WhatsApp is a wildly popular free messaging service that, as of 2020, boasts more than 2 billion users worldwide. And while many people use WhatsApp via their smartphones, it can also be used on a desktop or laptop. If you know you’re going to be away from your phone for a bit and need to send a quick message or you just want to be able to keep in touch with your friends or family while you work, using WhatsApp on your computer can be a great option for doing so.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to use WhatsApp Web, a web app that allows you to quickly set up WhatsApp on your desktop or laptop regardless of your operating system. We’ll also talk about a couple of other options if you’d rather just use the WhatsApp desktop app or have other desktop messaging needs.
Here’s how to use WhatsApp on your desktop or laptop.
For all platforms: Use the WhatsApp Web app
By far, the quickest and most versatile option for using WhatsApp on a computer is the WhatsApp Web app. Using WhatsApp Web doesn’t require downloaded software for a specific operating system and can instead be accessed via most browsers including Safari, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Firefox.
Step 1: Navigate to the WhatsApp Web website via your chosen browser.
Open your desired browser and go to the WhatsApp Web website. You’ll notice that it features a QR code. You’ll need this code later on to connect your phone to WhatsApp Web.
Step 2: Open the WhatsApp mobile app on your phone and select WhatsApp Web.
The WhatsApp mobile app is available for both Android smartphones and iPhones. Open WhatsApp on your phone, and then either select the three vertical dots Menu icon from the top right corner of your screen or select the Settings gear icon. From the menu that pops up, select WhatsApp Web. Then tap on the teal OK button that appears at the bottom of the screen. You may be asked to allow WhatsApp to have access to your phone’s camera: Tap on Continue and then Allow to grant this permission. Your phone’s screen should now look like QR code scanner.
Step 3: Connect your phone to WhatsApp Web by scanning the QR code on your computer with your phone.
Now go back to your desktop or laptop to view the WhatsApp Web website. You may need to click on Click to Reload QR Code to reload a QR code for your phone scanner. If you plan to use WhatsApp Web often on a particular laptop or desktop computer, be sure to tick the box next to Keep me signed in.
Now point your phone’s QR code scanner toward the WhatsApp Web QR code to scan the code.
Step 4: Now start using WhatsApp on your laptop or desktop.
Once you scan the QR code with your phone, the WhatsApp Web app should immediately open in your browser and display your contacts and recent chats. Click on the message bubble icon on the left side of the screen to start a new chat. Click on the three dots icon to access your settings, edit your profile, or log out. And if it’s your first time using WhatsApp Web, you can also get notifications for new messages by clicking on Turn on desktop notifications on the left side of your screen.
WhatsApp desktop apps
If you’d rather have a desktop version of WhatsApp for your laptop or desktop, you can do that too. Just keep in mind that it’s only available for Windows and MacOS computers. And you’ll still need to have the WhatsApp mobile app installed on your phone. You can download the WhatsApp desktop apps directly from the WhatsApp website.
If you use multiple messaging apps and services including WhatsApp, then you may want to have a centralized place to access them all at the same time instead of just downloading separate apps or setting up web apps for each individual service. If you need an app that can let you use all of your messaging services at once, then Rambox is a great option. Rambox is a “workspace browser” that lets you add a wide variety of productivity apps and messaging services to it so that you can have one workspace that lets you manage and field messages from a variety of messaging apps like Slack, Skype, WhatsApp, or Messenger.
The Rambox app itself is free to download and use and is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. There are premium subscription versions of Rambox, but the free version, known as the Community Edition, should suffice since it lets you use 99 apps with it, including WhatsApp. The Pro version is $4 per month if billed annually and $5 per month if billed monthly and lets you have access to all the 600-plus apps that are currently supported by Rambox.