The 12 Best WhatsApp Tricks and Tips in 2023

Secret chat and messaging features you'll use right away

WhatsApp is a really straightforward messaging app to use, but there's a lot more going on under the surface than simply allowing you to message your friends and exchange GIFs. There are plenty of fun WhatsApp tricks out there to learn from secret WhatsApp messaging features to convenient ways of customizing your experience so it looks and works better for you. 

All the following tips and tricks are great ways to enjoy WhatsApp even more, and entirely for free too. 

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The Handiest Trick: Replying to a Specific Message

Reply icon and response box in WhatsApp

You might be wondering how to like in WhatsApp–hitting a button and simply showing that you like a message is a common feature on other social networking apps. You can't do that on WhatsApp but you can easily reply to a specific message instead. That works kind of like demonstrating that you 'like' a certain message. 

To reply to a specific message so that it features as a quote in your reply, long press the message and tap Reply.

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An Uncommon Gem: Pin a Chat to the Top

Thumbtack icons in WhatsApp

Is there someone you message who's most important to you? A close friend or loved one? You can pin their conversation to the top of your chat window so you never have to look around among your other chats to find them. 

  • On iOS, swipe right on the message, then tap Pin Chat.
  • On Android, long press the chat conversation, then tap the thumbtack at the top of the screen.
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The Coolest Tip: Change Your WhatsApp Wallpaper Background

Settings, Chats, and Wallpaper highlighted in WhatsApp

You don't have to stick with the default background for your chats. You can change your WhatsApp background to a favorite photo or fun wallpaper. Best of all, you can choose a photo from your phone's photo gallery so it looks even more personal than usual. Go to Settings > Chats > Wallpaper > Change to choose from a variety of different backgrounds or a change of color.

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The Most Practical Tip: Searching Chat

Search icon and search field in WhatsApp

It's easy to get carried away while chatting on WhatsApp, so messages build up fast. If you've realized a little too late that you wanted to save something for later, you can go back and search through your chats. 

All you need to do is either tap the search icon or type in the search bar to look up anything. It'll search across all your WhatsApp conversations and quickly show you all the results. Just tap the message you need to go straight there.

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The Safest Advice: Send Your Location to a Friend

Paperclip, Location, and Share Live Location highlighted in WhatsApp

If you're meeting up with a friend, or you want to make sure they know where you are, you can easily share your location with someone at the tap of a button. 

Simply tap on the + sign or paperclip next to the message box, then tap Location > Share Live Location. WhatsApp will then send the other person your location so they know where you are. It's a really useful safety feature if you want to let a friend know where you are.

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The Most Interesting Tip: Find Who You Chat With Most

Settings, Storage and Data, and Manage Storage in WhatsApp

Ever wondered who you chat with the most on a daily basis through WhatsApp? This free WhatsApp trick makes it easy to find out. Go to Settings > Storage and Data > Manage Storage and select a contact to see how you converse with them.

The list is organized according to the person you send the most data to so if there's one friend that you send lots of GIFs but not much else, they could beat another friend you send text-based messages to. Either way, it's a great insight into who gets your attention the most. Statistics are narrowed down to messages, photos, GIFs, videos, voice messages, and documents.

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Fanciest Tip: Add Emphasis to Your Words

bold, italic, and strikethrough highlighted in WhatsApp

You're not restricted to just typing messages in the basic WhatsApp font. You can also add emphasis to the Whatsapp messages through bold, italic, or strikethrough

If you want to make a word bold, simply add an asterisk on either side of the word you're typing. For italics, add an underscore on either side, while a tilde on either side places a strikethrough across the word.

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The Sneakiest Tip: Archive Your Chats

Selected chat, Archive folder icon, and 1 chat archived highlighted in WhatsApp

The best way to keep your conversations private is to archive your chats regularly. When you archive a chat, it doesn't delete it forever but it hides it from your main window making it more difficult for someone to see at a glance. 

  • To archive a chat conversation in iOS, swipe left on a chat window, then tap Archive.
  • On Android, long press the chat, then tap the folder to archive it.
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Most Private Tip: Reply to a Group Chat Message Privately

Three dot menu, Reply privately, and Message highlighted in WhatsApp

Part of a group chat with all the family or a bunch of friends? You've no doubt had times when you'd rather talk to someone privately. Obviously, you can dig out your private one-on-one chat, or create a new one, but there are easier ways of doing this.

  • On iOS, press and hold a message in a group chat, then tap More > Reply Privately. A private chat opens up with the text box below.
  • On Android, you need to press and hold the message then tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner and tap Reply Privately
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Money Saving Tip: Save Your Data Allowance

Storage and data, When using mobile data, and unchecked boxes highlighted in WhatsApp

Does your cell phone provider only offer a limited data allowance each month? WhatsApp has many ways in which you can keep an eye on how it's using your data. To see how much data you've used so far, go to Settings > Storage and Data > Network Usage.

To only download media when you're connected to a Wi-Fi network, go to Settings > Storage and Data > When using mobile data and uncheck all the boxes.

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For the Big Fan: Be Always Online

WhatsApp desktop program download page

Want to always be seen as 'online' on WhatsApp? You can't do that on your phone, but you can set it that way if you sign up for the WhatsApp web app. It syncs everything from your phone and makes it look like you're always available. For certain users, this can be pretty useful. Plus it means you can use WhatsApp on your iPad too. 

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For Extra Security: View Once Messages

View Once (1) icon and OK highlighted in WhatsApp

For another level of privacy, you can make an image you send in WhatsApp “view once.” Adding this designation before you press Send will make the photo or text disappear as soon as the recipient reads it. This optional feature is similar to how things work in Snapchat and is handy for sending things like passwords.

In a message, choose a photo or video to send, then tap the 1 in the message field to turn on “view once” before you send.

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