WhatsApp is arguably the most popular messaging platform on the planet, with the Facebook-owned company boasting back in 2018 that it processed an eye-watering 64 billion messages processed on its servers on its most successful day (we'll give you a second to let that sink in).
But what if you want to use WhatsApp on your Mac to reply to the messages on your iPhone? Is there a way to do that? It turns out, there are handfuls of way to access WhatsApp on a Mac, and here is where we outline your best options.
This article therefore explains how to access, send and receive messages via WhatsApp for iPhone (or Android!) on your Mac. Oh, and if you want to use WhatsApp on your iPad, we've got a tutorial for that too.
Update 24 August 2021: The good news is that a Whatsapp app for iPad is coming soon, which may well mean that a Mac app will follow shortly after.
Back in 2015, WhatsApp started to offer a version of WhatsApp for PC & Mac users dubbed WhatsApp Web. It's essentially a browser-based WhatsApp app, allowing users to log in from virtually any device and be able to access their WhatsApp messages.
- Head to the WhatsApp Web website on Safari, Chrome, Opera or FireFox.
- Open WhatsApp on your iPhone.
- Tap on Settings
- Select WhatsApp Web/Desktop.
- Tap on Scan bar code and wait while your browser connects to your WhatsApp.
Note that because WhatsApp connects to your iPhone to sync messages you should make sure it's connected to WiFi or you might use up your data.
You'll be able to access all the conversations available on your smartphone. In addition to this, you can send and receive media, participate in group chats, send and receive voice notes and even receive notifications whenever a new message is received.
You can even record voice notes to send to friends. Beside Type a message you'll see a mic icon, click on that and (after approving the use of your microphone) you can record an audio message.
Following the success of WhatsApp Web, the company launched its very own desktop app for Mac and PC users. It can be downloaded for free through the WhatsApp website or from the Mac App Store here and is extremely simple to set up.
- Download WhatsApp Desktop, install and open it.
- As with the web-browser version, you will need to open Whatsapp on your iPhone and scan the QR code so tap on Settings > WhatsApp Web/Desktop and scan the QR Code.
- You'll see all your WhatsApp conversations appear in the app window.
Once you've paired your PC or Mac to your mobile device, you'll have your WhatsApp contacts and conversations directly synchronised to your desktop! Any messages sent or received are reflected on both your phone and the desktop app in real-time. Therefore, if you delete a conversation on your phone, it will delete it off your desktop app and vice versa.
Just like the Web app, you'll need to have your phone's data or Wi-Fi enabled, so ensure you've got a mobile data plan to cater for your demands or that ensure you're on a Wi-Fi network. If your phone is not connected, you won't receive messages and your sent messages will be put on hold.
If you ever want to stop your desktop app sending and receiving your messages, simply log out of the desktop app.
Once you have logged in to the Desktop app you will see an alert to ask if you want to log out of the browser version.
How do I video call on WhatsApp on the Mac?
The iOS version of WhatsApp lets you place video calls just by tapping on the video camera icon at the top of a message thread. YOu can even add up to four more participants.
Unfortunately this isn't replicated by the desktop or browser versions of the app, so you can't make Whatsapp video calls on the Mac.
Or at least you can't officially. There is a workaround if you are able to install an iOS or Android emulator on your Mac.
If you have Xcode you may be able to emulate iOS WhatsApp there.
Alternatively, you could try the following Android emulators for example: