40 WhatsApp secrets everyone should know

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WhatsApp has the highest reach as compared to any other messaging platform today.

Undoubtedly the top messaging platform, WhatsApp today has more than a billion users who are actively sending messages and communicating over voice around the globe. The company was acquired by Facebook, and the messaging app is completely free to use. WhatsApp developers had initially released the phone number-based messaging app for simple communication; however, it took to the internet like a storm. The popularity of the free messaging app has got the developers to keep upgrading more and more features on WhatsApp. However, though the features are slowly coming into existence (compared to other popular apps who already have many of them included), on WhatsApp. Though users could say that other apps were already ahead of WhatsApp, a slow implementation works well in WhatsApp’s favour. First—users get time to learn and use every feature as and when they are released. If you have all features already there, you may not remember half of them at use. And lastly, each feature is rolled out after thoroughly testing for efficiency, data saving and performance.

Until date, WhatsApp has released a lot of features that you can use for messaging. Apart from messaging features, there are several tweaks and tricks that you can do with WhatsApp. We have put together almost all the 40 features, tips and tricks that users could use with WhatsApp to become a WhatsApp jockey.

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1. Send a single message to multiple people at once

Broadcasting a single message to multiple people at once is possible. Simply click on the menu (three dot ellipse) and select ‘New broadcast’. You will get an option to send the same message to multiple people by adding the contacts in the recipient list. Click on the ‘+’ sign on the right and select the names from your contact list.

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2. Format your text

You can now send messages in bold, italics or strikethrough too. Simply use the special characters before and after the words to get the formatting of your choice. For example, use asterisk for bold (*hello*), underscore for italics (_hello_) and tilde for strikethrough (~hello~).


3. Find out who you chat with a lot

If you want to know who you are chatting too much with on WhatsApp, you can find out by simply scrolling through the chat screen. However, if you have cleared out the messages or if they are too many, it will be difficult to find out easily. For this, head to the settings and click on ‘Settings’, then ‘Account’ and then ‘Storage Usage’. Here you will find a list of contacts you are presently chatting with and if you tap anyone,  you can find out how much of data you have sent or received during all chats. Now you can probably find out who is your good pal. This feature is available only on iPhone for now.WA4

4. Save data when using WhatsApp on Mobile networks

If you are roaming, or if you are on a slow or expensive data network, you can choose to reduce your data consumption by selecting what you want to automatically download. You can choose to selectively download video, photo or audio when you are roaming. Additionally, you can also click on ‘Low data usage’ to reduce the amount of data used during a WhatsApp call.


5. Mute chats and groups

If you are on a group that sends too many messages across or if your friend sends you too many unwanted messages, you can simply mute the group or contact to stop alerting you. You can choose to mute the audio alert or the notification respectively. The messages will come in but will only show you when you start WhatsApp. Select the contact or group and choose the ‘mute’ option from the menu.


6. Control your privacy

If you don’t like to show anyone on your contact list that you are using WhatsApp, you can shut off the ‘last seen’ option from showing up on their screen. You can also select to disable blue ticks (a form of read receipts) and turn off your profile photo. Head to ‘Settings’ and you should find it in the ‘Privacy’ option. However, you should know that if you disable these options, you cannot see other the same from contacts too.


7. Share documents

WhatsApp has started allowing you to send and receive documents too. While photos and videos are allowed for sure, PDF, Excel and Word files can also be sent. Simply attach the document to your chat and share your documents. WhatsApp is rumoured to also allow GIF files in a short while.WA8


8. Read messages without blue ticks

When you read a message, you also send back a read receipt to the sender. This way he or she knows that you have seen the message. However, if you don’t want to send a read receipt (blue tick) back to the sender, you can read the message without them knowing it with two simple tricks. If you want to read a message, simply cut off all data networks to the phone. Use airplane mode and turn off Wi-Fi. Open WhatsApp, read your message. Once done, close WhatsApp by killing it from the memory too (use an app killer if needed) and then start your data again. This seems tedious, right. The other simplest trick is to add a WhatsApp Widget on your desktop. If a message arrives, you can read the entire message without the sender knowing it. Simply scroll the message on the Widget. However, beware, if you click on the widget, you will trigger WhatsApp and a blue tick will be sent across. Click here to know more about how you can do it.


9. Stop auto download of photos and videos to save data

Similar to turning off audio and video downloads when roaming, you can also choose to selectively download photos and videos when on data or Wi-Fi respectively. Head to the settings and you will find the needed settings under ‘Data usage’.


10. Add dates to your calendar

This is presently only available on iPhone. If your contact sends you a date within the chat, you will be able to see it in blue and underlines. Simply long pressing on the date can allow you to add the dates to your calendar and create an event.


11. Add shortcuts to your homescreen for individual chats

If you are constantly chatting with a few friends, or some important contacts, you can reduce the time to start WhatsApp and hunt for the name and start a conversation. Simply long press on the contact and select ‘Add chat shortcut’ from the menu. You can add the chat contact directly to your desktop and start chatting from there itself.


12. Use WhatsApp on your PC

If you want to use WhatsApp on your PC and have the convenience of a large physical keyboard and a big screen, simply connect your phone to the PC using WhatsApp Web. Head to ‘web.whatsapp.com’ and scan the QR code on the screen with your mobile (from settings and WhatsApp web). Your entire WhatsApp chat will be seen on your browser. Alternatively, you can also download the standalone software of WhatsApp for PC from ‘http://www.whatsapp.com’. You need to have your mobile phone connected to the internet too in order to use this feature. (click here) You can also use this method to install a separate WhatsApp account on your desktop PC.


13. Send messages to yourself.

Sometimes you need to test a message before sending them out. You can send them to yourself on WhatsApp before sending it to your contact. To do this, simply create a WhatsApp group, add a friend and then delete him from the group. Now you are alone in that group, and you can send messages there. It is also a great option for taking quick notes.


14. Transfer files between PC and mobile

Though this is not completely functional, you can still transfer documents and media from your phone to your PC and vice versa. Simply send the media file or document to yourself (check previous trick), and you can save the same on your PC or desktop using WhatsApp Web.


15. Protect your chats – disable notification preview

When you receive a message, you can see that message scroll in your notification bar, even if you don’t have WhatsApp opened. However, though this feature, you could have sensitive messages being read by unwanted elements peeping into your phone. To avoid this, simply head to the phone’s settings and disable notifications for WhatsApp. Once done, WhatsApp will not show anything on your notification bar.


16. Make voice calls

If you did not know it already, yes, WhatsApp can help you make phone calls around the world—with other WhatsApp users, that is. Simply pull up the contact and hit the phone icon to make a voice call. The call is absolutely free of cost, but you will spend on internet data—mobile or Wi-Fi. You can make calls on low-speed networks too, but be ready for a delay in the voice.


17. Send different emojis

Sending emojis was always there, but did you know that there are more emojis than what you see? Simply long press on the emoji that you like, and you will see some more come up on the list. Choose the ones from the list for your requirement. WhatsApp introduces new emojis on Android.


18. Send giant heart

This is a simple feature, a possible Easter egg if you want to call it. If you send a message with just a single heart emoji in it, WhastApp converts the heart emoji into a giant one and animates it with a heartbeat. Don’t believe us, try it right now.


19. Quote messages within chats

This is one of the most-recent features that WhatsApp introduced. You can now quote a particular message and reply accordingly. If you are in a huge WhatsApp group or in a long conversation with someone, you can refer to a particular message that you are replying with quotes. Simply long press on the particular message in the list and you will see the reply option popup (Android users will see an arrow icon on the top-left). Click on reply and your quoted message will appear as a box along with your reply.


20. Block unwanted people and spam

There are times when you get messages from unknown contacts. These could be unknown people, or simply spam messages with advertisements and promotions. Simply cut them off from repeatedly coming to your phone by marking them as spam. Open the unknown message and you will find two options ‘add to contacts’ and ‘spam’. Choose accordingly.


21. Delete multiple chats

Previously, it was a tedious job to delete multiple messages from your chat list. Now, WhatsApp allows you to select multiple chats or messages in the chat and delete them in one go. Simply long press on a single chat or message and continue tapping on multiple ones after that. Then delete them from the options menu.


22. Star messages

You can highlight some messages and store them as favourites. These are called ‘star’ messages in WhatsApp. Long press on the message in your chat and click on the star icon. These messages will be saved as favourites within the chat itself. And if you wish to delete the chat, you can also have the option to keep the starred messages and delete the rest.


23. Mark as unread

You can now mark chats as unread so that you can read them later. There are times when you want to read the entire message from the contact or group, but due to shortage of time, you prefer to read it later. However, you could forget about it too. So why not mark them as unread to read it up later. You can also mark chats as unread to mark them as important for later too. Simply long press on the chat and select as unread from the options menu.


24. Reply directly from notification bar

If you receive a message on WhatsApp, you can see it in the notification bar itself (unless you have turned if off). However, to reply back, you usually open WhatsApp and then click on the message and then reply. Now, avoid all those steps and simply pull down the notification bar and hit ‘reply’ to instantly reply to that message and avoid wasting time opening WhatsApp.


25. Backup to Google drive

Save all your chats and files from WhatsApp by backing it up to your Google Drive. This can help you in case you change your smartphone, or lose it. You can restore your data back to your WhatsApp in case you switch to another phone. From the settings, choose backup and then choose to backup to Google Drive. Follow the procedure on the screen to allow Google to access your WhatsApp. You can also choose to backup only chats or media and documents too. Do note: Backing up to Google drive will cost you online space and data bandwidth.


26. Backup/Export chats and media to email

Backup or export particular chats for safe keeping. In the chat screen, click on the ‘options’ menu, then ‘more’ and then on ‘email chat’. You can send the entire chat with or without the media elements to your desired email address.


27. Change wallpaper

You can choose to give your chat screen a different look compared with the stock WhatsApp background. Choose from the wallpaper of your choice from ‘options – chats – wallpaper’.


28. Use different languages

You can also type and send messages in the language of your choice. Choose from 11 different Indian languages from the settings. Head to ‘options’, then ‘chats’ and then ‘app language’.


29. Search messages

You can also search for particular message within long chats. If you are part of a large WhatsApp group, or if you are chatting with a contact for a long time, finding a particular message becomes a task. You could either mark important messages with a star or simply use the search feature to hunt for a particular message. Click on the ‘search’ icon on the top and enter the text for your search.


30. Get early updates

Many users like to get the latest features on WhatsApp. However, you have to wait for the public release of WhatsApp for them. However, if you are a beta user, you can get early releases to you before it is publically released on the app market. To become a beta user, all you need to do is register for it online, and henceforth you will receive daily updates with bug fixes, patches and new features before it is even released to be public. These beta versions are for beta testers and becoming a beta tester is free. Click here to know how to become a beta tester and get early WhatsApp updates before your friend does.


31. Know who has read your messages in a group

If you are sending messages to a large group, it is difficult to know who has read your message and who has not. When you send a message, you see a single tick. When you see a double tick, it means that everyone in the group has received your message. When it turns blue, it means that all have read the message. However, if you only see a double grey tick and want to know who all have your message, simply long press on the message you have sent and click the ‘i’ (information) button on the top. This option will tell you how many people have received the message, how many have yet to receive it and how many have read it. On a single one-to-one chat, you can use this option to find out when the recipient read it with date and time information.


32. Send your location with maps

This is a great feature by WhatsApp. If you are meeting a friend, or want to send your friend to a particular location/address or simply want to invite someone to where you are, you can send a Google Map location on WhatsApp. All you need to do is enable GPS, then tap on the attachment icon (the paperclip icon) and choose location. Google Maps will open up, and you can simply mark the location pin and send it on WhatsApp. The recipient can then click in the message, open Maps and follow the map to reach the destination.wa33

33. Send and receive money with FreeCharge

Sending and receiving money was possible on many other social platforms and WhatsApp also has a way to send and receive funds. FreeCharge is one such third-party app that allows users to transact money using the messaging platform. All you need to do is install FreeCharge, set up your account and start sending and receiving money between your contacts.


34. Know who send you a message if you don’t have them on your contact list. – Truecaller

Many-a-times, you see spam messages coming to your WhatsApp by unknown users. You end up replying back asking for who they are (because their number is not on your contact list), or you probably marked them as spam. If marked as spam, you will no longer receive a message from that number. However, the unknown messenger could be an important person, and you could miss out on some important information. To know who the unknown person is, just install TrueCaller, which will look up its database and inform you who the sender is. This is also important because if you are part of a large WhatsApp group, you could see unknown numbers there and would like to know who they are.


35. Share contacts

You can send and receive contact numbers via WhatsApp too. Previously, when you needed to send across contact information, you have to SMS it to them, or email it. With WhatsApp, you can send contacts too and the recipient can simply click on the contact and add it to their contact list. Click on the paperclip icon (attachment) and choose contacts from there. Select the contact name and number(s) from the list and sent it to your recipient.


36. Send photos from gallery using the camera icon too

You can send existing photos from your gallery as usual using the attachment—gallery option. However, with a new feature added recently, you can send existing photos from the gallery from the camera icon too. Hit the camera icon on the bottom and you will see existing photos shown up on the bottom half of the camera’s screen.


37. Pull back your accidentally sent messages.

You can pull back your messages if you have accidentally sent them to the recipient. There are many times you must have sent a message that could be incomplete or simply unwanted. There is a way to pull back your messages before it reaches your recipient, albeit not as easy as some other messaging platforms offer. At least not as yet on WhatsApp. To do this trick, you have to be quick—really quick. When you send an accidental message, and want to pull it back, if you are quick enough, hit the airplane mode. If your data connection is fast, you could be late. However, if your internet connection is a little slower, you can halt the message before it heads outwards. Hitting the airplane mode could cut off the internet connection, and your message will not get thru. At this time, you can delete the message and turn on data back again. However, do remember, you have to be really, really quick to get this trick done.


38. How to transfer WhatsApp from old phone to new

When you are done with your old smartphone, configuring your new, one could be a task. Especially when you have to transfer apps with have their data stored on the phone itself. Apps like Gmail, Facebook, Games, etc. have their data stored online and not on the phone. Transferring photos, videos, music and documents from one phone to the other is also simple. However, WhatsApp could be a little tedious. There are two methods for transferring your WhatsApp from one phone to another. One is to use the feature within the app itself. Simply backup your WhatsApp online with Google drive, install WhatsApp on your new phone and activate it. WhatsApp will sense that you have some data online and will as if you want to restore it. The second method is to use a desktop PC and transfer the entire WhatsApp folder from the internal storage of the old phone to the new phone. Only after transferring the folder to the same location on the new phone, you should install WhatsApp on the new phone and activate it. WhatsApp will sense that you have some data on the phone and will ask if you want to import it.


39. Use two or more WhatsApp numbers on one phone

Many have dual SIM smartphones and use two SIM cards on it. Unlike Gmail, Messenger or a few other apps, WhatsApp only allows a single number to be used with the app and does not recognise the other number. You cannot use two WhatsApp applications on the same phone to run the other number. The only option you have is to use a third-party app to have two WhatsApp applications on the same phone. There are a few third-party custom modified WhatsApp apps available in the market that allows you to use more than 20+ WhatsApp numbers on the same phone. However, we advise against using the app since they are not original apps from WhatsApp and are tweaked by unknown developers. These apps could contain malware or backdoors, and your privacy could be at stake. Click here to know how to get the custom WhatsApp application and use it. Disclaimer: Use it on your own risk. Here is another similar method, which allows you to use two custom WhatsApp apps on the same phone. The other method is to use Parallels Desktop. This is a free App on Google Play Store, which allows you to use a second copy of any app you need to install on the same phone. The Parallels Desktop creates a second phone environment inside your Android operating system and allows installing a second WhatsApp application. Simply install the app, start it up and install WhatsApp inside it and activate it with the other number you need. Click here to know how to install and use Parallels Desktop.


40. Use same WhatsApp number on two phones

This trick is insane—you can run the same WhatsApp number on two or more smartphones and use them all simultaneously. The trick is a simple feature of an app and can be performed on rooted smartphones. Simply duplicate two smartphones and its entire data with a third-party app called Titanium Backup. If you don’t have a rooted Android phone and don’t want to root your existing phone either, you could use a different smartphone that has a similar app pre-installed on it. If you own a Xiaomi smartphone, you can use the trick with a simple built-in application that allows you to duplicate two smartphones within a few minutes. Click here to know how you can simultaneously run two or more smartphone with the same WhatsApp number.

Ahead of this, WhatsApp is rumoured to be launching many more features. Of which, video calling is already in the pipeline and a previous beta version with video calling enabled was released for beta testers. However, it seems that the beta test failed, or needed further improvements, and the feature was pulled back. Another feature that is also in the pipeline is the ability to send GIF images. As for now, the said feature is rumoured to show up on iPhone only.

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