5 tricks for WhatsApp on Android that you need to know

WhatsApp is one of the most popular communication tools around the world, and while the app is fairly easy to use for newcomers to get-go, there are some great features found within its settings menu. This can enhance your overall experience, by allowing you to upload better quality photos to secretly peek into collections and more. Here are five WhatsApp tricks you should know.

Peek at group chats without informing members

Everyone knows that WhatsApp lets you turn on Read Receipts, the little blue ticks that let people know that you’ve read their message. While this is useful for maintaining some privacy, the feature does not apply to group chats. In groups, if you open a message and read it, the sender of the message can see that you’ve seen it.

To avoid detection, some people simply choose to expand their notifications from the notification bar, but that doesn’t really help when there are a lot of messages to follow. There is another solution, which is the WhatsApp widget for your home screen. WhatsApp’s unread messages widget can be added to your home screen, and you’ll see a small window in your WhatsApp conversations, complete with a scrollable interface where you can see all the unread messages in a group, without being detected.

whatsapp, whatsapp tricks, whatsapp WhatsApp Unread Messages tool allows you to enter group chats secretly. (Express Photo)

To do this, go to your home screen and long press on an empty area to open your home screen options. Choose Tools and scroll down until you see the three WhatsApp tools, choose the second and place it on your home screen. Resize it to at least 4 x 4 for best results.

Set the default message timer for chats to disappear

WhatsApp has a default message timer that you can use to automatically delete all messages in new chats after a specified period of time. This can be great if you want to keep your chat history clean and instead of manually deleting your messages for each chat or manually running hidden messages for each chat, you can simply set a timer that is effective for all new chats in the app.

To do this, head over to WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy and choose the Default Message Timer setting. In it, you can choose between 24-hour, 7-day or 90-day limits, which will apply to every message you send after changing this setting in new chats. You can also return here to turn off the feature.

Increase image upload quality

You may have noticed that WhatsApp puts a lot of pressure on your photos when you send them to your contacts or groups. This leaves images with only a small portion of the detail in the original, and often makes small, readable text in images unreadable when sent over.

This is done by default to save your data, however, if you prefer to use more data to send better photos, you can change this setting by heading to WhatsApp Settings > Storage & Data and scrolling down all the way to find the image upload quality. Here, you can default to “best quality” so the photos you send are delivered with less compression and more detail intact.

whatsapp, whatsapp tricks, whatsapp Here’s how to set WhatsApp to send better quality photos by default. (Express Photo)

Note that if you want to send the images in the best quality, without any pressure at all, you can also send them as documents. When you’re in a chat, under Choose attachments, choose Document instead of Gallery. You can then manually find the image you want to send and it will be delivered without compression.

Add chat/group shortcuts to your home screen

If you chat frequently with specific contacts or groups, you can add one-click shortcuts directly to these chats and groups on your Android home screen. Clicking on it will take you directly to the chat, saving you the time of opening WhatsApp and searching for that particular chat manually.

The feature can also come in handy if you want to pin certain chats. While WhatsApp originally only allows you to pin three chats at a time, more chats can be pinned to your home screen, which can then be organized into folders if you choose.

To do this, simply enter a one-on-one or group chat, click on the three-dotted menu in the upper right and click on “More” among the options. You should see a few more options, and the last one will show “Add Shortcut”. Click on it and WhatsApp will give you a shortcut icon that you can then manually drag and place wherever you want on your home screen.

Manage your storage

If you have been using WhatsApp for a while, like most other people, you likely have a lot of unresolved app data taking up your phone storage. This can include old photos and videos that you no longer need, but simply take up quite a bit of your storage anyway. That could be the gigabytes of storage you could potentially save, if you’re dealing with a lot of media files.

whatsapp, whatsapp tricks, whatsapp The WhatsApp Storage Manager window provides a clear view of how WhatsApp is consuming your storage. (Express Photo)

To check and clear any unwanted WhatsApp data and free up your storage, head to WhatsApp Settings > Storage and Data > Manage Storage. Here you will see a chart of how much storage your WhatsApp account takes up on your phone, along with a list of each of the chats with the most storage. You can also get quick shortcuts here that will take you directly to larger files and forward messages in bulk so you can check them and delete them if necessary.


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