WhatsApp web and desktop: How to use on PC, laptop, and tablet

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WhatsApp Web lets you pair your Android and iOS phone with WhatsApp desktop, making it easy to read and reply to messages. You can access, download, or share media files and do everything you can do on your mobile device through your computer. Here is a step-by-step guide to get you started.

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a free personal and business communication tool that was launched in 2009 but has quickly grown to become the world’s most popular text and voice messaging application recently hitting a major milestone of over 2 billion users worldwide, up from 1.5 billion and 1 billion users in 2018 and 2016, respectively.

WhatsApp allows users to easily send text and voice messages to one another seamlessly between mobile and desktop devices, users can also make voice and video calls, share images, documents, and other media. Its enhanced privacy features, like end-to-end encryption, makes it a communication tool of choice for friends, families, and organizations to form collaborative workgroups.

WhatsApp is completely free (no fees or subscriptions) and works with iPhone, Android, Windows phones, Mac, Windows desktop or laptop computers. It’s already a staple of mobile communication in many parts of the world fast replacing traditional phone calls and SMS.

What is WhatsApp Web?

WhatsApp Web is the desktop version of WhatsApp itself, officially launched in 2015, it works on all desktop browsers except Internet Explorer. The business version lets companies access WhatsApp to interact with customers.

WhatsApp Web also makes it easy to communicate using your PC instead of your phone. Sometimes it’s easier to type out messages on a keyboard.

For example, you received an incoming WhatsApp message from your friend; Still, you need to get work done on a client report or an article on your PC, you can quickly reply your friend while on your PC instead of switching between your phone and computer, which only makes you more distracted. Setting up WhatsApp Web on a computer is easy and only takes a few minutes.

WhatsApp Web vs WhatsApp Desktop

WhatsApp Desktop basically means to download and install the WhatsApp web application on your computer, it’s more robust and has supports for keyboard shortcuts while chatting, and notifications can be sent directly to your computer.

WhatsApp Web is more straightforward, especially if you are new to using the app. You don’t have to download WhatsApp on your computer. Just visit https://web.whatsapp.com/ on any browser, and use your phone to scan the QR code on your computer screen when prompted. All your messages will instantly appear irrespective of whether your computer is private or public.

Both versions allow you to send pictures, videos and other types of files just like the mobile version.

Note: These steps apply to WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop available for Mac OS X 10.9 and up and Windows 8 and above.

WhatsApp Web on a computer (Windows and Mac)

To download and use WhatsApp on your computer, follow the steps below. All you need is your phone and Computer.

1. If you don’t have the WhatsApp mobile app, download it on your phone before setting up WhatsApp Web on your computer.

2. Go to https://web.whatsapp.com/, and you’ll be faced with a large QR code, with a black-and-white pattern of squares. Or you can visit the WhatsApp download page to install the WhatsApp Web desktop application, available for PC or Mac.

3. In the desktop version, select the download link that corresponds with your operating system (Windows or Mac).

4. Open WhatsApp on your phone.

5. Tap the Chats tab.

6. Tap the hamburger button (the three vertical dots) to open a drop-down menu.

7. Select WhatsApp Web from the drop-down menu.

8. Scan the QR Code; Hold and point your phone at the QR code displayed on your computer screen. It should take just a second or so to scan.

9. You’re in! The WhatsApp client on your computer will open immediately and display the messages you have on your phone.

You can now close WhatsApp on your phone and use it from your computer.

Note: Your phone should be connected to the internet whenever you use the WhatsApp web on your computer. The application syncs directly with your phone, so a Wi-Fi connection is necessary to avoid data charges.

WhatsApp Web on iPad or Android tablet

Setting up WhatsApp Web on your tablet is a little bit tricky because WhatsApp Web will detect your tablet “as a mobile device” and won’t let you use it. In addition, you can’t download it from the app store, WhatsApp will tell you the app isn’t available. But, there’s a way to get around this.

Note: There are third-party apps with the promise to install WhatsApp on tablets. However, you’ll be sending your WhatsApp data in other to be able to do so. This could pose a risk to your privacy. We advise you to ignore any third-party options and instead apply these direct steps below which are safe.

The easy way to use WhatsApp Web on your tablet is to request the desktop version, which will display the page as it’d appear on a computer.

WhatsApp Web on Chrome or Android tablet

1. Go to web.whatsapp.com, and press the Menu options button on the browser, which is the three-dot icon in the upper right of the screen.

2. An option on the menu is Desktop site with a “tick-box” next to it – choose this option.

3. The page will now reload the WhatsApp desktop version.

4. Open https://web.whatsapp.com/, (the desktop version on your tablet) and you’ll be faced with a large “QR code”, with a black-and-white pattern of squares.

5. Open WhatsApp on your phone.

6. Tap the Chats tab.

7. Tap the hamburger button (the three vertical dots) to open a drop-down menu.

8. Select WhatsApp Web from the drop-down menu.

9. Scan the QR Code; Hold and point your phone at the QR code displayed on your tablet screen.

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10. The WhatsApp client on your tablet will open immediately and display the messages you have on your phone.

WhatsApp Web on Safari or iPad

1. Go to web.whatsapp.com, tap and hold the refresh button to the right of the URL bar at the top.

2. Wait a few moments, a “prompt” will appear to request desktop site.

3. Tap on the prompt that appears, you will see the same page you’d get on a computer open. From here, you can follow the same instruction above for Android tablets beginning from step 4.

How to log out from WhatsApp Web

Follow these steps below to log out from WhatsApp Web:

1. Open WhatsApp on your phone.

2. Tap on three-dot Menu.

3. From the options that appear, select WhatsApp Web.

4. You will be shown all the devices that your account is logged in from. Select the required device and tap Log out, or if you want to log out from all devices, select Log out from all devices.

Why can’t I connect to WhatsApp Web?

The two main reasons for not being able to send and receive messages on WhatsApp Web are phone and computer connection issues.

Phone connection issues

The first thing you need to know is that WhatsApp Web functions as an extension of WhatsApp on your phone. WhatsApp Web requires you first have an active WhatsApp account on your smartphone.

If you can’t connect to WhatsApp on your phone, it will be impossible to use WhatsApp Web on your computer or tablet. Launch WhatsApp on your phone and try to send a WhatsApp message. If you cannot, follow the instructions in this article to fix an iPhone that won’t connect to Wi-Fi. If you are using an Android phone, most of the instructions in that article will work but the process may differ a little bit.

Now you should be able to send a WhatsApp message from your phone, open WhatsApp Web again. If you’re still having trouble using WhatsApp Web, there is a possibility the connection issue is from your computer.

Note: Your phone should be connected to Wi-Fi in other to avoid or reduce data charges.

Computer connection issues

Using WhatsApp Web on your computer requires a strong and reliable internet connection. Look at the top of the chat list. If you see a yellow bar with the error message “Computer Not Connected,” check to make sure your computer’s Internet connection is working. If your computer Internet connection is active and you still cannot use WhatsApp Web, first refresh the page. If that does not work, log out and log back in to reactivate your web session:

1. Click the Menu icon (the three vertical dots).

2. Select Log out.

3. Follow the instructions on the screen to log back in.

Note: Make sure you are using the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, or Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported.

Also, be sure you are not using WhatsApp Web on a managed Wi-Fi network, such as your university or office; your internet network might be configured to block access to WhatsApp Web. If this is the case, the best solution is to ask your network administrator to allow you access to web.whatsapp.com.

WhatsApp Web notification problems (Windows and Mac)

If you are not receiving notification on WhatsApp Web, follow the instructions below:

  • Click Turn on desktop notifications in the blue banner at the top of the chat list.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions, then click Allow.

If the top banner is not showing, refresh the page. If the banner is still not showing, check your WhatsApp settings to see if you may have turned off or mute notifications.

How to unblock WhatsApp Web notifications in Safari

1. Open Safari and go to Preferences.

2. Under “Preferences”, click Notifications.

3. Check to see if web.whatsapp.com is set to Deny, change it to Allow.

4. Click Notification Preferences, select Do Not Disturb and be sure it is turned off.

5. While still in the same window, choose Safari from the menu on the left. Be sure that the Safari notification is set to Alerts or Banners.

6. Go back to WhatsApp Web(web.whatsapp.com) and refresh the page.

How to unblock WhatsApp Web notifications in Chrome

1. Open Chrome and click More (the three vertical dots) in the top left.

2. Click on Settings.

3. Under Settings, click Advanced.

4. In the options that appear, choose Privacy and security.

5. Click on Content settings, then Notifications.

6. Be sure Ask before sending is set to on.

7. Check to see if web.whatsapp.com is under the Block list. If so, click More, then Allow.

8. Go back to WhatsApp Web(web.whatsapp.com) and refresh the page.

How to unblock WhatsApp Web notifications in Opera

1. Open Opera, and go to Setting if you are using Windows, go to Preferences for Mac.

2. Click on Websites, and click Notifications.

3. Select Ask me when a site wants to show desktop notifications.

4. Check to see if web.whatsapp.com is set to Block, highlight it and click X.

5. Go back to WhatsApp Web(web.whatsapp.com) and refresh the page.

How to unblock WhatsApp Web notifications in Firefox

1. Open Firefox, click Menu.

2. Under Menu, select Preferences, then click Content.

3. Click Notifications, then Choose.

4. Check to see if web.whatsapp.com is set to Block, highlight it, and click Remove Site, then Save Changes.

5. Go back to WhatsApp Web(web.whatsapp.com) and refresh the page.

How to unblock WhatsApp Web notifications in Edge

1. Open Edge, click Menu.

2. Under Menu, click Settings.

3. Select View advanced settings.

4. Click Notification, then Manage.

5. Check to see if web.whatsapp.com shows as off, click the toggle switch to on.

6. Go back to WhatsApp Web(web.whatsapp.com) and refresh the page.

WhatsApp Web FAQs

Answer to related questions people also ask:

Can I use WhatsApp on a laptop?

You can use WhatsApp on a laptop from any desktop browser like Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, and Opera. To use WhatsApp on a computer or laptop, you’ll need to download the WhatsApp desktop application for Windows and macOS from the Microsoft Store or the Apple App Store.

Can I use WhatsApp Web on two computers?

As at the time of writing, WhatsApp Web allows just one additional device. Thus, apart from your current phone, you can use WhatsApp Web on a second smartphone or computer.

Can I use WhatsApp on my laptop and phone at the same time?

WhatsApp Web syncs with the mobile app to let you receive and reply WhatsApp messages from your PC. Anything you do on your phone will apply to WhatsApp on your laptop and vice versa. You can access WhatsApp on both your phone and your PC.

Can I get WhatsApp on my iPad?

You can use WhatsApp on your iPad, even though there’s no official WhatsApp app available for the iPad. To use WhatsApp on your iPad, you’ll have to go to the web browser version at web.whatsapp.com and scan a QR code on your iPhone to connect WhatsApp on your iPad.

Does WhatsApp Web work when the phone is far away?

WhatsApp Web can work even if your phone is far away. All that’s needed is an active internet connection, and the phone on which your WhatsApp account is active needs to be turned on.

Do I need Google account for WhatsApp?

No, Gmail and WhatsApp are two different apps. The only connection is that the Android WhatsApp version employs Google drive to store backups of your chat history, which will require you to have a Google account.

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