Exploring the different features of WhatsApp Web

Emre Çitak
Apr 25, 2023
Updated • Apr 25, 2023

WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, introduced a web-friendly version of its app in 2015, called WhatsApp Web. This version of the app allows users to access WhatsApp on their desktops, offering almost all the features of the mobile app, except for voice and video calls. Despite this limitation, WhatsApp Web is packed with features that enhance the user experience.

WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop are powerful tools that offer many features that enhance the messaging experience, including:

  • Simultaneously use two accounts
  • WA Toolkit extension
  • Emoji shortcut
  • Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode
  • Automatic sync
  • Document sharing
  • Biometrics authentication

Simultaneously use two accounts

Traditionally, WhatsApp only allows users to access one account in a single browser. However, if you are using Google Chrome, you can use two accounts simultaneously by accessing the second account in Incognito mode. This workaround is an excellent way to access multiple WhatsApp accounts in a single browser.

However, it is worth mentioning that due to a current bug, users cannot access Whatsapp Web because they cannot scan QR codes. Although WhatsApp has not yet made a statement on the subject, we have discussed potential solutions to this bug in our article titled ''How to fix WhatsApp Web no valid QR Code detected error''.

Can I access my WhatsApp Web chats without scanning the QR code?

No, it is not possible to access your WhatsApp Web chats without scanning the QR code. Scanning the QR code is a security measure that ensures the account is linked to the correct device. Without scanning the QR code, you cannot use WhatsApp Web.

WA Toolkit extension

The WA Toolkit Extension is a browser extension that offers two helpful features to enhance your WhatsApp Web experience. Firstly, it enables background notifications, eliminating the need for you to switch to the app to read a message.

Secondly, it stretches the chat bubble to the full width of the chat window, preventing messages from appearing in multiple lines.

You may download the WA Toolkit extension via the link here.

Emoji shortcut

WhatsApp Web has an emoji icon on the left side of the text bar that opens the entire library of emojis available in the app. However, there is a shortcut that allows you to access any emoji without opening the emoji tray. Simply type the first two letters of the reaction emoji you want to use after a colon.

For example, if you want to send a sad emoji to a friend, type ":sa".

The shortcuts on WhatsApp Web are not limited to this. You can do many different things on WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Deskop App using the key combinations below.

Action WhatsApp for Web Windows desktop client
Mark as read Ctrl + Alt + Shift + U Ctrl + Shift + U
Mute Ctrl + Alt + Shift + M Ctrl + Shift + M
Archive chat Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E Ctrl + Shift + E
Delete chat Ctrl + Alt + Backspace Ctrl + Shift + D
Pin chat Ctrl + Alt + Shift + P Ctrl + Shift + P
Search Ctrl + Alt + / Ctrl + F
Search chat Ctrl + Alt + Shift + F Ctrl + Shift + F
New chat Ctrl + Alt + N Ctrl + N
Next chat Ctrl + Alt + Tab Ctrl + Tab
Previous chat Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Tab Ctrl + Shift + Tab
Close chat Escape (Esc) Escape (Esc)
New group Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N Ctrl + Shift + N
Profile and about Ctrl + Alt + P Ctrl + P
Settings Ctrl + Alt Ctrl + ,
Emoji panel Ctrl + Alt + E Ctrl + E
GIF panel Ctrl + Alt + G Ctrl + G
Sticker panel Ctrl + Alt + S Ctrl + S
Extended search Alt + K Alt + K
Lock screen Ctrl + Alt + L -

Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode

The Picture-in-Picture mode, introduced in 2018, is a feature that allows users to watch videos from various sources, such as Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, without leaving the app.

This feature is also supported by the web version of the app, and the video usually plays in the top right corner of the chat window, allowing users to watch the video and chat simultaneously.

Automatic sync

The automatic sync is a remarkable feature of WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop. It syncs chats across all your devices connected to your WhatsApp account in real-time. This feature enables users to communicate seamlessly with others across different devices and stay connected with different customer groups. For example, users can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people in a WhatsApp group, using any device.

WhatsApp Web features
Syncing your files with ease between your devices is one of the greatest WhatsApp Web features

Document sharing

Document sharing has become more accessible and compatible with WhatsApp. This feature enables users to send and receive PDFs, documents, live photos, PowerPoint slides, and more.

Users can easily send up to 100 MB of multimedia files through WhatsApp instead of traditional e-mail. This feature is available on any smartphone, tablet, or computer, as long as you connect your mobile phone to stable internet.

What can I do if my internet connection is slow?

If you have a slow internet connection, you can try the following steps to improve your WhatsApp Web experience:

  1. Reduce the number of active tabs in your browser. The more tabs you have open, the more resources your computer needs to use, which can slow down your internet connection
  2. Close any unnecessary applications or programs running on your computer. These can also consume resources and slow down your internet speed
  3. Use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi. A wired connection is more stable and faster than Wi-Fi
  4. Check your internet speed using a speed test tool. If your speed is significantly slower than your usual speed, you may need to contact your internet service provider
  5. Clear your browser cache and cookies. This can improve your browser's performance and free up resources
  6. Refresh the page or close and reopen your browser if the connection is slow or if the page is taking too long to load
  7. Consider upgrading your internet plan or using a different internet service provider if slow internet is a persistent issue

Biometrics authentication

Biometrics authentication is a feature that improves privacy and security on WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop. It requires users to authenticate their fingerprint or face ID recognition on their mobile phone before connecting their WhatsApp account to their computer.

This step reduces the number of people allowed to connect to that one WhatsApp account through the web or desktop version and prevents unauthorized users from reading or sending messages without the original account owner's permission.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments (https://www.ghacks.net/chatgpt-gets-schooled-by-princeton-university/#comments). Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If ghacks.net intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this Friend.tech as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/23/what-is-friend-tech/] and it appears there but as well here at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/08/how-to-follow-everyone-on-threads/]

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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