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WhatsApp is an extremely popular free messaging service that will count more than 2 billion users worldwide by 2020. While many people use WhatsApp on their smartphone, it can also be used on a desktop or laptop. If you know you're away from your phone for a while and need to send a short message or just want to be able to stay in touch with your friends or family while you work, WhatsApp can be used on your computer will be a great option for that.

In this guide, we'll show you how to use WhatsApp Web, a web app that lets you quickly set up WhatsApp on your desktop or laptop regardless of your operating system. We'll also talk about some other options if you'd rather just use the WhatsApp desktop app or have other desktop messaging needs.

Here's how to use WhatsApp on your desktop or laptop.

For all platforms: Use the WhatsApp web app

By far the fastest and most versatile option for using WhatsApp on a computer is the WhatsApp web app. Downloaded software for a specific operating system is not required to use WhatsApp Web. Instead, they can be accessed through most browsers such as Safari, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Firefox.

Step 1: Navigate to the WhatsApp website using the browser you selected.

Screenshot of the WhatsApp websiteScreenshot

Open the desired browser and go to the WhatsApp website. You will notice that it contains a QR code. You will need this code later to connect your phone to WhatsApp Web.

Step 2: Open the WhatsApp Mobile app on your phone and select WhatsApp Web.

Screenshot of the WhatsApp web mobile appScreenshot

The WhatsApp Mobile App is available for both Android smartphones and iPhones. Open WhatsApp on your phone and then choose either the menu icon with three vertical dots in the top right corner of your screen or the gear icon Settings. In the menu that appears, select WhatsApp Web. Then tap the teal OK button that appears at the bottom of the screen. You may be asked to grant WhatsApp access to your phone's camera: tap Next, then tap Allow to grant this permission. Your phone's screen should now look like a QR code scanner.

Step 3: Connect your phone to WhatsApp Web by scanning the QR code on your computer with your phone.

Screenshot of the WhatsApp Scan QR codeScreenshot

Now return to your desktop or laptop to view the WhatsApp website. You may need to click to reload the QR code, to reload a QR code for your phone scanner. If you want to use WhatsApp Web frequently on a specific laptop or desktop computer, check the box next to Stay signed in.

Now point your phone's QR code scanner at the WhatsApp Web QR code to scan the code.

Step 4: Now start WhatsApp on your laptop or desktop.

Screenshot of WhatsApp Web step 4Screenshot

As soon as you have scanned the QR code with your phone, the WhatsApp web app should open in your browser immediately and display your contacts and recent chats. Click the message bubble icon on the left side of the screen to start a new chat. Click the three dots icon to access your settings, edit your profile, or log out. If this is your first time using WhatsApp Web, you can also get notifications for new messages by clicking Enable desktop notifications on the left of the screen.

Alternative methods

WhatsApp desktop apps

If you'd rather have a desktop version of WhatsApp for your laptop or desktop, you can do that too. However, note that it is only available for Windows and MacOS computers. In addition, the WhatsApp app for mobile devices must be installed on your phone. You can download the WhatsApp desktop apps directly from the WhatsApp website.

Rambox

Screenshot of the apps supported by RamboxScreenshot

If you use multiple messaging apps and services, including WhatsApp, you may want to have a central location where you can access all of them at once, instead of just downloading separate apps or setting up web apps for each service. If you need an app that allows you to use all of your messaging services at the same time, Rambox is a great option. Rambox is a "workspace browser" that allows you to add a variety of productivity apps and messaging services, giving you a workspace where you can get messages from a variety of messaging apps such as Slack, Skype, WhatsApp or can manage messenger.

The Rambox app itself can be downloaded and used free of charge and is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. There are premium subscription versions of Rambox, but the free version, called the Community Edition, should be enough because it lets you use 99 apps, including WhatsApp. The Pro version costs $ 4 a month for annual billing and $ 5 a month for monthly billing, giving you access to all of the over 600 apps that Rambox currently supports.

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