How to Use WhatsApp Video Calls for Individual and Group Calls

Make a WhatsApp call from any mobile device

WhatsApp is best known as a text-messaging app. It can also be used to make video calls over the internet (known as VoIP calls). This guide explains how to make personal and group calls and covers all available operating systems.

WhatsApp recently dropped support for devices with older operating systems. It now only supports iPhones with iOS 9 or later and Android smartphones with version 4.0.3 or later. If you're using a desktop or laptop computer, you can use an Android emulator to outsmart Whatsapp and make video calls without a smartphone, too. (Scroll to the bottom of this article for info about that.)

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How to Make a WhatsApp Video Call

To make a video call, open a chat with the person you want to contact, then tap the Voice Call icon (it looks like a phone). Alternatively, tap the Calls tab and press the green button to start a call with a contact.

Looking for information about making individual or group phone (voice) calls instead? Read How to Make WhatsApp Phone Calls.

Starting a call in WhatsApp

To switch mid-call from a video to a voice conversation, and vice versa, select the Camera icon while on a call. WhatsApp sends a request to the person you're talking to and asks them to switch from video to voice.

WhatsApp video calls are free. However, the app requires an internet connection, so it consumes mobile data if you're connected through a cellular network. To avoid using your data allowance, connect to a Wi-Fi network before placing a call.

How to Receive a WhatsApp Video Call

Receiving calls on WhatsApp is easier than placing calls. Here's how to do it:

  • On an iOS device, tap the green Accept icon to open the call, or the red Decline icon to refuse it.
  • On an Android device, swipe up to accept and swipe down to decline. You can also swipe up to Reply to decline the call with a quick message.
Accept button in WhatsApp

Join a Call in Progress

If you get an incoming WhatsApp group voice or video call, but can’t take the call right away, you can join the call later, at your convenience. This functionality mimics the real-life flow of an in-person conversation, allowing you to pop into the group call when you’re ready.

To use this feature, when the WhatsApp group call comes in, tap Ignore on the incoming call screen if you can’t join the call right away.

When you’re ready to join the group call, tap the active call from your Calls tab in the WhatsApp app, then tap Join. Users can join, leave, and rejoin calls as many times as they like, as long as the call is active.

There’s also a call info screen where the call’s creator can view who’s currently on the group call and who hasn’t yet joined the call.

How to Make a WhatsApp Group Call

In addition to one-on-one video chats, WhatsApp hosts group video chats. These work like video calls, except you can add contacts to the list of participants.

WhatsApp supports up to four participants in a group video call.

  1. Start a call with a contact using the instructions above.

  2. Once they accept the call, select Add Participant.

  3. Search for or select another contact you want to add to the call.

  4. Select Add.

    Adding a participant to a WhatsApp call

There are a few things to keep in mind when using the WhatsApps group calling feature.

  • Make sure everyone has a strong internet connection. The quality of the call depends on the contact with the weakest connection.
  • You can't switch to a group video call during a group voice call.
  • You can't remove a contact during a group voice call. The contact needs to hang up to disconnect from the call.
  • You can't add a blocked contact to the call. You can be in a group voice call with someone you blocked if they were invited by someone else.

How to Make WhatsApp Video Calls on Desktops and Laptops

You can't use the WhatsApp desktop app to place video calls. You can only use the desktop app to send and receive text messages.

A screenshot of the WhatsApp Mac app.

However, Windows users can work around this limitation by downloading an Android emulator such as AndY, Nox, or BlueStacks. These can also be downloaded on Mac computers. Android emulators allow you to download the mobile version of WhatsApp onto your computer, which you can use to place video calls.

If you're not a fan of emulators, you can also install Android on your PC without one.

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