Many of us have been in this situation: A friend repeatedly contacts you on WhatsApp, but you don’t have the time or patience to listen to their latest crisis.
But you know the moment you read the WhatsApp message two tell-tale blue ticks will immediately show on the sender’s phone, ruining your devious plan to quickly check the message to ensure it’s not that urgent and then respond later.
There’s an easy way to escape this situation and no, it’s not to switch off the blue ticks in the WhatsApp settings – you don’t want to lose them when chatting to someone else!
So if someone sends you a message you’d like to read without the person knowing you’ve read it, simply go to settings on your phone and activate “airplane mode”.
When in airplane mode your phone’s wifi and 3G internet connections are turned off. The message has already been downloaded so you can safely access WhatsApp and read the message but the signal to change the ticks at the sender’s end won’t go through.
Remember to check you’re not in WhatsApp when activating airplane mode. As soon as you’re ready for the blue ticks to be sent you must exit WhatsApp, switch off airplane mode and go back to the app.
1. Stop notices from irritating groups you belong to. Keep your finger on the group whose notices you want to block. Go to “group info” and look for the option to mute notices for eight hours, a week or a year.
2. Find out exactly when someone read a message. You might not need this function if you haven’t deactivated the blue ticks that show a sender you’ve read their message. But there are other ways to check if your message has been read. If you tap on a specific message in WhatsApp and then on “info” at the top, it shows exactly what time the message was received and the time it was read. This also works for group conversations.
3. How to create a shortcut to a specific conversation. If you regularly chat to the same person and you’re too lazy to first open WhatsApp you can put your entire conversation on your home page as a shortcut. On the home page where all your conversations are listed, tap on the person’s name to open an extra window.
Choose “Add Conversation Shortcut” and the link will appear on your home page with the person’s profile photo as the icon. This function unfortunately only works on Android phones. It can also be used for group conversations.
4. Change the ring tone for messages from specific people. If you’re expecting a message from a specific person and want to respond immediately but you don’t want to check every message that comes in there’s an easy solution. Keep your finger on the specific person’s name, select “View Contact” and under “Notifications” go to “Custom Notifications”
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5. Secure all your messages. Your phone might be stolen or accidentally land in the swimming pool. Oops. Now you’ve lost all your messages! Prevent this happening by making backups of all your conversations. iPhone users have the option that copies of your messages are automatically sent to iCloud, while Android users have the same option with Google Drive. Simply go to settings and make the necessary changes on “Chats and calls” and then “Chat backup”. The good news is that next time you get a new phone and install WhatsApp you can transfer all the chats from the Cloud and carry on chatting.