How to Hide Your Online Status in WhatsApp
Advancements in communication technology have left us with a deeply-connected world. Geographical boundaries have shrunk and communication has never been easier. No matter where you reside, all you need to do is take out your smartphone to text or call whoever you want, at any moment in time.
As exciting as all these sounds, it raises fundamental questions regarding privacy. Nowadays, it’s become much easier for us to spy on each other – even if we don’t want to. Communication apps have a tendency to make keeping tabs on our contacts a part of their appeal. But this can often lead to a world where we’re all aware of each other’s activities – all the time.
And that’s not always a good thing!
The Rise of WhatsApp
Although there are quite a few popular messaging apps, there’s no doubt that WhatsApp tops the chart when it comes to worldwide allure. With close to two billion downloads, it’s easily the most widely used messaging app in the world.
One of the greatest draws of WhatsApp is its versatility. Not only is it a messaging app, but you can pretty much share anything with your friends – photos, videos, sound recordings, documents.
It’s not surprising that it has become the go-to app for an entire generation of smartphone users, those who love the convenience and ease with which they can stay connected with friends and family.
No Price, but a Price to Pay
WhatsApp is free, which means that you don’t have to spend a dime to be on the app. But there’s a hidden price that you might be paying, and it could be to do with your privacy.
But don’t worry. Nobody is spying on your messages as WhatsApp claims they’re all encrypted. That said, because WhatsApp constantly streams your online status to your contacts, everyone on your list knows when you’ve been online last.
As innocuous as it may sound, it’s not something all users will be comfortable with. There’s a psychological pressure involved in knowing that you’ve been seen online by someone you don’t want to engage in a conversation at that moment. Or maybe you like to go at your own pace when replying to friends. Therefore, having them known that you’ve been online recently definitely won’t sit well with them.
Overall, it just seems like an intrusion of privacy when people on your contact list know when you’ve been using the app.
There’s a Way to Hide
But apps like WhatsApp don’t become the juggernauts they are without pre-empting such situations. Fortunately, there’s a way to hide your online status.
Simply follow the steps below:
Launch your WhatsApp messenger.
Now you need to go to Settings. If you’re using Android, you need to tap on the three dots on the top right-hand corner of the screen. It will launch a pull-down menu, from where you can select the Settings option.
If you’re using iOS, Settings can be found on the bottom bar.
You’ll now see a list of options under Settings. Tap on Account.
Find the Privacy option (it’s typically the first setting) and tap on it.
Under the Privacy option, you’ll find the option to limit the access of your WhatsApp profile. You can change who sees your profile picture, who can read your bio, and who can access your status updates. You’ll also find the Last Seen option. Tap on it.
Now WhatsApp will ask you to make a decision on who can access your online status. You can either set it to Everybody, in which case everyone can see when you’ve been last online. The second option is My contacts, which will allow only people on your contacts list to see when you’ve been online.
However, if you don’t want anyone to know when you’ve been online last, tap on Nobody.
It’s Done, but Remember…
That’s it. Now nobody can see when you’ve been last online. However, if you happen to be online at a particular moment and somebody else checks your profile at the time, WhatsApp will still show your status as Online to the other person.
Also, note that once you’ve made this change to your WhatsApp settings, you won’t be able to see someone else’s online status as well. This means you won’t know when the people on your contacts list were last online. We think this is a fair tradeoff, because if you don’t want others to know when you’ve logged in, it’s only right that you don’t get access to that knowledge yourself.
If this still isn’t enough for you, you might consider replying to your WhatsApp messages using your Android notification panel. This way WhatsApp won’t show that you’re online but you’ll still be able to send replies when you want. Of course, the major downside is that this method seems to work fine when replying to text messages, but it simply won’t work when you want to send emojis, or attach some media.
We hope we’ve been able to help you in your pursuit to hide your online status on WhatsApp. It’s only natural that we should value our privacy and not let everyone know when we’ve been using a particular app. If there’re problems with following the steps mentioned in this write-up, don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments section below. We’d be happy to help you.