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WhatsApp tips and tricks: 5 ways to master your messaging

Authored by: Robert Zak — 4 months ago

WhatsApp needs no introduction. It's the world's most popular instant messaging service, and for all its security flaws, privacy issues and annoying invite systems to get new features, we love it. As a show of appreciation for WhatsApp and AndroidPIT readers, we've decided to chalk up a list of WhatsApp tips and tricks to get the most out of it.

WhatsApp ligacoes
5 of our top tips to help you become a WhatsApp wizz. / © ANDROIDPIT

Send private messages in bulk, BCC-style

Privacy on the internet is becoming a hard thing to hold onto, but even the famously unprivate WhatsApp has a few features that let you do things on the down-low. Want to send out a group message without everyone in the group seeing who else received that message, then seeing every subsequent response to the message? That's what the 'Broadcast' feature is for, and using it is simple:

  • Tap the Options icon at the top right (three dots).
  • Tap New broadcast
  • Enter the names of all the contacts you want to send your private message to.
  • Tap Create, write your message, then send it.
androidpit whatsapp broadcast
Go to Options and tap 'New broadcast' to send out a mass message without publicly displaying the recipients. / © ANDROIDPIT

Hide 'Last seen', profile photo and status

Getting thrown into a big group chat filled with party guests and people you don't know can be bewildering. Suddenly, your profile picture is staring back at a chatroom full of strangers, who can also see your status and when you're reading messages. If I want a whole flock of strangers ogling and judging a photo of me, I'll go on Tinder. In the meantime, here's how to have better control over who sees this information on WhatsApp:

  • Tap the Options icon at the top right of WhatsApp
  • Go to Settings > Account > Privacy
  • Go through the Last seenProfile photo, and Status options, then set their visibility to EveryoneMy contacts or Nobody - depending on how privacy-obsessed you are.
androidpit whatsapp privacy
Make sure people only see info about you that you want them to see using WhatsApp's privacy settings. / © ANDROIDPIT

Mute annoying group chats

We've all been in that position where we've somehow been dragged into a group chat that we either a) Didn't really want to be in in the first place or b) Don't want to receive notifications from every couple of minutes. Rather than just leave the chat, which may be offend some people, you can simply mute the chat so you stop receiving notifications from it. Everyone's happy!

  • In WhatsApp, tap the Chats tab
  • Tap the group you want to mute.
  • With the group open, tap the Options icon at the top right
  • Tap Mute, then select the amount of time you want to mute the group for. You can also untick the Show notifications box to never hear from the group again until you decide otherwise.
androidpit whatsapp mute group
Are you being harassed by notifications from an annoying group chat? Go into the chat and mute it. / © ANDROIDPIT

Create a homescreen shortcut for your favorite chats

Do you have certain friends with whom you have constant stream-of-consciousness conversations, where you're non-stop WhatsApping all day, every day? If so, then you can create a shortcut icon to those conversations which will appear on your Android homescreen. This means you can jump straight into chats with your BFFs, important groups, and other things nice and easily.

  • In WhatsApp, tap the Chats tab.
  • Tap and hold the conversation you want to create a shortcut for.
  • When the list of options appears, tap Add conversation shortcut
  • A shortcut displaying your contact's profile picture will now appear on your homescreen. Tap it to jump straight in and start chatting to them.
androidpit whatsapp shortcut
If you want constant quick access to certain chats, tap the 'Add shortcut' option to have it appear as an icon on your Android homescreen. / © ANDROIDPIT

Recover deleted messages

Most people feel pretty precious about the messages going to and from their devices. Thankfully, by default WhatsApp backs up your messages every day at 4am. This means that if you've deleted any precious messages since that time, but before the next auto-backup, then you can still recover them. To do this:

  • Uninstall WhatsApp from your device (Settings > Apps > WhatsApp > Uninstall).
  • Reinstall WhatsApp.
  • Type your phone number into WhatsApp, then it should notify you that it's found a backup of your chats.
  • Tap Restore to get your deleted messages back.
androidpit whatsapp backup
To recover deleted messages, you'll need to reinstall WhatsApp then restore the messages from your backup. / © ANDROIDPIT
A tech aficionado since he first picked up a NES controller, Robert has written about technology, videogames, and film across a range of sites and magazines, including Den of Geek, Gamasutra, and Computeractive. At AndroidPIT, he'll be bringing you the latest Android news and reviews from the front line in the UK.


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  • Diana Walsh 3 months ago Link to comment

    I have a Samsung Galaxy A5 and i would like to know how I can stop my whatsapp messages from showing up on my recent apps list. the moment i open whatsapp, chat then close the app, if I press on the soft key at the bottom left of my phone it shows all the recent apps that I've used including all my chats. I would like to know how to stop these from showing on my recent apps list instead of me doing it all manually.
    Thank you

  • Simran B. 4 months ago Link to comment

    this isn't "tips & tricks" it's common sense