How to use WhatsApp: 9 steps (with pictures)

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How to use WhatsApp: 9 steps (with pictures)
How to use WhatsApp: 9 steps (with pictures)

WhatsApp, a pun based on the informal English greeting "what's up?", is an ad-free mobile phone messaging app. Users can exchange text and media messages via mobile data or Wi-Fi without having to pay. Once you use WhatsApp to communicate with your friends you will wonder how you ever lived without it!


Use WhatsApp Step 1

Step 1. Download WhatsApp for your phone

The app is available on the website, in the iTunes App Store and Android Play Store.

  • WhatsApp doesn't sell ad space that allows users to send messages in a clean environment, but that means they charge a small fee if you want to use the app. With all phones you can try WhatsApp for free for the first year, after that you pay $0.99 per year.

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Use WhatsApp Step 2

Step 2. Start the app on your smartphone

Follow the instructions on your screen to create a WhatsApp account linked to your phone number. Allow WhatsApp to sync with your contacts so you can easily send messages to people you know.

Use WhatsApp Step 3

Step 3. Manage your favorites

Once you are in your account you will see all your contacts who already have a WhatsApp account in the 'Favorites' tab. If you keep this list intact you can easily see who has WhatsApp, but it can also be too full if you want to be able to reach some of your contacts in a simple way.

  • You can tap Edit in the top left corner, then Delete All to clear the list and start from scratch, or you can use the red delete button next to a name to manually remove people from Favorites.

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  • You can still see your contacts in the Contacts tab (the middle button on the navigation bar). The status of contacts who use WhatsApp is shown under their name. If you tap on a contact you can also see if they have WhatsApp if it says 'Send message', instead of 'Invite'.
Use WhatsApp Step 4

Step 4. Change your status

Tap "Status" in the horizontal navigation bar at the bottom. Tap the '+' in the top right corner to add a new custom status.

  • You can edit your current status by tapping the button under "Your current status is:" or by choosing a default or previous status from the list below.

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  • To clear your statuses, tap Edit in the top left corner to clear them one at a time, or you can scroll down and tap Clear Status to clear them all.

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Use WhatsApp Step 5

Step 5. Invite friends if you want them to use WhatsApp too

Tap "Contacts" in the center of the navigation bar. Find a contact and tap it to see the details. Tap 'Invite to Whatsapp' to send them an invitation to download the app by SMS.

  • If you use this option to invite a contact in another country, additional SMS costs may be charged to both parties. You can also send them an invitation email instead. To do that, go to 'Settings' >> 'Tell a friend', then select 'Mail'.

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  • To send a message to a friend using WhatsApp, he or she must be added to the contacts on your phone. Make sure his or her phone number is entered correctly in your address book and make sure he or she has WhatsApp installed.

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Use WhatsApp Step 6

Step 6. Start a chat

Tap Chats in the navigation bar. Tap the pencil icon in the top right corner and select a contact to start a WhatsApp conversation. You will now be brought to a new chat window where you can type a message, or you can tap the arrow (iPhone), menu (BlackBerry) or paper clip (Android, Nokia, Windows) to share a location, contact, photo or video. You can also record a video or take a photo to share.

  • Under the recipient's name in the chat window, you can see when they were last seen, which is the last time they closed WhatsApp or lost internet connection. You can also see if they are online, which means they have WhatsApp open and connected to the internet.

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  • To start a new group message, tap the 'New Group' button below the arrow (iPhone) or tap the menu and options button and select 'New Group' (BlackBerry, Android, Nokia, Windows). In the subject line, type a name for the group and add participants below. You can also set a group image.

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Use WhatsApp Step 7

Step 7. Wait for the message to be delivered to your friend's phone

One check mark next to your message means it has been received by the server, and two check marks mean the message has been successfully delivered to the recipient's phone.

Use WhatsApp Step 8

Step 8. Manage your chats

Tap Chats in the navigation bar. You will see a list of all WhatsApp conversations with individual users and groups. Tap a conversation to revive a conversation or to re-read an old chat.

Use WhatsApp Step 9

Step 9. Change your settings

Tap your 'Settings' icon in the navigation bar.

  • To edit your name or profile picture, tap Profile.

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  • To change the font size, background and download settings, click on 'Chats and conversations'.

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  • To block users from contacting you, tap Chats & Conversations, then tap Blocked. Here you will find the list of blocked users. Blocked users can see your status, but not your 'Last seen' time or availability, and they can't message you. You can also find out if someone else has blocked you.

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  • You can turn off your 'Last seen' time by tapping 'Account' >> 'Privacy' >> 'Last seen'. If you keep this hidden, others won't know when you last used WhatsApp.

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  • WhatsApp is supported by iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows and Nokia. People who have one of these phones can send each other messages via WhatsApp.
  • If you turn on 'Save received media', all the photos and videos your friends send you via chats will be downloaded automatically. That does lead to more data usage, so it's better to turn it off if you use WhatsApp with your mobile data. You can always download specific photos or videos separately if you want to keep something.
  • If you are not connected to WiFi, WhatsApp uses your mobile data. Make sure that you do not exceed your maximum and turn off WhatsApp if necessary to avoid extra costs.

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