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How to use WhatsApp on your desktop or laptop

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Alternative methods

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.

Rambox

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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.

Latest

Vissles-M Monitor review

If you’ve ever used multiple screens for your work PC, you know just how beneficial it can be to your productivity. Being able to monitor emails or social media without switching between tabs is really convenient. The same goes for working on a document with source material on a second screen.While it’s not entirely uncommon to have two screens for the home or office computer, you certainly don’t see that very often with laptops. Nobody has perfected an affordable portable experience with two screens.It’s possible, of course, to plug your laptop or Chromebook into a hub/dock or to simply connect to a monitor as needed. That’s nice and all, but the screen takes up space and it’s not something you can take with you on the road.The Vissles-M ($199), is a portable 15.6-inch display that connects to your computer, laptop, and other devices. It also allows for touch, and that’s pretty damn cool, if not something you get in a traditional monitor.With two USB Type-C ports and one mini-HDMI port, it plugs into your gaming consoles (Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Switch) and Android phones. Indeed, it allows for you to put a screen where you normally wouldn’t, bringing about new levels of productivity or entertainment.There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack which comes in handy should you find yourself working in a coffee shop; built-in speakers are located at the bottom.The Vissles-M is an IPS panel with a non-glare surface and a contrast ratio of 800:1. Its resolution is 1920 x 1080, which should be on par with your standard laptop screen.Included in the box are a number of cables, which we certainly appreciate. It’s nice not having to hunt down a USB-C-to-USB-C cable or a mini-HDMI cable just to get going.The display has a magnetic protective cover that keeps the screen from getting scratches. It’s also this cover that becomes the stand to prop it up. We found it does well with varying angles for different viewing perspectives.The whole thing weighs in about 1.5-pounds so it travels very well. And because it’s ultra-thin, you can put it in the same bag as your laptop without notice.We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the overall picture, it is a monitor after all. Brightness is contrast is good, but you’ll want to plug into a power source if you can.We didn’t get above 65 percent before our unit wanted to power off. Plugging in a second USB-C cable into the wall let us get all the way up to 100. With that said, we do appreciate when we’re able to adjust the image based on environmental or situational needs.The picture is clear and has a nice contrast, and we found it has good viewing angles. There’s something in the non-glare coating that gives it a bit of a dull or flat effect. It’s not terrible, and really only makes itself obvious when contrasting to your laptop or other screens. If you’re using it for watching videos or gaming, you’ll probably be happy with the image.We paired ours up with an entry-level Chromebook for a few weeks and came away feeling like the image was nearly identical. Stick it with a Pixelbook or something premium, though, and you’ll see the difference.This isn’t a gaming monitor, to be sure. Don’t buy this for that aspect or you’ll come away less than pleased. The real demographic here is someone who might need to boost productivity from time to time. Whether that means duplicating/sharing their screen, engaging in Slack or Zoom chats while working on a document, or blowing through emails, it works well.We had mixed results when using our phones as the Vissles-M mirrors your handset but doesn’t allow for touch. It doesn’t fill the screen and the image sits vertically in the middle. The only real use case we can see here might be for sharing your screen with someone else, and even then that’s not great.We’d love to be able to open up email in a tablet-like experience. At a minimum we’d like to be able to rotate the image to better fill the screen.We’ve enjoyed having this on the standing desk as it makes working from a laptop more practical and efficient. It largely stays put around the office, but we’ve found it fun to take with us for a little bit of downtime. Getting in some Paper Mario on the Nintendo Switch is a a unique experience when you can do it tabletop at the park or on the back deck.Learn more about the Vissles-M at the Vissles website where it’s also available for purchase. Pick yours up for about $200 right now.

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