WhatsApp: 10 essential tips for better use of messaging

What phones will WhatsApp stop working on this year?

WhatsApp is currently used by millions of people around the world. Very present in emerging markets such as India or Latin America, the solution has also found its place in the West and in the rest of the world. A highlight that pushed Meta to deploy many updates in the space of a few years.

If the latter have considerably improved the user experience, they have also introduced options that not everyone is necessarily familiar with. The objective of this guide is therefore to help you go a little further with the application… and to correct many of its small or large faults.

Note that if this guide was written from the Android version of the application, all the functions listed are also valid on iPhone. However, some menus may change. Also note that WhatsApp evolves a lot over the updates. Some of these tips may no longer be valid by the time you read this file.

Tip 1: Limit WhatsApp data usage

Not everyone has an unlimited data plan, so it may be worth configuring WhatsApp to use less data.

It’s totally possible, just follow these steps:

  1. Open the app;
  2. Tap on the button located at the top right;
  3. Tap on the “settings” menu;
  4. Go to the section called ‘Data and storage usage’;
  5. Activate the option “Use less data for calls”.
  6. Pay attention to the section titled “Auto Download Media”;
  7. Tap on “using mobile data”;
  8. Disable the media types of your choice;

From this moment, WhatsApp will no longer download associated media while roaming. Be careful, however, because this also means that you will no longer be able to display the photos, videos or documents of your friends and collaborators when your phone is connected to mobile networks. It may therefore be wise to adapt this parameter to your needs.

Tip 2: Disable Media Backup in Gallery

If there is one thing that is very annoying with WhatsApp, it is when the latter has fun automatically downloading all the media shared in our conversations to store them locally in our gallery. Which ends up cluttering it unnecessarily.

Again, however, it is possible to disable this feature:

  1. Open the app;
  2. Go to settings;
  3. Open the section devoted to “discussions”;
  4. Disable the “media visibility” option;

Once disabled, WhatsApp will no longer automatically save media shared in conversations on your phone. If you want to keep an image, you will have to save it manually.

Tip 3: Disable Reading Alert

When someone sends you a message and you open it, they will see a mark in the chat window indicating that their message has been read.

However, WhatsApp gives you the choice and it is thus possible to deactivate this confirmation.

  1. Open the app;
  2. Go to the settings;
  3. Go to “account”;
  4. Continue by going to “Privacy”;
  5. Disable the “read confirmations” option;

Small precision that is important. If you disable the reading alert for your friends, then it will also be disabled for you. In other words, you will no longer have a read receipt. At WhatsApp, it is indeed give and take. To benefit from this function, you must agree to undergo it.

Tip 4: share your location

You are expected at friends’ house, but you got lost? Don’t panic, all you have to do is share your location with them so they know where you are… and allow them to guide you.

How ? By following these steps:

  1. Create a conversation with the person of your choice;
  2. OR open the conversation of your choice;
  3. Tap the “+” symbol on the paperclip;
  4. Look for the “Location” option;
  5. Give the requested permissions to WhatsApp if it asks for them;
  6. Select the type of sharing;
  7. Set the duration of location sharing;
  8. Validate.

WhatsApp offers two ways to share your location. It is indeed possible to opt for a one-off sharing or for a follow-up. In the first case, you will be able to send your friends the place where you are at the moment “t”. In the second, the sharing will be continuous and your friends will therefore be able to see your movements and follow your race in real time.

Tip 5: Free up memory on WhatsApp

Smartphones are limited in memory. And WhatsApp just tends to take a heavy toll on your device’s storage. However, it is possible to free up space easily and by following a few steps:

  1. Go to app settings;
  2. Tap on “Data and storage usage”;
  3. Tap on “Manage Storage”;
  4. Tap on the conversation to clean up;
  5. Make a long press on the file to be deleted;
  6. OR long press on a file and select files to delete;
  7. OR tap “select all” at the top to select all files associated with the conversation;
  8. Tap on the trash can;
  9. Validate by tapping again on the “delete” button;

Here, it’s up to you what you want to do. If you’ve already backed up the important stuff, the fastest way might be to directly delete all the files associated with the conversation.

Tip 6: Change the wallpaper of a conversation

It’s not the trick that will change your life and chances are you already know it, but a booster shot won’t hurt you.

WhatsApp allows you to change the wallpaper of a conversation in a few moments:

  1. Launch WhatsApp;
  2. Go to app settings;
  3. Tap on the “Chats” menu;
  4. Tap on the “wallpaper” menu:
  5. Tap on the “edit” button;
  6. Choose a type of wallpaper and the image of your choice;

Attention, if you apply this procedure, then the wallpaper will change to all conversations. If you want to change only the wallpaper of an exchange, then you will have to open it, tap on the button at the top right and look for the “wallpaper” option. WhatsApp will then display the same window as before and you will only have to choose the type of wallpaper and the desired image.

Tip 7: enable biometrics

WhatsApp is a relatively secure app, but that’s obviously no reason not to be careful. And it is precisely possible to activate identification by biometrics.

Here, everything will of course depend on your phone. And more specifically if it is equipped with a facial recognition system or a fingerprint reader. But in either case, all you have to do is follow this procedure:

  1. Go to the settings;
  2. Go to “Account”;
  3. Then in the “Confidentiality” menu;
  4. Tap on “Lock by…”;

Then set the type of lock you want, depending on what your phone offers.

Tip 8: send ephemeral messages

Again, this function is quite well known, but you may have missed it.

Just like Snapchat, WhatsApp allows you to send ephemeral messages. How ? By following these steps:

  • Open a chat;
  • Tap the contact’s name at the top of the screen;
  • Go down to the part devoted to ephemeral messages;
  • Tap on the button;
  • Set the function activation time;
  • Validate your choice;

To stop sending ephemeral messages, simply repeat the same steps and then select the “Disable” option in the menu.

Tip 9: Enable Dark Mode

It is increasingly present on our applications and WhatsApp of course could not ignore it.

The application allows you to activate a dark mode in a few moments.

  • Open the app;
  • Tap on the three dots at the top right;
  • Tap on “settings”;
  • Tap on “Discussions” then on “Topics”;

You can then activate dark mode. Or return to the clear theme. It will also be possible to ask WhatsApp to stick to the default theme defined for the system.

Tip 10: Mute a chat

A conversation is livelier than the others and you can’t take any more of all the notifications it generates? Don’t panic, just switch it to silent mode. It’s simple, fast and you won’t have to rack your brains to do it:

  • Open a chat;
  • Tap the contact or group name;
  • Tap on the “silent notification” option to enable it;
  • WhatsApp will ask you for a duration;
  • Do it and tap “ok”;

Small precision, WhatsApp gives you the choice between three options: eight hours, a week or always. We would of course have liked to have a little more choice.

And if you want to go a little further, then here is a trick to leave a WhatsApp group discreetly.

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