The worldwide family of WhatsApp users is growing very quickly; as of last month, WhatsApp reported nearly a billion active users! The messaging application, which is compatible on all the major operating systems (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Phone, etc.) is now available for PC as well. The official name for WhatsApp for PC is “WhatsApp Web”, which works in your web browser on newer versions of Windows and Mac OSX (unfortunately, at this time WhatsApp Web is not available for iPhone users).
WhatsApp PC Features
WhatsApp Web is designed to give you uninterrupted communication with your loved ones, even when your phone is off. The WhatsApp application saves all of your messages for you so that you can access them on your desktop or laptop PC, or find them on your phone when you turn it on later. You won’t have to log in or out of the WhatsApp on your PC, just like on your smartphone. Your WhatsApp contact list will also sync to your PC when you download WhatsApp Web for PC; the mobile version and PC version really integrate seamlessly.
Just like in the mobile version, you can use WhatsApp for PC to save your limited text messages and mobile data and still send unlimited texts, pictures, audio messages and even video clips. WhatsApp Web for PC is free with your WhatsApp mobile subscription (free for the first year, and $0.99 per year afterwards).
Download WhatsApp for PC
Downloading WhatsApp Web for PC is slightly more complicated than installing a normal app, but is still quite simple and we’ll walk you through the process. Here’s how to install WhatsApp Web:
The first thing you will need to do, if you haven’t already, is download the latest version of WhatsApp on your smartphone; you’ll need it in order to access WhatsApp Web. This is because WhatsApp Web isn’t an autonomous account, but instead an extension of your mobile app that mirrors and syncs with it.
Once you have the mobile WhatsApp on your phone, use your PC to go to web.whatsapp.com. You have to use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Opera (or Safari for Mac users). You’ll see a QR code on your computer screen that you will have to scan with your phone from within WhatsApp (not your regular QR scanner app). To open the scanner, open the menu like you were going to your WhatsApp “Settings”, and if you’re using the latest update, you should see the option “WhatsApp Web”. Selecting that option will open the scanner; then just scan the QR code on your computer screen. Now your PC will prompt you to install WhatsApp, and all you have to do is follow the on screen instructions; your account is already linked to your phone so you can toggle between devices whenever you want. You’ll be able to open WhatsApp Web from your browser without having to scan any codes or log in from now on (unless you log out manually, on a public computer, for example).
Advantages of WhatsApp Web on PC
The main advantage of having WhatsApp on your PC is you can type faster with your keyboard and take advantage of the larger screen, which is great for viewing pictures and video files that your friends share with you. It also makes it easier to save media files to your computer, instead of having to go through a cloud storage intermediate.
There are a couple drawbacks to WhatsApp Web, despite the advantages. First, even though it can run in Safari on Mac OSX, it doesn’t work with iPhone accounts. So if you have an Android phone and a Mac computer, that’s ok, but an iPhone with any type of PC won’t work. Since WhatsApp Web requires a mobile account to sync to, that means iPhone users are out of luck for at least the time being. The second drawback is an important one: WhatsApp is going to need double the data to work if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi; to prevent WhatsApp Web from sucking up all of your data without you even realizing it, change your phone settings or WhatsApp settings to only work when a Wi-Fi connection is available. That way, your devices can sync while you are connected without eating up your mobile data when you’re not.