WhatsApp is a widely-used instant messaging service that allows users to always keep in touch with friends and family. Yet sometimes, you may feel the need to take a break from constantly being connected. The trick is to do so without offending anyone. Do you know that you can easily read WhatsApp messages without people knowing you’ve been online? In this article we show you how you can turn off read receipts in WhatsApp.
What Are Read Receipts?
WhatsApp lets people know when their messages have been read by displaying what’s called “read receipts.” WhatsApp shows two blue ticks underneath the message to indicate that your message was viewed.
If you would like to read someone’s message on your smartphone or PC without them realizing it, there are a few ways to achieve that.
Read from the Notification Panel or Lockscreen
The easiest way to get a sneak peek at your messages is to drag down the notification bar and read the previews. Or, if you’ve allowed notification previews on the lockscreen, you can do so whenever you turn on your phone.
However, there’s a small issue with this method. If someone sends you many messages, you won’t be able to read them in full, but at least you’ll get an idea of what the messages contain.
Turn on Airplane Mode on Your Device
The goal here is to get yourself disconnected from the Internet entirely. While you can manually disable the Wi-Fi or data connection, the quickest way is to switch to Airplane mode on your device to disconnect from the Internet.
- Bring up the Quick Settings panel by swiping from the top of the display.
- Tap on the Airplane Mode quick toggle to enable the option on your smartphone.
- Next, open WhatsApp on your device.
- When the app launches, tap on the message you want to read.
- When are you done reading the message, exit the app. Make sure you close the app once you’re done.
- Turn Airplane Mode off to reconnect to the Internet.
Reply to Select Messages through the Notification Bar
What do you do if you’ve received several messages from different people, but one of them is urgent and needs an immediate reply? How do you keep from blowing your cover? Simple – reply from the notification bar.
- Swipe down toward the bottom of the screen to bring up the notification shade.
- Find the WhatsApp message you want to reply to.
- Tap on the Reply button.
- Type in your reply and tap Send.
Using this approach, you will be able to maintain your ghostly status while still maintaining a foot in the social app.
Turn Off Read Receipts
Another way to prevent people from knowing whether you’ve seen their WhatsApp messages is to turn off read receipts from Settings. Once you’ve done so, the blue ticks which usually appear once you’ve read a text will be replaced by a couple of neutral gray-colored ticks.
- Open WhatsApp on your device.
- Tap on the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner of the display.
- Select Settings.
- Go to Account.
- Tap on Privacy.
- From there, toggle off the Read receipts option.
In addition, you can disable Last seen from the same Privacy menu, so that no one can track your comings and goings on the messaging app.
The only problem with taking this approach is that you won’t be able to see when others have read your messages either or when they have been online last. If you can live with that, this method is a pretty good solution for when you want to keep yourself under the radar.
Install an Extension on Desktop
If you want to remain invisible while using WhatsApp Web, you’ll have to install an extension in your browser. In Chrome, you can get WAIcognito.
- Tap on the “Add to Chrome” button.
- Once the extension has been added, open WhatsApp Web in a new tab.
- You’ll notice a new Incognito option appear in the upper-left corner.
- Tap on it to adjust its settings.
- By default, it’s set to never send read confirmations. But you can tweak that by choosing to send a read confirmation after a given number of seconds.
- With the extension activated, the app will display a message that says “Read receipts were blocked” every time you read a new message.
Now that you have turned off read receipts in WhatsApp, we recommend that you read how you can export your app chat history to a PC or how to send disappearing messages using the service.