Social Media Facebook 219 219 people found this article helpful How to Use WhatsApp on Your Computer Chat on your PC or Mac in the web and desktop versions of WhatsApp By Christina Michelle Bailey Freelance Contributor Former Lifewire writer Christina Michelle Bailey is a consultant and speaker on the topic of digital media who focuses on digital business models and content distribution. our editorial process LinkedIn Christina Michelle Bailey Updated February 28, 2020 Facebook Facebook Flipboard Pinterest Twitter Snapchat Instagram YouTube Online Dating Tweet Share Email WhatsApp is available for a variety of mobile devices including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Windows phones, and Apple Watch. There's a free web client that makes it possible to access the WhatsApp interface on a computer from a web browser. There's also a standalone WhatsApp desktop client for Windows and Mac. Instructions in this article apply to WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop available for Mac OS X 10.9 and up and Windows 8 and newer. WhatsApp Web Vs. WhatsApp Desktop WhatsApp Desktop is a robust program made for users accustomed to using WhatsApp. It supports keyboard shortcuts while chatting, and notifications can be sent directly to your desktop. WhatsApp Web is easier if you're new to the program. All you have to do is log in to the WhatsApp website from any browser. Your messages instantly appear no matter which computer you use, where it is, and whether it's public or private. Both versions of WhatsApp let you send pictures and other types of files just like the mobile version. How to Use WhatsApp From a Computer If you don't have the mobile app, download it on your phone before setting up WhatsApp on your computer. Once you've done that, visit WhatsApp Web, or download the desktop program from the WhatsApp download page. In the desktop version, select the download link that corresponds with your computer operating system (Windows or Mac). Once opened, the process for setting up the WhatsApp desktop program and web client interface is the same: Open WhatsApp on your phone. Tap the Chats tab, then tap the three vertical dots to open a drop-down menu. Tap WhatsApp Web. Hold your phone up to the computer screen to scan the QR Code displayed on the desktop or web client. The WhatsApp client opens immediately and shows the messages you have on your phone. Close WhatsApp on your phone and use it from your computer. Your phone must remain connected to the internet while you use the WhatsApp web client. The application syncs directly with your mobile device, so a Wi-Fi connection is necessary to avoid data charges. WhatsApp Desktop and Web Features The web and desktop versions of WhatsApp allow you to browse your hard drive for photos, videos, and documents that you can send through the chat interface. If your computer has a webcam, you can access it directly in the interface to take a photo that you can send in chat. Select the paperclip in the upper-right corner of the chat window to reveal a drop-down menu. Another feature unique to WhatsApp Desktop is voice messages. Start a recording by selecting the microphone in the lower-right corner of the interface. Limitations of WhatsApp Desktop and Web A few WhatsApp features that are available on a mobile device are not available on a computer. For example, the desktop version doesn't have the option to invite people from your address book to join WhatsApp. In addition, you can’t share your location or a map. Also, you can have either WhatsApp Web or WhatsApp Desktop open at any given time, but having both open automatically shuts down the program that's not currently in use.