Seven hidden WhatsApp features to make your life easier, including “super stealth mode” and backing up your chats

WHATSAPP is the most popular messaging app in the UK that allows users to communicate with family and loved ones around the world.

It was launched in 2009 and bought by Facebook’s parent company Meta five years later.


WhatsApp has a number of hidden features that users may not be aware of.Credit: Getty

Mastering the basics of how WhatsApp works is incredibly easy, but there are a number of hidden features that can make life even easier.

‘Super stealth mode’

There are a number of little tricks that can be used to prevent the sender of a message from knowing that you have seen the message they sent.

An easy way is to long press on the message when it appears on the iPhone lock screen.

This opens a preview of the full text so you can read it without having to open the message in the app.

Back up your chats

Users may want to back up their chats in case they are accidentally deleted and lost forever.

WhatsApp has a feature that can send them directly to an email address.

This can be done by opening the chat you want to save, then clicking options then more, then ’email chat’.

Up to 40,000 messages can be sent at any time, with or without media files.

Send your location

You can tell a friend exactly where you are and allow them to track your phone through the app.

This can be useful if, for example, you are late for an appointment or meeting.

Users can choose from three time periods that will allow tracking to take place: 15 minutes, one hour, or eight hours.

For this, it depends on the system you use.

iOS: Tap on the chat, tap the + button on the bottom left, hit ‘location’ followed by ‘share live location’ and select your duration.

Android: Tap on the chat, tap on the clip image on the right, hit ‘location’ followed by ‘share live location’ and select your duration.

Send a disappearing image or video

It is possible to send a photo or video that disappears after it has been viewed once, similar to how SnapChat works.

This can be useful if you want to send sensitive or private information, though keep in mind that the recipient can still take a screenshot.

iOS: Open a chat, tap the + icon, select the photo or video, tap the ‘1’ to the left of the blue send arrow, then send.

Android: Open chat, tap the clip icon, select a photo or video, tap the ‘1’ next to the blue send arrow, and send.

Hands-free voice message recording

While most people know that you can send voice messages through the app to your contacts, many may not know that recording a message can be done hands-free.

To do this, press and hold the microphone symbol and then slide it up, this effectively ‘locks’ the recording function.

Once the message is complete, just hit send.

Pin key friends and group chats

For anyone who often leaves messages unanswered or takes too long to reply, WhatsApp has a feature that can come in handy.

Users can pin certain chats to the top of the app, meaning they’ll be the first to see above new and unread messages.

iOS: swipe left to right, tap ‘pin chat’

Android: long press on chat, press pin at top of screen

Require Face ID or Touch ID to unlock the app

Unfortunately, this feature is currently only available for iOS users, but it adds another level of security for anyone who wants to keep their messages away from prying eyes.

Once the feature has been activated, Face ID or Touch ID will be needed to be able to access messages even on a phone that has already been unlocked.

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This can be done via the settings button, then go to privacy, then lock screen at the bottom of the screen and then activate the ‘require Face ID’ button.

It can be turned on immediately, after one minute, after 15 minutes or one hour of not being used.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the UK


WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the UKCredit: AFP

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