11 useful WhatsApp features you didn’t know existed

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Dodge the blue ticks

WhatsApp’s blue ticks show when sent messages have been read, but you can disable them buy going to Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts. However, bear in mind that, by doing so, you’ll lose the ability to see when your own sent messages have been read. Another, more fiddly way of reading your messages without triggering the blue ticks, is enabling Aeroplane Mode before opening your messages – just remember to close the app before switching Aeroplane Mode off again.

Hide your ‘last seen’ time

Prevent your friends from finding out when you were last online by hiding your last seen time. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen. As is the case with disabling read receipts, hiding your ‘last seen’ time will also stop you from seeing anybody else’s.

Limit data usage

You can control how much data you munch through on WhatsApp by limiting the types of media you automatically download on a mobile connection. Go to Settings > Data Usage and choose the best option for you.

Customise notifications

If you’re expecting an important WhatsApp message from someone, set a custom notification for them by opening the chat, tapping their name at the top and hitting Custom Notifications.

Format your messages

To jazz up any of your messages, simply highlight it by tapping and holding it, hit the More Options key on the pop-up menu and tap the formatting option you want – bold, italic, strikethrough or monospace.

Type hands-free

You can get Siri or Google Assistant to type your WhatsApp messages out for you by saying either “Hey Siri” or “Okay Google”, followed by the name of the person you want to message and the actual contents of the message.

Mark chats as unread

When you’ve read a message but can’t reply to it straight away, you can set a visual reminder by marking it as unread. On Android, long-press the conversation, and on iOS, swipe from left to right on a chat.

Email entire conversations

You almost certainly won’t do this on a regular basis, but it’s a handy option to have. You can export entire conversations – complete with emoji and media attachments – by hitting More inside a chat a selecting Email Chat.

Mass-message contacts

You can send the same message to lots of your contacts without lumping them all into one group, much like the BCC option on email, by hitting the New Broadcast option on the app’s main menu.

Pin conversations

You pin up to three contacts and groups to the top of your WhatsApp conversation list by tapping and holding a chat, then hitting the pin icon.

Make things easier to find

You can easily mark key messages with a star, allowing you to find them easily when you need to. Just tap and hold a message and hit the star icon to save it, and return to it later by selecting Starred Messages in WhatsApp’s main menu.