A Guide on WhatsApp Privacy Settings (Android and iPhone)

In this post, we’ll see:

Note: In a separate post, I’ve talked about the Live location option (Android and iPhone).

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 besides the “Search” icon at the top. Tap Settings > Account > Privacy.

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. 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.

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.

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 “Who can see my personal info” section (tap 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. 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.

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. 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.

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.

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 above steps.


Enable Fingerprint Lock

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

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

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

Remember that you can answer WhatsApp calls even if the WhatsApp is locked. Also, change the duration of the “Automatically 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.

Block Someone on WhatsApp

Open WhatsApp. Open the chat of the contact which you wish to block. Tap 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 three vertical dots > Settings > Account > Privacy > Blocked contacts. Hit the “Profile” icon. 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).


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 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 the Green means enabled.

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 when 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, 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 above steps. But enable the toggle switch instead of disabling.
  • To read important things about the 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 – 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.

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” section of the Status section of WhatsApp for Android to know 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.


Written by Thirumal raj. Check out more posts here: WhatsApp.