A new feature in WhatsApp makes it possible to use the chat app on multiple devices at the same time, without having to turn on your phone. We explain what it does for you and how to activate it.
WhatsApp is primarily a phone app but has been available on other devices for a while now. For example, you can install a WhatsApp app on your laptop that connects to your phone and forwards your messages to the big screen. You can also connect to a special web version of WhatsApp, so that you can use the app on your iPad via a detour, for example.
Two big drawbacks
Those versions of WhatsApp have two major drawbacks: because they pair directly with your phone, your device must always be connected to the internet and turned on. In addition, you can only make that connection with one device at a time. If you want to use WhatsApp on your home computer after you opened the app on your work laptop, you have to log in again by scanning a QR code.
A new option from WhatsApp puts an end to those restrictions. By flipping a switch, you can connect multiple devices to WhatsApp at the same time, which remain connected even if your phone is out of range. WhatsApp apps are no longer connected to your phone, but to your underlying WhatsApp account.
This is how you activate multiple devices for WhatsApp
The new option is in a test phase but can be used by everyone as of this week. You can do this by opening WhatsApp and going to ‘Settings’ > ‘Paired devices’> ‘Multi-device beta’. There you then tap the button to participate in the test.
After that, all you need to do is log in to WhatsApp for Desktop or WhatsApp Web from your phone. There you scan the displayed QR code again to connect to your WhatsApp account.
Attention: chatting with outdated apps is not possible
The new test function does have some drawbacks. The main one is connectivity with outdated versions of WhatsApp. Has someone not updated their app in a long time, and are they using WhatsApp for Desktop or WhatsApp Web? Then you cannot exchange messages with each other.
WhatsApp also emphasizes that this is a test, and the company cannot guarantee that everything will run smoothly. There is a small chance that you will encounter bugs or other defects. WhatsApp does guarantee that your messages are still encrypted in the same way and therefore cannot be viewed by anyone.