images, audio and videos on mobile data, Wi-Fi and roaming.

On the iPhone, there’s only an option to either turn ON or OFF automatically “Save Incoming Media.”

5) Bold, Italicize, And Strikethrough Text

The latest update in WhatsApp allows you to bold, italicize, or strikethrough text easily. To do so, you will have to enclose the text in special characters.

To bold text, enclose the text with asterisks, like this: *text*

To strikethrough text, enclose the text with tildes, like this: ~text~

To italicize text, enclose the text with underscores, like this: _text_

6) Send Group Messages Using Broadcast Lists

WhatsApp’s “Broadcast Lists” feature allows you to send the same message to multiple people at once without them knowing. Such a feature is useful when you want to send a birthday invite or a reminder of an event, etc.

To send a group message through a Broadcast List, for iPhone > go to Chats > Broadcast Lists > New List. Add the contacts you wish to receive the message, type the message and hit send. The message will then appear in a private chat with each person.

On Android > go to Chats > click on the three vertical dots on the top right corner of the screen > New broadcast. Add the contacts you wish to receive the message and hit “create.” Type the message you wish to send and hit enter.

7) Backup Your Chat History

You are at risk of losing your entire WhatsApp chat history, if you lose your smartphone or switch devices. Fortunately, WhatsApp allows you to backup your contacts and chat history either automatically or manually. Recently, WhatsApp rolled out a new feature, which lets you backup your chats on Google Drive (Android) and iCloud (iPhone).

To do this, go to Settings > Chats > Chats Backup.

You will be able to see the date of your last backup and the file size. Select “Back Up” in Android smartphones and “Back Up Now” on iPhone, if you would like to backup manually. Alternatively, you can also turn on “Auto Backup” on iPhone, if you do not wish to rely on yourself to remember.

8) Change Your Number

There may be times when we move to a new place and we have to take a new number. In that case, you can simply change your phone number on WhatsApp without losing any of your chats or data.

Head over to Settings > Account > Change number, then enter your old and new number.

Once WhatsApp verifies your number through SMS or call, it will be changed.

9) Set Up Popup Notifications And Reply Directly (Android Only)

The feature to get popup notifications has been enabled by WhatsApp on Android only. You can turn it on by going to Settings > Notifications > Popup notification. You can set it to show popup when screen is off or on, or you can set it to “always show popup”. The popup notification also lets allows you to respond directly from the popup, which makes chatting with more people simultaneously easier.

10) Hide Notification Preview Of Messages

Thanks to WhatsApp notifications, it can be embarrassing at times, when your friend ends up reading your personal messages. It is an even bigger problem with both Android and iOS supporting lock screen notifications. However, the good news is WhatsApp on iPhone lets you hide notification preview of messages. To hide notification preview of messages, go to Settings >Notifications and turn off “Show Preview“.

Sadly, WhatsApp on Android does not let you disable preview of messages but you can disable notifications. Go to phone Settings > Apps >WhatsApp > Notifications and selecting “Block all”. Do note that this will result in no notifications entirely from WhatsApp.