20 essential WhatsApp tricks and tips you should know

WhatsApp is the best secured form of social media conversion due it end-to-end encryption mode of delivering information. Understanding these 20 essential WhatsApp tricks and tips will enable you enjoy it more lively.

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular instant messaging app, and for good reason — it gets a steady stream of updates, has a long list of features, and supports a wide range of devices. There’s little wonder why it’s hit the billion user mark. Want to get the most out of the platform? We’ve got a few essential WhatsApp tricks you should use.

1. How to create bold, italicized, or strikethrough text

The various WhatsApp text formatting options - whatsapp tricks

It’s been around for a while now, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t know about this neat WhatsApp trick.

Simply put an asterisk (*) at the beginning and end of the desired word or sentence and you can make it bold. So if you’d like to bold the word biscuit, you’ll need to type *biscuit*. The same goes for italics, only with an underscore (_) on either side of the desired text instead. To strike through text, you’ll need to add a tilde (~) to the beginning and end of the desired passage. There’s also an option to create monospace text, by adding three grave accents (“`) to either side of the text.

Want an easier way to do all this? Then highlight the word or passage in question, tap “more” and choose from bold, italicize, strikethrough, or monospace. This doesn’t work on all devices though, so you might have to do the long way.

2. Quote a message in your response

An example of quotes in WhatsApp - whatsapp tricks

Whether your texting pace is just too fast or a group chat constantly sees new messages, quoting is one of the best WhatsApp tricks to manage context.

To quote someone, you’ll want to hold down on the desired message, then tap the arrow icon that points to the left (it’s the first arrow that appears on top). From here, you can compose your response with the quoted message attached for all to see.

3. Stop auto-downloading via mobile data using WhatsApp tricks

Mobile data settings for WhatsApp - whatsapp tricks

One of our favorite WhatsApp tricks can actually help you save some precious mobile data.

There are a few ways to save data in WhatsApp while still receiving notifications and messages. First, disable the app’s ability to download media on mobile data. This is done via Settings > Data and storage usage > When using mobile data.

From this section, you can check or uncheck the downloading of photos, audio, videos and documents via mobile data. This way, you need to tap on the file to actually download it. Videos, in particular, are huge data hogs, so we’d recommend leaving this unchecked.

4. WhatsApp calls chewing data? Try this

Data settings in WhatsApp - whatsapp tricks

WhatsApp calls are a handy feature on the platform, but they can consume a fair bit of mobile data if you’re a heavy user or on a limited plan.  Thankfully we know of more WhatsApp tricks for improving data consumption. If you’d like to save some bandwidth, try visiting Settings > Data and storage usage > Low data usage and tick the box to lower the amount of data used in a call.

5. Get a breakdown of WhatsApp data usage

WhatsApp's data tracking tool - whatsapp tricks

All Android phones from the last five years or so ship with a data usage tracker, allowing you to get an app-by-app breakdown of data usage. But WhatsApp also has a tracker, giving you a category-by-category look at data usage.

To access WhatsApp’s data usage log, you’ll need to visit Settings > Data and storage usage > Network usage. Here, you’ll find data usage related to Google Drive, roaming, WhatsApp calls, status updates, messages and overall usage. The biggest downside is that there doesn’t seem to be a Wi-Fi versus cellular breakdown — it all gets lumped in the same category.

6. View a breakdown of storage by contact…

The storage breakdown section in WhatsApp - whatsapp tricks

The storage usage functionality (Settings > Data and storage usage > Storage usage) can show some impressive stats.

This feature allows you to view a ranking of storage used by contact. This is ranked by which contact or group uses the most storage on your phone. Simply tap on a contact/group and you’ll see a breakdown of messages, photos, GIFs, videos, and more.

7. Then clear those files from your storage

A storage management option in WhatsApp - whatsapp tricks

You can do more than just look at the contacts who hog all the storage. You can choose to wipe these files from your phone if you want to.

All you need to do is visit the storage usage section once again (Settings > Data and storage > Storage usage). From here, you choose a contact or group and tap “manage messages.” You can then choose the categories in need of a cleanup within that contact/group. So if your friends group has 50MB of video clips, simply keep the “videos” category ticked while unticking everything else. You’ll then want to hit the “Clear messages” button and choose whether starred messages are included in the wipe.

8. Request your account info

whatsapp tricks

Much like Facebook and Twitter, WhatsApp allows you to request a ZIP file of your account information and settings. This doesn’t include your messages though, only collecting your profile photo, whether you agreed to that Facebook data policy, group names, and the like.

To do this, you’ll need to visit Settings > Account > Request account info, then tap “request report.” It takes between two and three days to get the report. However, the request will be cancelled if you choose to delete or re-register your account, or change your number or device.

You can’t view this file in WhatsApp though, so try using another program on your phone or PC instead.

9. Email chat logs to yourself (or someone else) using WhatsApp tricks

The chat history options in WhatsApp. whatsapp tricks

WhatsApp already lets you back up your chat history to the cloud, but what if you’d like to send a specific chat log to someone, or maybe just need receipts? You can always email the chat log via WhatsApp.

To do this, you’ll need to visit Settings > Chats > Chat history, then tap “email chat.” From here, your chat menu will pop up, allowing you to choose a specific contact or group’s chat history.

Once you’ve chosen the desired chat, WhatsApp will ask whether you’d like to include media or only send text and emojis. Choosing the latter option is advised if you want to keep the final file size in check. Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll be taken to your email app, where the chat log (in lightweight .txt format) will be automatically attached in a draft message.

10. Activate two-step verification

The two-step verification screen in WhatsApp - whatsapp tricks

By default, WhatsApp asks for your number and a one-time pin when changing devices. However, enabling two-step verification means dodgy types can’t get away with accessing your account on a new phone, even if they have your SIM card.

To enable this, you have to visit Settings > Account > Two-step verification. From here, you’ll be prompted to create a six digit pin for whenever you add WhatsApp to a new phone. You’ll also add your email address, in the event you forget your PIN.

One rather massive oversight is that you don’t need to enter a PIN when trying to disable two-step verification from the original device. Odd.

11. Add a contact to your homescreen

Adding a contact to the homescreen - whatsapp tricks

WhatsApp also lets you add contacts to your homescreen — ideal for significant others and other frequently contacted people.

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