12 Hidden WhatsApp Features You Should Know

WhatsApp has a plethora of features that make the messaging software more helpful, convenient, private, or simply more enjoyable.

You can change the look of your conversations, reveal your location, and format your text messages.

Here are 13 of WhatsApp’s best little-known or unexpected features.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world, with around 2 billion active users. An program this popular must be doing something right, and the combination of cross-platform portability with end-to-end encryption certainly contributes to its success.

However, WhatsApp offers a plethora of features — big and tiny, well-known and relatively “hidden” — that contribute to it becoming the world’s most popular messaging software. In fact, unless you’re a seasoned power user, you’re likely to be surprised by some WhatsApp capabilities. Here are 13 WhatsApp features that everyone should be aware of in order to get the most out of this software.

1. Disable the ‘last seen’ feature.

You’re probably aware that WhatsApp allows you to check when someone was last on the app – you can see their “last seen” date under their name at the top of a message. You can disable this feature if you don’t want to expose when you’re online. Tap Settings, then Account, then Privacy, and finally Last Seen. Change it to the preferred option. Select Nobody to keep your last seen status hidden from everyone.

2. At the same time, search everywhere.

Looking for a specific message but don’t know where to look? Using the search feature on the Chats page, you can search for all messages at once.

If you’re using an iPhone, touch Chats and then pull down the page to reveal the search field. Enter a word or phrase to see all the messages that contain it. To begin your search on Android, tap Chats and then the Search icon at the top of the screen.

3. Text formatting

Did you know there is a “hidden” method for formatting text when entering a message? You can make words bold, italicize them, or strike through them:

Put an asterisk on either side, *as shown*.

Italics: Insert an underscore on each side of your text, _as shown_.

Strike-through: Strike through your text using a tilde, like shown above.

Don’t be concerned about removing the symbols on either side of the text. When you press the Send button, they are automatically removed.

4. Tell someone about your whereabouts.

If you are organizing a gathering, you may wish to share your location with someone. In fact, you can share a single image of your present position or your live location for a set amount of time.

Open the chat in which you wish to share your location on the iPhone and tap the Plus sign to the left of the text box. Select Location, then Share Live Location or Send Your Current Location.

Open the chat in which you wish to share your location on Android and press the paperclip to the right of the text field. Select Share Live Location or Send Your Current Location from the Location menu.

5. Examine how much data you’re consuming.

Do you want to know how much data WhatsApp uses when you exchange texts, images, videos, and voice calls? Select Storage & Data from the Settings menu. Tap Network Usage to see all of your data consumption statistics.

6. Send a photo that vanishes after a single viewing.

WhatsApp includes many privacy options, such as the ability to enable your messages to expire after a certain length of time and the option to transmit a photo or video that can only be viewed once before disappearing forever.

Open the chat where you wish to transmit the disappearing media. Tap the Plus sign on an iPhone, then select Camera or Photo & Video Library from the pop-up menu. On Android, press the paperclip and then select Camera or Gallery. Take or pick the media you want to share, then press the 1 in the text area at the bottom of the screen. This means it can only be watched once. Then press the Send button.

7. Turn off read receipts.

When someone sees your message, WhatsApp sends read receipts, which you can consider a godsend or a curse depending on whether you want people to know you’ve seen their messages. You can turn off read receipts so that no one knows if or when you’ve seen their communications.

To turn off read receipts, go to Settings, then Account, and lastly Privacy. Swipe the button to the left to disable Read Receipts.

8. Delete huge files from a specific chat room.

It’s simple to delete certain photographs, movies, and other items from specific chats if you need to free up some storage space. Tap Settings, followed by Storage & Data. Tap Manage Storage to view a list of all your chats. Choose the chat you wish to deal with, and all the huge files will be onscreen.

If you have an iPhone, you can delete files by tapping Select at the top right, then tapping the Delete icon at the bottom right. To choose files for selection on Android, tap and hold each file until a checkbox appears, then tap the Delete icon in the upper right.

9. Switching to WiFi exclusively will help you save data.

WhatsApp allows you to control how the app utilizes your data. For example, if you don’t want it to utilize cellular data to download large media files, you can instruct it to just use WiFi for such operations.

Tap Settings, followed by Storage & Data. In the Media auto-download area, you can specify which files can be downloaded via a cellular connection and which must be downloaded over WiFi only.

10. Change the background of your chat screen.

You don’t have to be content with the default background in your chats; you may change the chat screen wallpaper from a library of selections in WhatsApp or any image in your phone’s gallery.

Select Settings, then Chats.

On an iPhone, hit Chat Wallpaper, followed by Choose a New Wallpaper. When you’ve decided on an image to use, press Set.

Tap Wallpaper, then Change on Android. Tap Set Wallpaper after selecting the image you want to use.

11. You can personalize your wallpaper for certain talks.

Setting a personalized background for your conversations is excellent, but you can also set a different wallpaper for each chat, making each chat page stand out.

Open the chat you wish to edit on your iPhone and hit the contact’s name at the top of the page. Choose a New Wallpaper from the Wallpaper & Sound menu. Make your option and then press the Set button.

On Android, the procedure is slightly different. Open the chat you wish to personalize, then press the three-dot menu and select Wallpaper. Make your choice and then click Set Wallpaper.

12. Send yourself an email with a chat.

You can email a complete chat to yourself if you need a permanent record of a conversation or want to transfer a chat to another device (such a laptop) so you can easily copy and paste crucial information.

Select Settings, then Chats. Tap Export Chat (on Android, tap Chat History to get to the Export Chat option) and select the chat you want to send. Choose whether you want media or merely text in the pop-up, and then select where you want to share the chat log.

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