A Guide on WhatsApp Privacy Settings (Android and iPhone)

In this post, we’ll see:

Let’s start.

WhatsApp for Android

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 the privacy of these, and here’s how:

Open WhatsApp. Hit the three vertical dots which you can find beside the “Search” icon at the top. Tap Settings > Account > Privacy.

In the “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. You can now see a pop-up with these three options:

  • Everyone – this is the default option. It means that any WhatsApp user can see it.
  • My contacts – this means that only your WhatsApp contacts can see.
  • Nobody – it means that no one can see it except you.

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. The last seen shows the time the contact has last used WhatsApp. Online shows that the contact ​has WhatsApp open.
  • Remember that online can be seen by any WhatsApp user by default, and it can’t be hidden.
  • When the 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. This also applies to the group chat. Remember that any WhatsApp user can see the “typing” by default, and it can’t be hidden.

Change Privacy of Status

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

Hit the “Status,” which you can find in the “Who can see my personal info” section (tap the three vertical dots at the top > Settings > Account > Privacy to see this section).

Now, you can see the following three options:

  • My contacts – this is the default option. This 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.

Select the one as per your wish. I choose the “Only share with” option, select the preferred WhatsApp contact(s), and then hit the “Tick” icon. Tap the “Done” button at the bottom.

Notes

  • Changing the 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.

Disable Read Receipts

WhatsApp has a tick system which will show:

  • A single gray tick means that the message is sent.
  • The single gray tick will turn into double gray ticks when the message is delivered to the recipient.
  • The double gray ticks will turn blue when the recipient reads the message. 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 does not apply to group chats.

With that said, let’s see the steps.

Open WhatsApp. Hit the three vertical dots > Settings. Tap “Account,” which you can find above “Chats.”

Hit “Privacy.” Now, you can see the “Read receipts.” Hit it.

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

Enable Fingerprint Lock

Open WhatsApp. Tap the three vertical dots at the top right. On the menu, tap “Settings” which you can find beneath “Starred messages.”

Hit Account > Privacy. Under “Blocked contacts,” you will see the “Fingerprint lock” option. Hit it. Hit the “Unlock with fingerprint” option. Confirm your fingerprint.

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

Remember that you can answer WhatsApp calls even if WhatsApp is locked. Also, change the duration of the “Automatically lock” and disable the “Show content in notifications” option if you wish.

If you want to disable the 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 contacts will see a single tick beside the message they sent 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, or status.

Block Someone on WhatsApp

Open WhatsApp. Open the chat of the contact you wish to block. Tap on the three vertical dots at the top > More > Block. 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

Open WhatsApp. Tap on the three vertical dots > Settings > Account > Privacy > Blocked contacts. Hit the “Profile” icon. Tap the contact you prefer.

To Unblock

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

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:

Open WhatsApp. Hit the three vertical dots > Settings > Account > Privacy. Tap “Groups.”

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).

Choose the one you prefer. I choose “My contacts.” 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.

WhatsApp for iPhone

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.

Open WhatsApp. Tap the “Chats” tab if you’re not in it already. Open the chat of the contact you wish to block.

Tap the contact name at the top. Scroll down until you see the “Block Contact” option. Hit it. 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

Open WhatsApp. Hit on “Settings” if you’re not in it already. Tap Account > Privacy > Blocked. Tap “Add New.” 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.

Enable Screen Lock

Open WhatsApp. Tap the “Settings” tab at the bottom if you’re not in it already. Hit Account > Privacy.

Tap “Screen Lock,” which you can find beneath the “Read Receipts.” Hit the toggle switch beside “Require Face ID.” Keep in mind that Green means enabled.

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

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

Also, note that you can change when you want 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 the screen lock, disable the toggle switch beside “Require Face ID.”

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 the privacy of these, and here’s how:

Open WhatsApp for iPhone. Hit “Settings” at the bottom if you’re not in it already. Tap “Account,” which you can find between “WhatsApp Web/Desktop” and “Chats.”

Hit on “Privacy” at the top. 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.

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).

Choose the one you prefer. I choose “Nobody.”

Note: Check the “Notes” section of the first section of WhatsApp for Android.

Disable Read Receipts

Launch WhatsApp. Hit on Settings > Account > Privacy. Disable the toggle switch beside the “Read Receipts.”

Notes

  • To enable Read Receipts, follow the steps above. But enable the toggle switch instead of disabling it.
  • To read important things about Read Receipts, check out the Read Receipts section of WhatsApp for Android. All the points in that section except the steps apply to WhatsApp for iPhone.

Change Privacy of Status

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

Open WhatsApp. Hit on Settings > Account > Privacy. Tap “Status.” Now you can see three options:

  • My Contacts – this one is the default. It means all your WhatsApp contacts can see.
  • My Contacts Except – this means all your WhatsApp contacts can see except the one(s) you’ve selected.
  • Only Share With – this means only the WhatsApp contact(s) selected by you can see.

Choose the one you prefer. I chose the “Only Share With” option. Select the contact(s) you want and then hit “Done” at the top.

Note: Check the “Notes” section of the Status section of WhatsApp for Android to learn some important things.

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:

Open WhatsApp. Hit on Settings > Account > Privacy. Hit “Groups.”

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).

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.

What is WhatsApp Live Location?

WhatsApp’s Live Location feature allows you to share your live location for a specific amount of time with the contact or group you choose.

Your location will be shared until you manually stop it or the time you’ve specified expires.

How to Use Live Location

Android

Before we move ahead, turn on Location Services on your Android device (Steps). Also, note that I’m here to use this feature for individual chats.

Open WhatsApp. Hit the chat you prefer. Tap the “Attach” (Paperclip) icon in the compose box. Tap “Location” on the pop-up.

Hit “Continue” on the pop-up. Tap “Allow” in the pop-up. Now, hit “Share live location” underneath the map. In the pop-up, tap “Continue.”

Choose the duration as per your wish. The durations are 15 minutes, 1 hour (default), and 8 hours. You can also type the comment. Tap the “Send” icon. That’s all. Remember that the recipient can tap “View Live Location” to see your real-time location.

How to Stop Live Location Sharing

Tap “Stop sharing” in the location you’ve shared. Hit “Stop” in the confirmation pop-up.

iPhone

Before we move forward, make sure you’ve turned on Location Services on your iPhone (Steps). Also, note that I’m here to use this feature for individual chats.

Open WhatsApp. Tap the chat you prefer. Hit the “+” icon at the bottom left. Tap the “Location” option in the pop-up.

In the pop-up, choose the “Allow While Using App” option. Tap “Share Live Location.” In the pop-up, hit “Ok.”

Now, choose the duration you prefer. The durations are 15 Minutes, 1 Hour (default), and 8 Hours. Provide the caption if you wish. Hit the “Send” icon.

That’s it. Remember that the recipient can tap “View Live Location” to see your real-time location.

How to Stop Live Location Sharing

Tap the “Stop Sharing” option in the location you’ve shared. Hit “Stop Sharing” on the pop-up.

Notes (Apply for both Android and iPhone)

  • You can also hit the map (even if you are a sender or receiver) and then tap the three vertical dots (Android) or Information icon (iPhone) to explore more options.
  • Go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Live location to see all your active live location sharing. You can stop all of them by tapping the “Stop sharing” option at the bottom. In the pop-up, tap “Stop” or “Stop Sharing” (you can see the one depending on your device).
  • In the group chat, if multiple participants use the Live Location feature, then all their locations will be shown on a single map.

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