How to Use WhatsApp on an iPad

Enjoy messaging on your favorite device

WhatsApp is one of the biggest instant messaging apps in the world. Designed with iPhones and Android smartphones in mind, it unfortunately doesn't have a dedicated iPad app. That will hopefully change in the future, but for now, here are some workarounds on how to download WhatsApp on iPad and safely use it.

You need to already have WhatsApp set up on your iPhone or Android smartphone. 

Does WhatsApp Work on iPad? 

The WhatsApp iOS app doesn't work on iPad. It's only available on the App Store for iPhone users. It won't work on any iPad right now, until WhatsApp decides to launch an iPad version of the app.

However, you can get WhatsApp to work via the web interface and a small workaround method that works via the iPad's Safari browser. It's not perfect, but it's an option.

How to Set up WhatsApp on iPad

Setting up WhatsApp Web on your iPad doesn't take long. Here's how to get get started. 

Any iPad with an internet connection will work with WhatsApp Web, although the instructions are slightly different depending on the age of your iPad. 

  1. Open Safari and go to web.whatsapp.com.

  2. The website will display a QR code to pair it with your iPhone. 

    WhatsApp web screenshot for syncing it with your smartphone

    If it doesn't, you may have an older iPad which requires slightly different instructions further down. 

  3. On your smartphone, open WhatsApp.

  4. Tap Settings > WhatsApp Web/Desktop.

  5. Scan the QR code displayed on your iPad.

    Steps on how to sync WhatsApp with WhatsApp Web/Desktop
  6. The website will reload and display all your WhatsApp messages. 

Remember to log out once you've finished using the site.

How to Set up WhatsApp on an Older iPad

Older iPads use iOS rather than iPadOS which means its settings are slightly different. If your iPad doesn't automatically display the QR code when you go to web.whatsapp.com, here's what to do.

iPads that don't support iPadOS include the original iPad Air, iPad Mini 3 and below, and iPad 4th generation and older.

  1. Open Safari and go to web.whatsapp.com.

  2. Tap and hold the refresh icon to the right of the website address.

    How to find request desktop site on Safari
  3. Tap Request desktop site when it appears.

    Request desktop site prompt on Safari
  4. Wait a moment for the website to reload to the desktop version of the site, which will display a QR code to pair with your iPhone.

  5. On your smartphone, open WhatsApp.

  6. Tap Settings > WhatsApp Web/Desktop.

  7. Scan the QR code displayed on your iPad.

    WhatsApp prompts for setting up WhatsApp Web/Desktop
  8. The website will reload and display all your WhatsApp messages. 

Remember to log out once you've finished using the site.

How to Chat With WhatsApp 

Chatting to someone via WhatsApp on your iPad is nearly as simple as using the app. Here's how to get started once you have WhatsApp web open in Safari.

  1. Tap the name of the person you want to message. 

  2. Tap the Type a message dialog box.

  3. Type your message, then tap the arrow to send it to your friend. 

What Limitations Are There to WhatsApp on Your iPad?

Because WhatsApp isn't really meant to work on your iPad, there are some key limitations to what you can do on it. 

  • No notifications: You won't get any notifications when you receive a message from someone. You have to manually open the website every time you want to check for new messages. 
  • Different contacts: The list of contacts from your iPhone or Android smartphone will be displayed in WhatsApp Web, rather than the contacts on your iPad. 
  • Limited voice notes: You can't send voice notes through WhatsApp Web, although you can still play received ones.
  • Existing account: You require an existing WhatsApp account to use this method.