How to Use WhatsApp on Multiple Devices

Recently, WhatsApp revealed its plans to add multi-device support to the beta testing phase. WhatsApp now supports multi-device use, meaning you can access it from multiple devices without having to keep your phone connected.

You can use WhatsApp from all your devices independently, so keep reading to learn what WhatsApp’s multi-device feature is all about. You will learn how to check if you are eligible for multi-device beta, and how to use WhatsApp on multiple devices.

Use WhatsApp on Multiple Devices (2021)

The WhatsApp beta program on Android and iOS devices is gradually being rolled out as of the writing of this article. You may not always see this feature in the beta builds since it is limited to a small group of users. As such, let’s see the steps to check if your WhatsApp account is compatible with multi-device access and how you can enable it immediately.

What Is Multi-Device Support on WhatsApp and aSeamlessw it Works?

You can use WhatsApp on your phone and up to four other devices simultaneously using WhatsApp’s multi-device feature. You can use WhatsApp Web, WhatsApp Desktop for Windows, WhatsApp Desktop for Mac, and Facebook Portal.

You can still use WhatsApp even if your phone loses your connection so you won’t miss out on important updates. You cannot use the same WhatsApp account (or number) on two phones at the moment.

We’ll start with a brief explanation of how multi-device support works before getting to steps to use one WhatsApp account across devices. You shouldn’t compromise privacy for convenience, especially when using a private messaging app, right?

As things stand, WhatsApp utilizes your phone’s app as its central device, and all other platforms such as WhatsApp Web and Windows/Mac apps rely on it in order to work

. You must always keep your phone connected to the internet when using WhatsApp Web or Desktop. Based on the existing architecture, a message can live as follows:

To solve the problem with its reliance on an active phone, WhatsApp has updated the way it works from its underlying architecture. Currently, the company uses a client-fan-out model in which each device has its identity key. The clients of WhatsApp encrypt the messages and send them to all the linked devices of the user via pairwise encrypted sessions.

The WhatsApp website claims all messages are encrypted by the pairwise encryption session established with each device. Another claim WhatsApp makes is that messages are not stored on the server once they are delivered. As part of a group conversation, the signal uses scalable sender key encryption. What happens with a WhatsApp group message on multiple devices:

WhatsApp Multi-Device New ArchitectureImage Courtesy: WhatsApp

How to Enroll in WhatsApp Multi-Device Beta

You will need a WhatsApp beta build to test the multi-device feature at this time, and the beta program is available for both Android and iOS devices. You can enroll for multi-device beta testing of WhatsApp if you’re already a part of WhatsApp’s beta program:

1. You can open WhatsApp by tapping on the vertical three dots menu at the top right corner. You will find “Linked devices” in the list of options.

whatsapp linked devices

2. You will see a “Multi-device beta” option here if WhatsApp has added multi-device support to your account. Join WhatsApp’s multi-device beta program by tapping “Join beta” on it.

join whatsapp multi-device beta

3. Your Companion devices will now be warned that you will have to connect them again. Once you confirm your action with “Continue,” your beta participation has been confirmed. You can always go back to the “Linked devices” settings page and leave the beta program in case you change your mind.

whatsapp multi-device enroll UI

Use Same WhatsApp Account on Multiple Devices

You have signed up for multiple devices beta, so it’s time to link your devices. You can do this by following these steps:

1. You can access the “Linked devices” screen in WhatsApp on your phone and in the WhatsApp Web or Desktop app on your PC. You need to scan the QR code on your PC or Facebook portal device once the QR code appears.

whatsapp web sign in

2. You can also connect up to four devices simultaneously. In the image below, you’ll see that I’ve added three web browsers and WhatsApp Desktop for Windows to my account. Please note that these linked devices will be disconnected if your phone is not used for more than 14 days.

whatsapp multi-device linked devices

3. You can log out of WhatsApp on a particular device by tapping on it from the linked devices page and selecting “Log out”. You can also log out of the device in question.

log out whatsapp multi-device

WhatsApp Multi-Device Beta: First Impressions

As I noticed from my testing of WhatsApp’s multi-device feature, it exhibited flawless performance across all of the devices I connected.

By connecting my phone to the internet I could send texts, emojis, GIFs, voice notes, and make voice and video calls. Could this work? Seamless sync of the chat history between all the connected devices occurred without noticeable delay.

While using WhatsApp on multiple devices, one minor inconvenience I encountered was that I was unable to access my starred stickers. I was disappointed since I operate on many devices and often use third-party stickers not available through WhatsApp.

You can scroll through your chat history and copy and paste the stickers as a new message. You will then see them in the recent stickers section and have the option to send them later. Even if it isn’t entirely convenient, the method works.

whatsapp desktop recent stickers

You are not able to view the entire chat history across all linked devices. You could only see conversations that were over three months old. I can see a message that shows me the chat history on my phone when I scroll past it.

older chat history is available

You cannot pin chats on WhatsApp Web or Desktop if you are using the multi-device beta. It would be inconvenient for users who use pinned chats to easily communicate with their team, save notes, send images across devices, or for other applications.

In addition to these features, I think WhatsApp’s development team has done an outstanding job with the multi-device feature.

whatsapp multi-device beta - cant pin chats

Potential Privacy Concern with WhatsApp Multi-Device Feature

You should enable the “WhatsApp Web is currently active” notification if you had disabled it. This is due to WhatsApp web and desktop apps being compatible on several devices.

After adding the ability to use WhatsApp across multiple devices, WhatsApp Web has become pretty capable.

You may not even be aware that someone is misusing your account until the “Linked Devices” page alerts you to the problem.

As soon as I sent these messages, I immediately deleted them from WhatsApp Web, using the “Delete for me” option.

Because the sync works so well, a compromised WhatsApp account can remain undetected for so long, and unknowing users may not even realize that their account was compromised.

This is a very limited occurrence, however. For the malicious actor to enroll a device and start a multi-device session, he will need physical access to your phone along with your PIN or fingerprint.

WhatsApp Multi-Device Limitations

The following document details the limitations of the WhatsApp multi-device beta, according to WhatsApp:

  • Locating the device using Live location
  • How to pin a chat on WhatsApp web or desktop
  • The WhatsApp Web and Desktop Client allows you to join, view, and reset group invitations
  • A person using an outdated version of WhatsApp
  • You can’t call multi-device-enrolled devices from Portal or WhatsApp Desktop
  • Until your WhatsApp accounts have entered the multi-device beta, they will not work on your Portal
  • The WhatsApp Web or WhatsApp Desktop apps cannot edit business names or labels

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Use the Same WhatsApp Account on Two Phones?

You cannot use the same account (or phone number) on two phones. Your second phone, however, would be able to access the WhatsApp Web. You can use WhatsApp on your second phone by opening WhatsApp web using your phone’s browser and scanning the QR code.

2. Can Someone See My WhatsApp Messages from Another Phone?

You cannot see WhatsApp messages from another phone if you are not logged into your account on WhatsApp Web or turn off the notification for WhatsApp Web.

3. How Many Devices Can Be Connected to WhatsApp?

You can connect the following 4 devices to your WhatsApp account in addition to your primary phone. You can use WhatsApp Web, Desktop, or the Facebook Portal. The current WhatsApp app won’t let you use two devices simultaneously.

4. Does WhatsApp Have Multi-Device Support?

Right now, WhatsApp is testing multi-device support on Android and iOS in its beta channel. You’ll soon be able to download WhatsApp on multiple devices.

5. How to Join WhatsApp Multi-Device Beta?

You can access WhatsApp multi-device beta if you have enrolled in the WhatsApp beta program. You can join WhatsApp multi-device beta by following the instructions above.

WhatsApp Multi-Device Support Explained

You now know everything about using WhatsApp on multiple devices. You have now been answered all of your questions regarding WhatsApp’s multi-device support. You can ask any additional questions in the comments section below.

If you need any help, I’ll try my best. Check out our article on WhatsApp tips and tricks for more tips like this.

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