Another function, Report and Block is useful for annoying spam messages you might receive on WhatsApp. Using this feature notifies WhatsApp’s database of suspicious numbers to stop others receiving similar messages. Go to Contact Info, Report Contact, Report and Block.
Transfer from Android to iPhone
In the past, it wasn’t possible to easily transfer WhatsApp messages between Android and iPhone, because the end-to-end encrypted chats are stored on the device itself rather than in the cloud.
But in August this year, WhatsApp announced message history and content can now be transferred between Android and iOS, starting with the new Samsung Galaxy foldables. It works via a QR code when the Android and iOS devices are physically connected via a USB-C to Lightning Cable – the phone number just needs to be the same on both devices.
If you are changing your phone, you’ll want to unlink your WhatsApp account and delete the data. If you have a new number, simply delete the old WhatsApp account and re-register. Before you return your old phone or sell it, wipe all the data including the SD card to avoid your information ending up in the wrong hands.
WhatsApp has also launched a multi-device beta which allows you to link four devices excluding your smartphone. If you join the beta, you can use the Linked Devices setting to manage these and Unlink them if you wish.
WhatsApp isn’t secured with a password, but it does offer multi-factor authentication to help stop your account from being hacked. This is done via a PIN, which you will be asked to enter semi-regularly, rather than every time you open WhatsApp.
The PIN setting isn’t enabled by default, so you need to do this yourself. To start, go to Account, Two-Step Verification and Enable the feature. Then you can set up a secure six-digit PIN and add an email address to allow you to quickly reset the code if needed.
WhatsApp also allows you to use biometrics such as the iPhone’s Face ID to secure your account. On an iPhone, it’s in Settings, Privacy, Screen Lock, Require Face ID to open WhatsApp.
Requesting account information
With many people switching from WhatsApp to other messaging services such as Signal and Telegram, there is an easy way to obtain your data. The WhatsApp request account information feature allows you to receive a report of your WhatsApp account information and settings for you to review or port to another app.
Go to WhatsApp Settings, Account, Request Account Info and choose Request Report.
About three days later, WhatsApp will send a notification letting you know how long you have to download the report before it’s deleted from its servers. Don’t change your phone number or delete your account until you have the data: WhatsApp warns your pending request will be voided and you’ll have to ask for another report.
By default, WhatsApp’s privacy settings can reveal a lot of information to people you chat to, such as whether you have read the message, when you last saw it, and profile features such as your picture. But the good news is, these settings are simple to tweak if you’d like to be more anonymous when using the app.
You can adjust these settings in WhatsApp, Settings, Account, Privacy, while considering a few caveats. If you don’t share your last seen and read receipts, you won’t be able to see other people’s. In addition, there is no way to hide when you are online or typing; and read receipts are always sent for group chats.
QR code to add contacts
WhatsApp QR codes are a convenient way to add contact information to WhatsApp. In person, simply open Settings, tap Scan, OK and hold your device over the QR code, then tap Add to Contacts. To scan from photos, open Settings, choose the QR icon displayed next to your name, tap Scan, and choose the Photos icon on the bottom of the screen. Select the WhatsApp QR code from your photos and Add to Contacts.
Manage storage tools and turn off auto-download
By default, WhatsApp saves all photos sent in a chat to your camera roll. It’s irritating and storage-hogging, and sometimes dangerous, since images can come with malware embedded. As well as being extra careful with unknown images and attachments, it makes sense to disable autosave images.
You can turn this off in Settings, Storage and Data. More broadly, you can view how much space WhatsApp is taking up on your device by going to Settings, Storage and Data, Manage Storage. It’s then easy to delete files and free up space.
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