How To How to Use WhatsApp on More than one Device
WhatsApp recently teased multi-device functionality and has already started handing out this much-requested feature to beta testers. With multi-device functionality, you may use the same WhatsApp account across numerous devices without needing to keep your phone connected to the internet.
If utilizing WhatsApp from all your devices separately is something you are interested in, read on till the end to know all about WhatsApp’s multi-device functionality.
We will discuss how to verify if you have access to multi-device beta, how to enable and use WhatsApp on many devices.
Use WhatsApp on Multiple Devices (2021)
At the time of writing this post, WhatsApp is progressively rolling out multi-device beta capability for Android and iOS smartphones.
Even if you are on a beta build, you may not necessarily see the feature since it is a limited rollout. With that stated, let’s examine how you can check if your WhatsApp account supports multi-device capability and how you can enable it right now.
What Is Multi-Device Support on WhatsApp and How it Works
WhatsApp’s multi-device feature lets you simultaneously use your WhatsApp account on your phone and up to four additional devices. These devices include WhatsApp Web, WhatsApp Desktop for Windows, WhatsApp Desktop for Mac, and Facebook Portal.
The nice part here is that you will still be able to use WhatsApp on these devices even if your phone loses the internet connection. Unfortunately, you can’t use the same WhatsApp account (or phone number) on two phones just yet.
Before we get to the methods for utilizing one WhatsApp account on several devices, it’s crucial to grasp how multi-device support works to solve privacy issues. After all, one shouldn’t compromise privacy for the sake of convenience, especially in a private messaging app, right?
In its current condition, WhatsApp uses your phone’s app as the primary device, and all other platforms such as WhatsApp Web or Windows/ Mac apps rely on this connection to work. That is precisely why you always have to keep your phone linked to the internet while using WhatsApp Web or Desktop.
To avoid the issue of requiring an active phone, WhatsApp has overhauled the core architecture of how its messaging program works. According to the corporation, it now uses a client-fanout strategy where each device has its own identity key.
Plus, WhatsApp generates a pairwise encrypted session where the client encrypts the messages and transmits them to all the associated devices of the user.
Here, WhatsApp says that each message is individually encrypted utilizing the established pairwise encryption session with each device, and messages are not retained on the server after they are sent.
The company uses a scalable sender key encryption technique from the Signal Protocol for group communications. Here’s how the new multi-device design works for a WhatsApp message:
How to Enroll in WhatsApp Multi-Device Beta
At this moment, you will need a WhatsApp beta build to test the multi-device feature, since the beta program is full on both Android and iOS. So if you are already engaged in WhatsApp’s beta program, here’s how to join up for WhatsApp multi-device beta testing:
1. Open WhatsApp and tap on the vertical three dots menu at the top right corner. From the list of options that open up, tap on “Linked devices”.
2. If your WhatsApp account has received multi-device support, you will see a new “Multi-device beta” option here. Tap on it and press “Join beta” to join WhatsApp’s multi-device beta program.
3. WhatsApp will now warn you that you will have to link your companion devices once again. Tap “Continue” to confirm your activity, and well, you have successfully joined the multi-device beta. If you change your mind, you can always go back to the “Linked devices” settings page and leave the multi-device beta program.
Use Same WhatsApp Account on Multiple Devices
Now that you have signed up for multi-device beta, it’s time to link your devices. To achieve that, follow the instructions below:
1. Open the “Linked devices” screen in WhatsApp on your phone and open the WhatsApp Web or Desktop app on your PC. Once the QR code appears, tap on “Link a device” on your phone and scan the QR code on your PC or Facebook portal device.
2. Similarly, you can link up to four devices at the same time. Here, I have linked three browsers and the WhatsApp Desktop app for Windows with my account, as you can see in the image below. Do bear in mind that these linked devices will become unplugged if you don’t use your phone for over 14 days.
3. If you no longer want to use WhatsApp on a specific device, you can tap on the target device from the Linked devices page and choose the “Log out” option. Alternatively, you can choose to log out from the device in question as well.
WhatsApp Multi-Device Beta: First Impressions
Based on my quick testing, WhatsApp’s multi-device capability functioned smoothly across all of my paired devices. I could send messages, emoticons, GIFs, voice notes, and make audio and video conversations without needing to connect my phone to the internet. The best part? All the connecting devices seamlessly synced the chat history without perceptible latency.
If I were to nitpick, one little problem I faced while using WhatsApp on several devices is that I couldn’t access my starred stickers. As someone who excessively utilizes third-party stickers not available in the WhatsApp store, I was dismayed to hear that multi-device beta doesn’t sync my starred stickers.
However, there’s one trick — you could navigate through your conversation history and forward those stickers as a new message. You will then view them in the recent stickers area and mail them later. Not totally convenient, but it works.
Speaking of conversation history, you can’t view the whole chat history across linked devices. I could only view up to three months of prior talks. Scrolling past that gives a warning, suggesting to check WhatsApp on my phone to access the whole chat history.
Another limitation is that you can’t pin chats on WhatsApp Web or Desktop if you are using multi-device beta. That might be a huge hassle for customers that utilize pinned chats to swiftly engage with their team, keep notes, send photographs across devices, or other use-cases.
Apart from these, I would say WhatsApp’s development team has done a wonderful job with the multi-device feature.
Potential Privacy Concern with WhatsApp Multi-Device Feature
Now that WhatsApp Web and Desktop apps have multi-device support, I recommend you to re-enable that “WhatsApp Web is now active” notification if you had previously disabled it.
I realize, having a permanent notice could feel bothersome to some, but WhatsApp Web has gotten very powerful following the launch of multi-device compatibility. You may not quickly notice if someone is misusing your account unless you constantly check the “Linked Devices” tab.
I tried sending several messages through WhatsApp Web and promptly removed them using the “Delete for me” option. Since the sync works so well, it doesn’t leave a trace on your phone, and naïve users may not even instantly know that their WhatsApp been hijacked.
The breadth of this event is limited, though. The malicious actor requires physical access to your phone, combined with your PIN or fingerprint to be able to enroll a device and start a new multi-device session.
WhatsApp Multi-Device Limitations
Having said all that, here are the acknowledged limits of WhatsApp’s multi-device beta, as revealed by WhatsApp:
- Checking Live location on linked devices
- Pinning chats on WhatsApp Web or Desktop
- Joining, reading, and resetting group invites via WhatsApp Web and Desktop
Contacting someone using an outdated WhatsApp version
- Calling from Portal or WhatsApp Desktop to linked devices that aren’t enrolled in the multi-device beta
Other WhatsApp accounts on your Portal won’t work unless those accounts have joined the multi-device beta
- WhatsApp Business users can’t edit business names or labels from WhatsApp Web or Desktop
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I Use the Same WhatsApp Account on Two Phones?
No, you can’t use the same WhatsApp account (or phone number) on two phones. You could, however, visit WhatsApp web from your second phone. In your phone’s browser, open WhatsApp web using desktop mode and scan the QR code to use WhatsApp from the browser on your second phone.
2. Can Someone See My WhatsApp Messages from Another Phone?
As long as someone didn’t have physical access to your Android or iOS phone, and didn’t log in to your account on WhatsApp Web, and turned off WhatsApp Web notification, no one can see your WhatsApp messages from another phone.
3. How Many Devices Can Be Connected to WhatsApp?
Apart from your primary phone, you can connect a total of four devices to your WhatsApp account. These devices can be WhatsApp Web, Desktop, or Facebook Portal. You can’t officially use WhatsApp with two phones right now.
4. Does WhatsApp Have Multi-Device Support?
WhatsApp is testing multi-device support in the beta channel on Android and iOS right now. You can use WhatsApp on multiple devices in the coming months.
5. How to Join WhatsApp Multi-Device Beta?
If you are enrolled in the WhatsApp beta program, you can access WhatsApp multi-device beta from the Linked devices page. We’ve detailed the instructions to join WhatsApp multi-device beta above.
WhatsApp Multi-Device Support Explained
So, that’s everything you need to know about using WhatsApp on multiple devices. We hope this cleared all your doubts regarding WhatsApp’s multi-device support.
If you have any more doubts, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. Will will try to help you out. And for more such WhatsApp tips, go through our article on the best WhatsApp tips and tricks.