A Guide on WhatsApp Privacy Settings (Android and iPhone) (2020)

In this post, we’ll see:

Note: I’ve talked about the Live location option (Android and iPhone) here.

The Following Sections are for WhatsApp for Android

How to Change Privacy of Last Seen, Profile Photo, and About

By default, any WhatsApp user can see your WhatsApp last seen, profile photo, and about. If you wish, you can change these options privacy and here’s how:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Hit the three vertical dots which you can find besides the Search icon at the top.
  3. Tap Settings > Account > Privacy.
  4. In Who can see my personal info section, you can see the Last seen, Profile photo, and About. Hit the one you wish. I tap Profile photo but remember that the steps are the same for the others too.
  5. Now, you can see a pop-up with these three options:
  • Everyone – this is the default option. It means that any WhatsApp user can see.
  • My contacts – it means that only your WhatsApp contacts can see.
  • Nobody – it means that no one can see it except you.
  1. Hit the one you prefer. I’ve selected Nobody.

Notes

  • When you open a WhatsApp contact chat, you can see last seen or online at the top. Last seen shows the time the contact has last used the WhatsApp. And the online shows that the contact ​has the WhatsApp opened​.
  • Remember that the online can be seen by any WhatsApp user by default and it can’t be hidden.
  • When contact is typing, typing is shown at the top of the contact’s chat screen or beneath the contact’s name on the Chats tab. It applies to the group chat too. Remember that any WhatsApp user can see the typing by default, and it can’t be hidden.

How to Change Privacy of Status

By default, all your WhatsApp contacts can see your WhatsApp status. If you wish, you can change the status privacy and here’s how you:

  1. Hit the Status which you can find in Who can see my personal info section (tap three vertical dots at the top > Settings > Account > Privacy to see this section).
  2. Now, you can see the following three options:
  • My contacts – this is the default option. It means that all your WhatsApp contacts can see.
  • My contacts except – it means that all your WhatsApp contacts can see except the one(s) you’ve selected.
  • Only share with – it means that only the WhatsApp contact(s) you’ve selected can see.
  1. Select the one as per your wish. I choose the Only share with option, selected the preferred WhatsApp contact(s), and then hit the Tick icon.
  2. Tap the Done button at the bottom.

Notes

  • Changing status privacy will not affect the already posted status.
  • If you’ve disabled read receipts, then you can’t see who’s viewed your status.
  • If a contact of yours has disabled read receipts, then you can’t see him/her in the list of contacts that viewed your status.

How to Disable Read Receipts

WhatsApp has a tick system which will show:

  • A single grey tick means that the message is sent.
  • The single grey tick will turn into double grey ticks when the message is delivered to the recipient.
  • The double grey ticks will turn into blue when the recipient reads the message. And this is known as the Read receipts feature (also referred to as blue ticks).

By default, the read receipts feature is enabled on WhatsApp. It lets the sender know that the recipient reads his/her message.

But, if you wish, you can disable it. Before we see the steps to do that, here are some important things:

  • If you turn off read receipts, then the sender can’t see blue ticks when they send a message to you. And you too can’t see it when you send a message to someone.
  • Turning off read receipts do not apply to group chat.

With that said, let’s see the steps.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Hit the three vertical dots > Settings.
  3. Tap Account, which you can find above Chats.
  4. Hit Privacy.
  5. Now, you can see the Read receipts. Hit it.

Note: if you want to enable read receipts, follow the above steps.

How to Enable Fingerprint Lock

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap three vertical dots at the top right.
  3. In the menu, tap Settings which you can find beneath Starred messages.
  4. Hit Account > Privacy.
  5. Under Blocked contacts, you can see the Fingerprint lock option. Hit it.
Fingerprint lock option
  1. Hit on Unlock with fingerprint option. Confirm your fingerprint.
Unlock with fingerprint option

That’s it. You’ve enabled fingerprint lock, and from now on, you need to provide the fingerprint to open WhatsApp.

Fingerprint lock enabled

Remember that you can answer WhatsApp calls even if the WhatsApp is locked.

Also, change the duration of automatic lock and disable Show content in notifications option if you wish.

If you want to disable fingerprint lock, tap the Unlock with fingerprint option.

So, What Happens When You Block Someone on WhatsApp

  • The contact you’ve blocked can’t call you. The same is the case for you.
  • The message sent by the blocked contact will never be delivered to you. The blocked contact will see a single tick beside the message they sent to you.
  • You can’t send a message to the blocked contact until you unblock them.
  • ​​​​Blocking a contact will not affect the group chats.
  • The blocked contact can’t see last seen, online, status, about and profile picture of yours.
  • You can’t see the blocked contact’s last seen, online and status.

How to Block Someone on WhatsApp

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Open the chat of the contact which you wish to block.
  3. Tap three vertical dots at the top > More > Block.
  4. In the pop-up, hit Block.

To Unblock

Open the chat of the blocked contact and then hit the three vertical dots at the top. Tap More > Unblock.

Alternate Way

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap three vertical dots > Settings > Account > Privacy > Blocked contacts.
  3. Hit the Profile icon.
  4. Tap the contact you prefer.

To Unblock

Follow the above steps 1 and 2. Long press the one you wish to unblock. Tap Unblock (contact name).

How to Stop Someone from Adding You to a WhatsApp Group

By default, anyone can add you to the group. But you can customize it and here’s how:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Hit three vertical dots > Settings > Account > Privacy.
  3. Tap Groups.
  4. You can see three options: Everyone (this one is the default option, and it means anyone can add), My Contacts (only your WhatsApp contacts can add), My Contacts (only your WhatsApp contacts except the one(s) you’ve selected can add).
  5. Choose the one you prefer. I choose My contacts.
  6. Tap the Done button at the bottom.

Note: A group admin who can’t add you will be able to invite you privately to join the group.

The Following Sections are for WhatsApp for iPhone

How to Block Someone on WhatsApp

If you want to know what happens when you block someone on WhatsApp, check this section. With that said, let’s see the steps.

  1. Open WhatsApp. Tap the Chats tab if you’re not in it already.
  2. Open the chat of the contact you wish to block.
  3. Tap the contact name at the top.
  4. Scroll down until you see the Block Contact option. Hit it.
  5. Hit Block.

To Unblock

Open the chat of the blocked contact and then tap the name at the top. Now, scroll down until you see the Unblock Contact option. Hit it.

Alternate Way

  1. Open WhatsApp. Hit on Settings if you’re not in it already.
  2. Tap Account > Privacy > Blocked.
  3. Tap Add New.
  4. Select the one you prefer.

To Unblock

Follow the above steps 1 and 2 and then tap the one you wish to unblock. Find and tap the Unblock Contact option.

How to Enable Screen Lock

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the Settings tab at the bottom if you’re not in it already.
  3. Hit Account > Privacy.
  4. Tap Screen Lock, which you can find beneath the Read Receipts.
Screen Lock option
  1. Hit the toggle switch beside Require Face ID. Keep in mind that the Green means enabled.
Enabled Require Face ID option

That’s it. From now on, you need to provide Face ID to open WhatsApp. Remember that you can answer WhatsApp calls and reply to messages from notifications, even if the WhatsApp is locked.

For the first time you unlock WhatsApp, you can see a pop-up in which you’ll be asked to allow Face ID access for WhatsApp. Tap Ok in that pop-up.

Also, note that you can change when you want the WhatsApp to be locked after it is closed by tapping any of the options (Immediately, After 1 minute, After 15 minutes, and After 1 hour) below Require Face ID.

If you want to disable screen lock, tap the toggle beside Require Face ID.

How to Change Privacy of Last Seen, Profile Photo, and About

By default, any WhatsApp user can see your last seen, profile photo, and about. If you wish, you can change these options privacy and here’s how:

  1. Open WhatsApp for iPhone.
  2. Hit Settings at the bottom if you’re not in it already.
  3. Tap Account, which you can find between WhatsApp Web/Desktop and Chats.
  4. Hit on Privacy at the top.
  5. Now, you can see Last Seen, Profile Photo and About. Hit the one you prefer. I choose About. But remember that the steps are the same for others too.
  6. You can view three options: Everyone (any WhatsApp user can see), My Contacts (only your WhatsApp contacts can see), and Nobody (no one can see except you).
  7. Choose the one you prefer. I choose Nobody.

Note: check this section for some important things.

How to Disable Read Receipts

  1. Launch WhatsApp.
  2. Hit on Settings > Account > Privacy.
  3. Tap the toggle switch beside the Read Receipts.

Notes:

  • To enable Read Receipts, follow the above steps.
  • To read important things about the Read Receipts, click here. All the points in that section except the steps apply to WhatsApp for iPhone.

How to Change Privacy of Status

By default, all your WhatsApp contacts can see your WhatsApp status. If you wish, you can change the status privacy and here’s how you:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Hit on Settings > Account > Privacy.
  3. Tap Status.
  4. Now, you can see three options:
  • My Contacts – this one is the default. It means all your WhatsApp contacts can see.
  • My Contacts Except – it means all your WhatsApp contacts can see except the one(s) you’ve selected.
  • Only Share With – it means only the WhatsApp contact(s) selected by you can see.
  1. Choose the one you prefer. I choose the Only Share With option. Select the contact(s) you want and then hit the Done at the top.

Note: Check the Notes to know some important things.

How to Stop Someone from Adding You to a WhatsApp Group

By default, anyone can add you to the group. But you can customize it and here’s how:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Hit on Settings > Account > Privacy.
  3. Hit Groups.
  4. Now, you can see three options: Everyone (this one is the default option, and it means anyone can add), My Contacts (only your WhatsApp contacts can add), My Contacts Except (only your WhatsApp contacts except the one(s) you’ve selected can add).
  5. Choose the one you prefer. I choose My Contacts.

Note: A group admin who can’t add you will be able to invite you privately to join the group.