WhatsApp tips & tricks that beginners

WhatsApp is packed with a lot of features and if you’re new to the platform, you may find some of these on the surface, while other tricks remain hidden unless you long press a message or open up the three-dot menu.

Pin a chat

It allows you to pin important chats to the top of your WhatsApp homescreen. This let’s you stay assured that these pinned chats (personal or group chats) will always stay on top and will not be drowned if you come across too many new messages together.

To pin a chat, first go to your WhatsApp homescreen and in the Chats pane, find the chat you want to pin. When you have, long press on the chat to open up some extra options on the top right. One of these will be shaped like a  pin and can be clicked to pin the chat. You can pin up to 3 chats.

Mark as unread

The dot next to an unopened message helps us know that we haven’t read a particular chat yet. However what if you were to accidentally open a chat that you’re not ready to read at the moment and would rather read later. You can mark this chat as an unread message again.

To do this, simply find the chat on your main WhatsApp homescreen under the Chats pane and long press on it. Among the options that appear on the top right, there will be a three-dot menu on the extreme right. Click on it to open some more options. Here, click on the ‘Mark as unread’ option. This will add a green unread bubble next to the chat and you will then remember to check it out later when you have time.

Mute a chat

If you’re ever receiving too many or too frequent notifications from a personal or group chat, you can simply mute it and prevent it from attracting your attention.

To Mute a chat, open up your WhatsApp homescreen again and under the Chats pane, find the chat you want to mute. Long press on it and among the options on the top right look for the mute button (speaker icon with a line across it).

Click on the button and you will be able to choose to mute the chat for either 8 hours, 1 week or always. Irrespective of what option you choose, there’s another toggle below that all ask if you at least want to be notified of new messages from that chat. You can turn that off too if you want and you won’t get notifications from that particular chat.

Archive a chat

If muting is not enough and you simply just don’t want to see a chat and it’s new messages show up on your homescreen, you can archive it. Archiving chats is like placing them permanently (until reversal) under a separate section where these chats remain invisible on the main WhatsApp page.

To archive a chat, long press on it from the main screen and on the top right, click on the Archive icon (shaped like a square with a downward-facing arrow). This chat will then be archived and all archived chats will be hidden. To open them swipe down on the main homescreen page and you’ll be able to see all archived chats under a single ‘Archived section’.

Star mark

Important chats containing details like addresses, numbers or even locations can be bookmarked with yhe star-mark feature. This lets you go back to these important messages all in one place without having to scroll through multiple chats later on.

To star mark a message, long press on any message (text, image, link or audio) and among the options on the top right you will find a star-mark icon shaped like a star. Click on it to star mark the message.

To see all your starred messages, navigate to the main WhatsApp screen and hit the three-dot menu on the top right. In the drop-down menu choose “Starred messages” and you will find all your starred messages there.

Homescreen shortcuts

It allows you to create homescreen shortcuts for your favourite personal and group chats to access them quickly, straight from the homescreen.

To create a homescreen shortcut, exit WhatsApp and go to your phone’s homepage. Long press on an empty area of the homescreen and choose the widget option from the options that appear below.

Scroll till you find the widgets from WhatsApp and choose the ‘WhatsApp 1×1’ widget. You can then choose which chat you’d like that shortcut to take you to, and you’re ready. You now have a quick shortcut to your favourite char right on the homescreen.

You can create similar shortcuts for all your favourite chats and even categorise them further with folders by dragging one shortcut over another to create a folder.